In America, dead people who rise from their graves make for popular entertainment, but when you’re actually in a cemetery and you see a body trying to crawl free of its burial plot, there’s nothing entertaining about it.
That’s what happened to a woman in Sao Paolo, Brazil, recently. The woman, who did not give her name publicly, was visiting a family gravesite at a cemetery located in the city’s Ferraz de Vasconcelos district. And then she heard strange noises.
Looking around, see saw that the noises were emanating from a different grave, near the one where she had come to pay respects. But that wasn’t even the scariest part.
As she watched, a man’s arms pushed upward through the freshly dug soil.
The woman, understandably alarmed, called police — who at first dismissed her as a prankster. But once she convinced them that she was on the level, they rushed to the scene. A local TV crew heard about it and showed up to capture the final moments of the rescue on tape.
See that video, below. A still frame from the video showing the man about to be pulled from the grave is above.
The man was buried alive in the grave. Doctors say he would have died if police had not showed up to pull him to safety when they did.
While the story may seem fascinating and almost amusing in a macabre way, given our American fascination with the living — and walking — dead, it highlights a serious issue in Brazil that may soon become a serious issue for the rest of the world.
The wrongly interred man, whose name has not been released, was a city hall official whom, police say, was the victim of a brutal beating by multiple assailants. When he fell into unconsciousness from the attack, the criminals either assumed he was dead or hoped he soon would be when they dumped his body in an open grave and covered him with earth.
The frightening incident shines a spotlight on Brazil’s skyrocketing crime rate, especially in Sao Paolo, the world’s seventh-largest city. The U.S. state department rates the crime threat in the city as “critical,” with violent crimes in almost every category on the rise from 2012 to 2013.
The soccer World Cup takes place in Brazil next summer and is expected to draw fans from all over the globe.
As for the man rescued from his grave, he is reported to have escaped with only minor injuries.