Irish Legend of The Lady with the Ring

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind

This is a fascinating but weird legend about escaping death. Naturally being a legend the true or not question is not absolute. Is it true, or is it just a tale? No one truly knows 100% sure. From what I’ve read, I think it is true. Anyway, it is not my place to say. Here’s the remarkable story of Margorie McCall, the woman who died once, but was buried twice: or The Lady with the Ring


Margorie McCall was a young Irish wife in Lurgan, Ireland who had developed a fever and she died in 1695. The people in the village decided it would be best to dispose of the body quickly before the possibly deadly disease had a chance to spread. Europe was experiencing a famine, and any death that wasn’t known was typically treated this way. She was placed in a casket and her worldly possessions removed from her body, all except for a very valuable ring. The disease had caused Margorie’s fingers to swell and therefore her husband was unable to remove the ring from her finger.


This was the perilous time of resurrection men or body snatchers who would dig up fresh graves to sell the corpses and perhaps find loot that had been buried with the bodies. The cemetery provided boundless opportunities for the brave, poor, and unprincipled. schools of medicine required vast numbers of bodies for dissection. Adult remains fetched £2, while children’s bodies were sold by the inch. But with cadavers in short supply, a situation presented itself for grave robbers of the time to become quite well-off.  In the dark of night on the day Margorie was buried the thieves moved in. They quickly dug up the soft dirt and procured the body of the unfortunate woman. They first attempted removing the ring from her finger, but they failed just as her husband had. The men gave up trying to pry the ring off and decided it would be easier and faster to just cut off the finger. As soon as blood was shed, Margorie awoke from her coma, sat straight up, and screamed. It was the blade cutting into her finger that shocked the woman back to life.

The fate of the grave-robbers remains unknown. One story says the men dropped dead on the spot, while another claim they fled and never returned to their chosen profession. The real story is lost to time and history. Margorie climbed out of the hole and made her way back to her home. Her husband John, a doctor, was at home with the children when he heard a knock at the door. He informed the children, “If your mother were still alive, I’d swear that was her knock.” When he opened the door to find his wife standing there, dressed in her burial clothes, blood dripping from her finger but very much alive. He dropped dead from shock or heart attack, but no one knows for sure. He was buried in the plot Margorie had vacated.

Margorie went on to re-marry and give birth to several children. She finally die in 1705 and was returned to Shankill Cemetery in Lurgan, Ireland, where her gravestone still stands. It bears the inscription “Lived Once, Buried Twice.”


So if you are around Lugan, Ireland; stop off and say “Hi.”

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