Think you’re immune from goosebumps? We can fix that and get you in the Halloween spirit with these 10 stories of real resurrections. Even the ones that are unconfirmed are more convincing than any zombie makeup you’ll see out on the streets this week.
After suffering two heart attacks, Val Thomas from West Virginia had no pulse. Her heart had stopped, and her brain had shown no waves for more than 17 hours. Her muscles had gone into rigor mortis — one of the first signs of death. Doctors pronounced her dead, but left her in her ventilator a little while afterwards To their shock, Thomas woke up and began talking. Doctors said it was a miracle and cannot explain how the woman is alive.
One man who patronized a prostitute got something much scarier than an arrest by police. The woman he had hired died during their session. Guests at a hotel in Zimbabwe watched police load a perfectly still body into a coffin, and then into a car, right before the woman sat up screaming, “You want to kill me!”
After undergoing an emergency C-section, Argentinian Analia Bouter was told her baby was stillborn. The baby was immediately taken down to the morgue, and shortly after, Bouter and her husband went down to say goodbye to the baby. When the couple opened the drawer where the baby’s body had been stored, the baby cried. She survived a few months before dying, once again.
In 2007, Venezuelan Carlos Camejo awoke to a reality much scarier than any nightmare—someone was cutting into his face. Camejo had been in a car accident that night and was pronounced dead. When medical examiners began the autopsy, Camejo suddenly opened his eyes. The examiners immediately stitched Camejo back up and he met his wife in the waiting area where she was waiting to identify her husband’s body.
Siberian cook Lyudmila Steblitskaya was twice pronounced dead by doctors, and came back both times — once, after lying in a cold morgue for three days. The resilient woman first died after spending a few days in the hospital, not feeling well. After pronouncing her dead, doctors were about to begin an autopsy when she began breathing again. The following year, Steblitskaya died again of heart complications, but rose again within hours of being pronounced dead.
In 18th-century Lurgan, Ireland, Dr. John McCall lost his wife, Marjorie, to a fever. Grave robbers, hearing of the rich doctor’s wife’s death, went digging up her grave to see if they could get some jewelry off her. While attempting to saw off Marjorie’s finger to retrieve a ring, the grave robbers were terrified to have Marjorie sit up and begin screaming. Marjorie then crawled out of her grave and walked home to her husband who, at the sight of her, passed out and died.
Li Xiufeng, 95, was pronounced dead after hitting her head, and was found lying motionless by a neighbor. In keeping with Chinese tradition, Li Xiufeng lay in a coffin for several days before burial. One day before her burial, her neighbor found Xiufeng’s coffin empty. Xiufeng had woken up hungry, and had gone home to cook herself some food.
If you see children sweeping the streets of Braughing village, part of the English county of Hertfordshire, they’re honoring the dead. Well, one specific dead man, that is: a farmer named Matthew Wall. On Oct. 2, 1571, men headed towards a church carrying the dead Mr. Wall in a coffin. A few of the men slipped and dropped the coffin. When they picked the coffin back up, they heard Mr. Wall knocking from the inside. He was very much alive. Now every year on Oct. 2, perhaps to prevent such a thing from happening again, children sweep the leaves in front of the church in the village.
In June 2012, a Brazilian family held a wake for a recently deceased toddler. Kelvin Santos had been declared dead by doctors treating him for pneumonia, and his family immediately arranged a wake. Santos had lain still in his coffin all night, and just about an hour before the funeral was to begin, the boy sat up in his coffin and asked his father for some water. Then, he immediately lay back down and was, decidedly this time, dead.
In late September, a woman in her 60s named Ma Kabeh was about to be buried, having died from Ebola in Nimba County, Liberia. Ma Kabeh’s neighbors say that the woman hadn’t come out of her home, received medication or eaten for two days before being reported dead. When she rose up, it caused panic.