Mario Bocca could speak with the dead. Or, at least, so he claimed. The Italian researchers who gathered around him on a night in 1950, in the small city of Camerino, Italy, wanted to verify, for themselves, if that were indeed true.
Sometimes, of course, the dead do not rest easy. Something draws them back, again and again, to the scene of their tragic, final act, the time when they, quite literally, “gave up the ghost.”
In this case, however, the ghost never gave up.
“My name is Rosa Spadoni. I was put into my casket alive! Please, so that others can be spared this terrible fate, please, DIG UP MY BODY AS PROOF.”
The medium, presumably through his “control,” vocalized the desire of the departed Rosa. Attendant was the intrigued doctor, Dr. Guiseppe Stoppolini, a distinguished professor of anatomy at Camerino University. Under his direction, it was a short order of work to demand the exhumation. The problem being: they could find no “Rosa Spadoni” in the town of Castel-Raimondo, where the spirit had purported to have died and been interred.
Further communications revealed, of course that she was buried under her married name of MENICHELLI, and had been so buried on September 4th, 1939, after apparently dying of an infection. She was 38.
It was grim work, exhuming the body. But, how much more macabre could the condition of the corpse have been, when the lid of the casket was finally opened?
Imagine the terror of being trapped in the dark, coming to consciousness, being unable to turn over, and putting your arms out to feel a hard, unyielding surface of solid wood. Screaming!–but there is NO ONE to hear your screams.
You writhe in terror, your mind cracking, knowing that you have been delivered into a trap from which there is NO escape–that you have quite literally been BURIED ALIVE. Perhaps you gnashed your teeth, bit through your tongue. The blackness was pervasive and all-encompassing. In the darkness and despair, you might have hallucinated the face of your own dear mother. Or Jesus. A saint, an angel, or Lucifer himself might come to greet you! It is hot, stifling, and the air is getting thinner and thinner…
Breathe in, breathe out…not many breaths left.
The condition of the body proved that, like Poe’s sister character in “House of Usher,” Rosa Spadoni Menichelli did, indeed, show signs of having been interred too soon. Her spine was arched in agony, her skeletal hand affixed to the lid of her coffin, as if in a hopeless attempt to push it open. She might have prayed for a miracle at this point, but, most probably, she just went mad until the oxygen ran out.
A general reform in burial practices across Italy and all of Europe are said to have followed in the wake of this strange, supernatural event. If so, we find no record of association, between one and the other.
So, did this prove the power of the medium, and survival after death? YOU DECIDE.