In 1891 the Italian psychiatrist Enrico Morselli (1852-1929) described taphophobia, defining it as an extreme condition of claustrophobia due to the fear of being buried alive. This rare psychopathological phenomenon reflects an ancient fear, and its origin is not known. Taphophobia is closely linked to the problem of apparent death and premature burial. In the nineteenth century, scientists and authors paid particular attention to the issue of apparent death, and special devices (safety coffins) were invented to ensure that premature burial was avoided. Nowadays taphophobia is quite a rare psychiatric disorder; different forms of social anxiety disorders are much more widespread. Its modern equivalent could be the fear of organs harvested from a patient who is still alive.

Taphophobia and ‘life preserving coffins’ in the nineteenth century

Cascella, Marco
2016-01-01

Abstract

In 1891 the Italian psychiatrist Enrico Morselli (1852-1929) described taphophobia, defining it as an extreme condition of claustrophobia due to the fear of being buried alive. This rare psychopathological phenomenon reflects an ancient fear, and its origin is not known. Taphophobia is closely linked to the problem of apparent death and premature burial. In the nineteenth century, scientists and authors paid particular attention to the issue of apparent death, and special devices (safety coffins) were invented to ensure that premature burial was avoided. Nowadays taphophobia is quite a rare psychiatric disorder; different forms of social anxiety disorders are much more widespread. Its modern equivalent could be the fear of organs harvested from a patient who is still alive.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4856475
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