As the vault was opened for the internment of a new family member, it was found that the previous coffins had been moved, tossed about - not in the same state they had been left in previously.
A HAUNTED TOMB.
"A tale of the mysterious movement of coffins in a sealed vault in the parish of Christchurch, Barbados, has long been told in the Island. Fresh authentic evidence just brought to light and published in the 'West India Committee Circular,' confirms the story, and renders it mysterious in the extreme.
On successive occasions, when the Chase family vault in the churchyard near Distin's Town was opened, the coffins were found to be disarranged. A manuscript account by the Hon. Nathan Lucas, who witnessed the opening of the vault in 1820, has been unearthed.
Mr. Lucas was discussing it with friends in 1820, and they decided then and there to open the vault and see if the coffins had moved again. They found the heavy slabs over the entrance untouched, and no marks of violence were anywhere visible. But in the vault itself the six coffins were once again disarranged, lying on top of each other and at curious angles.
The vault was in such a position that water - of which there were no signs, could not have flooded it. There had been no earthquake to account for the mystery and no attempt to rob the corpses.
Locals fear of the dead rendered it certain that they had no hand in it, and the theory of a practical joke was never entertained. 'All I know,' runs the document, 'is that it happened, and that I was an eyewitness of the fact.'"
(The Daily News, 17 March 1908)
The Chase Vault History
The vault was then purchased by the Walrond Family, and when a relative/friend Thomasina Goddard passed away, the vault was opened and shockingly, Elizabeth‘s body was no longer to be found... she had disappeared!
It is important to note that the vault was sealed with a very large marble slab, and upon this latest opening no evidence was found to suggest it had been tampered with. With such a mystery, the legend took on a somewhat supernatural twist with many of the superstitious locals believing that Elizabeth Elliot was a vampire!
The Chase family very soon after came to ownership of the vault, and before long were interring their own family within. It was the opening of the vault to recieve its fourth body (Mr Thomas Chase) that the coffins located inside were found to be in a disrupted state. No evidence of break in, no evidence of tampering with the actual bodies... just coffins not where they should be.
The theme continued with each new interment, the vault would be opened and coffins would be strewn about. At one time a wooden coffin had all but been smashed when one of the heavier, lead coffins had crashed into it.
Eight months later the vault was once again opened. No sign had been found of tampering with the mortar or seals, but when entering the vault itself, the coffins were once again found to be in utter chaos. The sand on the floor was undisturbed, noone had been inside and no flood had taken place.
The Chase family have since been removed from the vault and buried in the cemetery.
It was and still is a mystery, though many theories have been put forward over the years including flooding, earthquakes and magnetism.