Death and Resurrection

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The following amusing article appeared in JAMA 100 years ago. The author was poking fun at how newspapers will run stories like this whenever news becomes scarce and copy hard to get.

“In the Chicago Record-Herald, Oct 1, 1907, appears a special telegram from Wheeling, W.Va., according to which Mrs. Fred Harzell was the young wife of a farmer living near Huntington. Her relatives were bemoaning her death on September 30th. A few minutes before the minister arrived to conduct the funeral rites she suddenly sat up and climbed out of her coffin. The telegram further states that there was a rush of mourners for the open air, windows being used as exits. This carries with it uncomplimentary inference , as one is led to assume that Mrs. Hartzell’s friends were willing to stay in her vicinity so long as she was dead, but preferred to seek another locality as soon as she came to life. The minister fainted when the pale-face woman meet him at the door. The clergyman was certainly quite justified in this, as such episodes are, to say the least unique in ministerial experiences.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD