The story of Margorie McCall, lived once, buried twice

Today I want to tell you a story that happened long time ago in Lurgan, the town from where my boyfriend is. When Stephen narrated me it, I couldn’t believe to my ears and he had to go to collect photographic proof of what he was saying even just only for me to take it in consideration as farly true.
Instead, what you are about to read seems that really happened, obviously with details often fading in time’s mist, maybe added during the hundreds of times that innumerable, different voices told the story.

It’s the early 1700s and Margorie McCall, the main character of our story, lives happily in Church Place, Lurgan, with her husband John, a doctor.
In 1705, unluckily, Margorie gets sick, she has fever, that at that time could be a very serious illness, and shortly she dies.

margorie_mcCall_2bwThere’s a wake for her death and, plus than being grieving for the loss, the husband and relatives were worried about her wedding ring: they tried to take it off from her hand, but it was swallen and no one could make it. The main problem were the grave robbers, that at that time often were paying visit to the deads for selling the body and steal the precious things in the grave.

margorie_mcCall_3bwAs everyone was worried, that night grave robbers went to her grave: they went inside Shankill Cemetery and dig up Margorie. They want to sell her body, but to have the ring too; despite all their labour, they can’t take it off, so they decide to cut her finger.

Margorie_McCall_4bwAs they cut her finger, Margorie wakes up and starts to scream. The grave robbers are so scared that they run away (someone says that one of them dropped dead on the ground, and, however it was in real, everyone agrees that both changed job after that night).

Margorie_McCall_5bwAt that point Margorie gets out of the grave and go back home. When John hear someone knocking says to his cildren: “if it wasn’t impossible, I’d say it’s your mom knocking” and goes to see who is. When he opens the door he finds his wife, covered in ground and blood and dressed as at the wake. He dies immediatly because of fear

margorie_mcCall_6bwWhen, years later, Margorie dies, her body is returned to Shankill Cemetery and she gets buried with her husband. On the grave is added a stone with written: “Margorie McCall – Lived once, buried twice” and this time, to be sure she is not coming back, the tomb is covered with a layer of cement.

IMG_0577 copy
You can still find Margorie McCall’s grave at Shankill Cemetery in Lurgan, Northern Ireland.

Drawings and photo: © Emanuela Mae Agrini

Story: Stephen told me it and you can find some more at

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