Where History Lives On…

22 Oct

The Glasnevin Cemetery, a place where history lives on, despite the lives that don’t. The idea of visiting a cemetery is not appealing in the least, however, Glasnevin Cemetery is more than just a place where people bury their dead. Glasnevin Cemetery is a collection of stories and moments in history that are continuously retold.

One of my favorite stories was about a woman who has two dates of death on her gravestone. In the old days, they didn’t have the technology to determine if someone was “truly” dead, so it was possible for people to be buried alive. They came up with ways to avoid people waking up and being trapped down there until they really were dead, one being a bell system. Another way, although unintentional was grave robbers. Today, you can legally donate your body to science, but years ago this was not an option, but science still existed. Scientists paid for dead bodies, so grave robbers often dug up graves to steal the valuables that people were buried with, as well as the body. However, it was not always obvious that the body had been stolen. They often dug behind the grave and slid the body out to avoid detection. Margorie McCall was actually saved by grave robbers. Hours after her funeral, grave robbers exhumed her body and went to cut off her finger to steal her ring that was stuck on her seemingly dead finger, before they handed her body over to the scientists. As they went to make the first cut, Margorie woke up from her coma state, scaring the grave robbers. “Margorie McCall: lived once, buried twice.”

Margorie McCall’s story was a rare one, but it was a story that represents the cemetery well. I’m not saying that it’s a zombie world or a place for the supernatural, but it’s a place that is rich with history and stories that are unique only to Glasnevin. It’s also the place where you can rub Daniel O’Connell’s coffin for luck and only be mildly terrified. Overall, I enjoyed my trip to the cemetery.

-Melissa Daly

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