Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween! Don't look Down!

Don't you love social media?  My neighbor reads my Tombstone Tuesday posts, so she sent me this photo.  It was taken by the son of one of her bridesmaids, who had posted it on Facebook.  The photographer, Christopher Sinsigalli, lives in Connecticut, but this tombstone is in New Haven, Vermont.  I have his permission to use his photo here.

This is the 1893 grave of Dr. Timothy Clark Smith in the Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Vermont.  He died on Halloween! 

The doctor was afraid of being buried alive, so he left instructions for this grave site.  This window opens onto a six foot shaft above his head, so his family could check on him from time to time.  The coffin had a bell, a breathing tube and an escape staircase.   The window is now clouded with condensation and mold, and visibility is limited to about six inches. 

Christopher Sinsigalli reports "Yes, I did shine a flashlight down there."

According to and Find A Grave, Dr. Timothy Clark Smith was born 14 June 1821 in Monkton, Vermont, the son of Timothy Smith and Amanda Delia Smith, grandson of Timothy Clark Smith and Thankful Rice, and grandson of Hezekiah Smith and Susannah Willoughby Niles (maternal).  He died on 31 October 1893 in Middlebury, Vermont.  Catherine Jane Prout, daughter of Dr. John Prout and Mary Augustine Liprandi.   He graduated from Middlebury College in 1842, and received his medical degree from University of the City of New York in 1855.  He was also a US Consul to Odessa Russia 1861 - 1875, and to Galatz, Romania from 1878 - 1883.   He was a descendant of immigrant ancestors Edmund Rice and Edward Frost. 

For more information:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Happy Halloween!  Don't look Down!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted October 31, 2016, ( accessed [access date]).


  1. Wow creepy! Happy Halloween and thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow, that is a powerful phobia! Very creative way to set his own mind at ease. Thanks for sharing.