Died once. Buried Twice.

The Irish woman who rose from the dead.

Few can claim to come back from the dead but according to an Irish Legend, Margorie McCall did just that.

At some point in the 1700s, a “terrible famine” swept across Lurgan, a town in Northern Ireland. During these troubling times, a woman called Margorie McCall suffered a high fever before the doctors pronounced her dead. Worried that whatever mysterious disease that plagued her could quickly spread, she was hastily buried in the Shankill Graveyard.

Just after her burial, graverobbers paid her a visit. When they found a valuable ring on her finger, they struggled to pull it out. Failing to do so, they decided to cut her finger off. As the knife sliced through her flesh, Margorie stirred back to life, shocking the life out of the grave robbers. Some say they fled the scene never to be seen again. Others say they died on spot.

Margorie dusted herself and walked back home.

Her husband John was at home with his children when he heard a knock at the door. The rap on the wooden frame sounded familiar. He remarked, “ If your mother were still alive, I’d swear that was her knock.”

When he opened the door to find his wife, alive and breathing minus a finger, his hair coloured white in a single night. Some say he went back to the place his wife had just returned from.

Margorie McCall went on to remarry and give birth to many more children before she finally died and was buried again at the Shankill cemetery.

This time, her gravestone read — “Lived Once, Buried Twice.”

She became popular as the “Lady of Ring” thanks to the legend which a local historian Jim Conway claims to be true. Even though the Parish held no records of her death, Conway says that the famine was responsible for the collapse of records.

Vivisepulture or premature burial was a surprisingly common occurrence back in the day. It is safe to say that Margorie wasn’t the only person to be buried alive and this explains the many similar stories found across Europe.

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