The moving coffins of the Chase Vault: The historical tale that haunts Barbados

Barbados is a country that is located on an island in the Caribbean Sea, this has been a tropical paradise, but behind all the good things there are sometimes strange facts.

All this history dates back to the 1800s when something unusual started happening on the island of Barbados. These were very interesting events, yet quite mysterious. Even Lord Combermere, the Governor of Barbados at the time, was involved in the matter. It’s the story of mobile coffins, a case that has not been resolved to this day, nobody knows how, or why these coffins are moved.

The Chase Vault:

The Chase Vault
The Chase Vault. ©️ Wikimedia Commons 

The Chase Vault is a burial vault that was built in 1727, in the cemetery of the Christ Church Parish Church in Oistins, a coastal city of Barbados. Later the Vault was purchased by the Chase family in the early 1800s, to bury their deceased. Thus named “Chase Vault”. The Chase family were British by origin, but lived in Barbados, being quite wealthy.

The Vault had a section on the surface and another underground. It turns out that in order to access the coffins that were inside the Vault, a large heavy slab sealed with cement had to be removed. Also, it was quite heavy, it took several men to remove it.

Unusual Happenings At The Chase Vault:

In the year 1807, Thomasina Goddard was the first person who was buried in the Chase Vault, followed in 1808 by 2-year-old Ann Maria Chase, and in 1812 by her older sister Dorcas Chase, aged 12. At that time, inside the Vault, there were three coffins. Not many days have passed since the last burial, their father, known as Thomas Chase, passes away.

Moving cofin of the chase vault
The three coffins moved from their original place. It was something extremely strange but what could have caused that? © Paranormal Junkie / YouTube

However, when the thick marble slab that sealed the entrance to the vault was removed, the burial group discovered that the three coffins inside had been violently tossed around and were standing against the walls of the tomb in seeming disarray. Without having any concrete reason why the coffins were moved, they were puzzled and placed the coffins in their original place.

Locals started speculating that there might be a possibility that the disorder was caused by thieves, however, nothing of value was present in the Vault. After a few years had passed, the vault was reopened for another burial, in the year 1816. The surprise again was that the coffins had been disordered, including that of Thomas Chase.

Again, all the coffins were rearranged in their original positions, another was added, and the Vault was sealed. A few months later, it was necessary to reopen the Vault, due to another death. Again, the chests were out of place and most were in disrepair. There was a certain public speculating on what might have caused that in the Vault. Just to be sure, they looked inside the Vault, but again nothing unusual was observed.

Solution Provided By The Governor:

Sir Stapleton Cotton
Sir Stapleton Cotton, Lord Combermere and Governor of Barbados © Wikimedia Commons

Lord Combermere, the governor of Barbados at that time, decided to take the reins in the matter of the mobile coffins and had them buried in the ground and covered with sand, to obtain traces of whoever was entering.

After a few months, Lord Combermere, along with other men, went to observe if something had happened to the coffins. At first glance, it did not appear that anyone had entered, as there were no signs and the tombstone was intact.

However, upon opening the Chase Vault, the coffins were found out of place and the most suspicious thing was that the sand had no traces of footprints. Because of what happened, the frightened family chose to change the coffins of that Vault, and the Governor ordered the bodies to be re-interred in separate burial plots. So the original Chase Vault is now sealed and totally abandoned.

Final Words

Various hypotheses were created about how the coffins can be moved, without the need for people. It was thought that there could be a water inlet that flooded and caused the coffins to float and moving around inside the Vault, or all these unusual things occurred due to an earthquake.

But these theories were discarded, thus leaving many questions and suspicions. Unfortunately, it may never be known what was going on specifically. These events intrigued many people, so the Chase Vault story has been told on numerous occasions since 1833, and over the years, the story has been published and republished with different versions and shapes.

In the end, it has not been possible to confirm if it is due to natural causes, or simply they were paranormal events, which makes the mobile coffins of the Chase Vault behave like this. Although without a doubt, it causes great curiosity and intrigues the person who listens to it.