Cemetery Guns: A blunderbuss to repel real world body-snatchers (VIDEO)

For centuries graveyards had to contend with grave robbers who preyed on the valuables of corpses– and even the corpses themselves — triggering an arms race. Cemetery guns of all sorts were popular in the 18th and 19th Century as a form of primitive booby-trap to deter would-be burglars who specialized in the recently dead.

The gruesome work of some of these Victorian-era nightwalkers was to harvest fresh bodies to sell for use in anatomy training. The solution, as attested to in the above video featuring NRA Museums Registrar Erin Sabatini, was a flintlock blunderbuss set to go off if disturbed, giving those shovel-toting goblins a scare that often included a good bit of shot as well.

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