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Timothy Clark Smith Was So Afraid Of Death He Got A Grave With A Window

The Timothy Clark Smith Grave Has One Very Notable Feature…

Ok, so… trigger warning: If the subject of being buried alive is hard for you to bear then be careful with this post. The idea of being buried alive terrified Timothy Clark Smith. And back in those days (mid 1800s) it wasn’t uncommon. Apparently the medical establishment didn’t really understand the validity of a pulse, because people were mistaken for dead after being in a coma, or even having a really bad flu.

There were stories of people tearing at their clothes, and shredding their coffin lids with their fingernails trying to get out of their literal deathbeds. The thought itself makes me want to die, so I can’t even imagine what those people must have felt.

Hence why Timothy Clark Smith installed a window on his grave. And a few other things too.

Why Have A Grave With A Window, Anyways?

Timothy clark smith
Image: @burialsandbeyond on Instagram

Dr. Timothy Clark Smith had heard the stories of people being buried alive, and he decided to do something about it. There was actually a thing called a “safety coffin” which had failsafes installed in case someone was buried prematurely. It was mostly bells that were installed in those days, for richer people who were afraid of being buried before their time had truly come.

Dr. Smith, however, took it to the next level and crafted a tomb with a window. However, he didn’t stop there. Not only did he install a viewing window directly above his face… he also had a breathing tube connected to the outside.

And, of course, he installed a bell.

The idea behind the window was that the person tending the grave could look in on the dead person and make sure that they were still dead. Further, people with cash to burn and a serious attachment to their loved one would install viewing windows so they could basically watch as their beloved decayed in front of their eyes. Literally.

Ol’ Timothy thought he had it all figured out.

Bells On Graves Weren’t Terribly Uncommon

There was a thriving industry based on the fear of being buried alive. There were patents on bells for graves, and the safety grave became more and more popular.

Timothy clark smith
Image: @oddthingsandstuff on Instagram

Makes you wonder… did companies do like they do today, and perpetuate the fear of being buried alive to sell more bells? The funny thing is that there are no recorded instances where someone was actually saved by a safety coffin.

The Florence Irene Ford Grave Offers A Different “View”

A young girl named Florence had a terrible fear of storms. Because of this, when she died of yellow fever in 1871, her mother created a special kind of grave for her. Not only did she install a window directly over her daughters head, but she also installed stairs.

The stairs went down to the level of the grave, so when a storm came, the mother could comfort her daughter. Even in death, she was able to be there for her during the scary times. Her design, in fact, was so well thought-out that she even installed protective doors at the top fo the stairs to shield her from the rain.

Can You Still Find These Kind Of Graves?

You can still find these kinds of graves, but you can’t really see much. The people who go to check out the Timothy Clark Smith grave in New Haven, Vermont don’t see anything other than murky glass. In fact, they see exactly this:

Timothy clark smith
Image: @oddthingsandstuff on Instagram

With condensation formed on the bottom of the glass, and the dark room underneath, the deathly curious among us won’t get much satisfaction from hunting down these old-fashioned graves.

But can you just imagine if you walked past one and heard the bell ringing?

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