Unsolved mysteries abound throughout history but for the people of Barbados, there are few tales quite as enduring as that of the Chase Family Vault. Located in the sunny island range, the family vault has brought with it a number of strange events and nightmarish tales, all without seeming to come to any sort of closure. Buried beneath one of the country’s most treasured historical sites, the Christ Church Parish cemetery, the family vault lies in wait, bringing with it a whole lot of strange activity.
The Chase family have a long and winding history with Barbados, after having initially bought their family vault in the 1800s. Located on a hill overlooking the rest of the Caribbean, the vault was chosen for its picturesque views and calming surroundings, serving as the perfect memorial site for the family. Despite being battered by the salt and wind from the island storms, the vault was sturdy and strong, protecting the family members buried inside behind a huge blue marble slab.
While they might have had everything they ever wanted in life, the Chase family were not popular with the local community. Incredibly wealthy, they used their riches to manipulate the people around them, treating staff and slaves with unprecedented brutality. When the family came to buy their vault, they purchased it from another owner, believing it would suit their family better. By the time the first family member, James Elliott Chase, came to be buried in the vault, they already knew that another woman from a different family was already lying in rest within.
Despite this, the family went ahead with the burial and not long after his death, they sealed James Elliott Chase in the large stone tomb. He wasn’t alone for long, however, and just a few months after his death, he was joined by the body of a newborn baby who died suddenly after birth. Not long after this, another member the family, Dorcas Chase, committed suicide, and was buried alongside her family members in the resting place. All three had been placed in heavy iron coffins which, due to their size, required a number of strong men in order to be put in place.
Things were only destined to get worse for the Chase family, however. Following the sudden suicide of Dorcas Chase, her father had followed the same fate, evidently deeply unhappy with his way of life. Buried in a huge iron casket, Thomas Chase was put to rest alongside his other family members, sealed in the vault until another death caused it to be reopened.
Following the string of deaths in the family, things started to take a bizarre twist. When maintenance labourers entered the family vault, having moved the huge marble slab in order to get in, they found that Dorcas Chase’s coffin had been moved, turned upside down and balanced against a wall. Despite this, however, the coffin had not been opened. Alongside the casket of the youngest family member, it had simply been repositioned in the vault, an act that would have required a number of strong individuals to carry off.
The family, however, were not concerned by the activity, attributing it to vandals. The coffins were shifted back to their original spots and the vault was re-sealed in order to ensure such activity didn’t happen again. When the next family member died some years later, however, the Chase family stumbled right back into the same story again, slowly coming to realize that something very strange was underfoot.
The coffins had once again been rearranged inside the tomb. Each coffin had been haphazardly flung around inside, with no evidence that any of them had been broken into. The second discovery soon spread throughout the town, piquing the interest of a number of townspeople. People began to speculate what was underfoot, attributing the actions to black magic, voodoo and even a family curse. Over the years, the vault was found in disarray each time it was reopened, leading to a wide scale investigation by one of the family members. Each of the tombs was discovered displaced, except that of one family member who had been put to rest in a lighter wooden coffin.
In a last ditch attempt to stop the break ins, one family member had the vault set with mortar, covered with cement and finished off with fine sand so as to be able to detect footprints. Eight months later, he opened up the tomb and found it just as he had left it, unharmed. Since this time, there has been no more disruption to the family tomb, but the legend still lives on in Barbados. The story is passed around campfires and family homes, nonetheless intriguing locals as to what could have happened down in the vault all those years ago.