Superstitions have shrouded every culture from ages past. One belief being “Saved by the Bell.” Probably all of you have heard the term before, but never really knew what it truly meant or what its origins were.
In Medieval Europe death was rampant. Sickness and disease took 1 out of every 3 people each year. One cause of death came from pewter cups lined with lead. Without knowing it, they were poisoning themselves with lead. One of the symptoms of lead poisoning is a deep coma with very shallow breathing and a nearly undetectable heartbeat. With death on nearly every doorstep people didn’t want to bury someone who wasn’t quite dead. So, when someone appeared to have died, the townsfolk would lay the body out for 3 days.
Even today, it is tradition not to bury someone until at least 3 days after they die. If a person did not come out of their deathlike state, they would commence to bury them. But as an extra added precaution as not to bury someone alive, they would put a string in their hand that would lead out of the coffin and up to the surface. At the tombstone would be a rigging with a bell attached to it. If somehow a person who had lead poisoning would wake up after the 3-day waiting period and find themselves buried alive, they would frantically pull on the string; therefore, ringing the bell. At all times a grave keeper would keep watch in the cemetery waiting for such a bell to ring. If by chance one was heard, the grave keeper would quickly rush to the grave and without haste dig up the person and remove them from their undesirable fate. That person for the rest of their days would be known to have been “Saved by the Bell.”