The Legend of Margorie McCall


Times were hard in the 1700s, and people made a penny wherever they could. Some trades were frowned upon, but none more than that of the “resurrectionist” — commonly known as a grave robber. They provided cadavers to private medical schools, and at the start of the 18th century, business was booming. This practice, however, proved a hair-raising experience for one such band of grave robbers. Margorie McCall was married to a doctor, but when she fell ill, her husband was beside himself with worry. In those days, a minor illness could be fatal. Sadly, Margorie succumbed to a bout of fever and was buried quickly for fear of the fever spreading. There was quite a lot of commotion at the wake concerning a valuable ring that Margorie was wearing, and it wasn’t long after she was in the ground that grave robbers sought to separate her from the ring. When they couldn’t get it off Margorie’s finger, the decided to simply cut off her finger. As soon as the blood began to flow, Margorie bolted upright, revived from the coma-like state she had been in. One of the men dropped dead on the spot from fright, while the others ran for their lives, never to resume their dubious occupation. When Margorie’s husband saw her, he, too, dropped dead. Margorie went on to re-marry and have several children, eventually dying for real.