The Chase Family Vault is located in the seemingly harmless and beautiful Barbados. A tropical paradise with nothing but sunshine and good vibes. However, the locals are aware of a deeper and more frightening energy resides beneath one of the islands most treasured historical sites. The Christ Church Parish cemetery is home to one of the most mysteriously disturbing occurrences in Carribean history. To this day there is still no explanation for the moving coffins of the Chase family…
The Chase Family
The Chase family where an eccentric and wealthy family where known and despised by the local community for their vile, brutal treatment of their slaves.
The Chase Vault was originally constructed for Mr James Elliot in 1724. By the time the Chase family bought the vault in 1808, it was already pretty time-worn, but it was sealed with a huge slab of pristine blue marble that took eight men to move . It had only been used once previously as the final resting place for Ms. Thomasina Goddard in 1807. The family thought it best to leave her body even though it was, by law, their property. Ms Goddard got to share the tomb before long.
Some of the chase slaves.
In 1808 the same year the tomb was purchased, the Chase family saw the death of their most senior member, quickly followed by the death of a newborn who had been named Mary-Anne Chase. Both members were buried in heavy iron caskets. These caskets took three men to lift. Another death struck the Chase family shortly after, the death of another young member of the family. Dorcas Chase. The cause of her death is still unknown. It is known, however, that she endured endless torment and beatings from her father. It is rumoured that he eventually starved her to death…
Death was not done with the Chase family just yet. The abusive father, Thomas Chase committed suicide just two months after the accused murder of his daughter. He too was buried within the vault and he had the largest coffin of them all. The coffin weighed 240 pounds and took eight men to move.
The Chase Family Vault Mystery
Following the death of Thomas Chase, they moved him into the tomb. This is when the paranormal occurrences begin.The labourers moved the marble slab and found that two of the coffins had moved… Not just a little either, the coffins of Dorcas Chase and the stillborn baby were standing against the wall. The men moving Thomas Chase’s coffin were astonished as it would have taken several grave robbers to move the marble slab blocking entrance and then move the heavy iron coffins. However, the seals on the coffins had not been disturbed.
The family forgot about it and attributed it to vandals. They rearranged the coffins back to the way they originally were and resealed the family tomb.
1816, yet another family member died. The 11-year-old Charles Brewster Ames. His body was taken down to the vault, but when they once again opened the tomb, they realised that something surreal was going on here. The coffins, including the 240-pound coffin, were scattered across the tomb. Some were open, the coffin of Thomas was on top of that of Dorcas Chase and the others were slung around. Again the seals on the coffins remained, perfect and untouched. Once again they put them back in place and resealed the vault.
The Stories Spread Around Town
After the second discovery, it didn’t take long for the news to spread around town. People began to guess at what was going on down there. The stories ranged from tales of black magic, voodoo, ghosts and a family curse. Some claimed that at night when passing they would hear moans and shrieks slipping through the cracks around the marble seal.
Others swore that their horses would rear up and panic, or run away when coming towards the tomb, some even went as far to say that their horses would be driven insane. This attracted the attention of Governor Lord Combermere, who was a paranormal fanatic and he vowed to solve this mystery himself.
After the Ames’s death, the vault would be opened two more times. 1816 to bury Samuel Brewster and again in 1819. Both times, the vault was found in chaos with the coffins scattered. However, the most curious oddity amongst the disarray was the fact that the coffin on Thomasina Goddard was never moved… despite the fact that it was made up of cheap, light wood.
Lord Combermere ordered an inspection of the tomb and found the only entrance to the tomb was through the enormous blue marble slab. So he set a trap.
He rearranged the caskets into a special order and covered the vault floor with fine sand, in order to record footprints of any intruders. He also sealed the vault with mortar in which, he and a few other important members of society placed their seals in the wet cement all around the entrance.
8 months passed until Lord Combermere responded to countless reports of noises coming from within the tomb. He and a crew of soldiers inspected the entrance and found it had not been tampered with at all, all the seals still remained intact.
However, what they found inside was repulsive. The huge coffin of Thomas Chase and been pushed right up to the door to bar the entrance. It took twelve men to get it open. All of the coffins had been violently thrown around the room, the babies casket, in particular, had been thrown so hard that it had cracked the iron. The coffin of Thomasina Goddard remained undisturbed and the sand was as undisturbed as the day they laid it.
Lord Combermere was so disturbed that he ordered the coffins to be removed and each buried separately in their own plots.
The Chase Vault Today
Lord Combermere following that day, made an official statement that all of the activity had ceased but had it ? There have been ghost stories revolving around these mysterious tombs from hundreds of years since. Stories of poltergeist activity down there, bangs, screams, as well as people being pushed or nudged.
Today the tombs remain open to the public, although it is advised that you stay away or risk being affected by the Chase Family Curse.