This might sound like a typical ghost story but it was major news all through Barbados. Though there have been many spices added to the original events but there was many mysterious occurrences noticed by many people in the Chase Vaults. Today the graveyard of Christ Church in close location to the Oistin’s Bay in Barbados looks like any other ordinary cemetery but it was a place for mysterious occurrences in the 19th century.
The tomb we are speaking of belonged to the Chase family which was infamous for their behaviour. Colonel Thomas Chase was the father of the clan and he was very cruel. His maltreatment of the servants was famous across the island. In the early 1800s Colonel Chase purchased a crypt in the Christ Church cemetery. Subsequently the first family member buried in the tomb was a baby belonging to the family named Mary Chase. In February 1808 she was placed in the tomb inside a heavy metal casket. Then in July 1812, teenage daughter of Colonel Chase named Dorcas Chase was placed in the tomb. She is supposed to have committed suicide due to cruelties done by her father upon her.
Colonel Chase himself died in August of the same year, possibly by committing suicide, and he was placed inside a metal coffin that was so heavy that it took many men to carry it. When the tomb was opened to placed the late Colonel it was found that Mary’s coffin had moved from its original location and her body was standing on its head near a corner of the tomb. Other family members suspected malicious intents of some mischievous men behind this unnatural act. They sealed the stone door of the tomb tightly so that no person could enter the tomb. But in 1816 there were two more burials done in the Chase tomb and it was noticed that the coffins had again moved from their original position. Some accounts suggested that a woman had heard frightening cries coming in from the tomb and a few days after that some horses went insane (in close proximity to the graveyard) and threw themselves into the bay.
In July of 1819 following the death of another Chase clan member same changes were seen inside the tomb. All the coffins had moved from their original location. Governor of Barbados had attended the funeral and to stop these mischievous acts he put impressions of his signet ring into wet cement to make sure that nobody could open the tombs at night or even move around the tombs. Some sand was also sprinkled on the floor that would capture traces of the trespassers to the Chase vaults. In 1820 the tomb was opened again for another burial. The mark of signet ring was clearly visible and there were no traces of anybody entering or even roaming around the tomb. Most of the men were relaxed that they had finally stopped the mischievous acts. But when they went on to open the tomb, they faced problems. It seemed something was pressing against the stone door of the tomb from inside. Many more men were called upon and finally the tomb was opened. To the utter dismay of the onlookers, Colonel’s coffin was blocking the door of the tomb (though it had been placed elsewhere) and the other coffins were scattered all over the vault.
Following this incidence the Governor asked all the coffins to be taken out of the tomb and buried in some other cemetery. The vaults have been empty since then. Many scholars have tried to sight reasons for these unnatural events. While some believe the change in location of the coffins was caused due to earthquake, but this theory has been blown away as all the other nearby tombs were found with coffins in their original positions. Others have sighted that flood was the reason, but how can heavy metal coffins float in water? Thus the Chase vaults mystery is an unsolved mystery.