There was panic at a mortuary in Jos, Nigeria on Monday when a dead man, who was being dressed up for burial in front of his immediate family, suddenly grabbed his younger brother’s hand – according to Vanguard.
Family members, who had participated in the washing of the corpse, ran out in panic as they saw the dead Choji Zeng, holding on tight to his younger brother, Gyang Zeng.
The confusion attracted mortuary attendants, who burst in to separate the brothers.
The two brothers had lived together at Ungwan Juma’a Abattoir in Jos metropolis. Zeng, 35 years old, died after a brief illness, relations said. He was said to have suffered from a liver disease.
Gyang Zeng confirmed the incident to a local Nigerian news agency, saying that shortly after bathing his brother and dressing him with white cloth, the corpse grabbed his hands.
He said that he had to call the mortuary attendant for help, and that the mortuary attendant forced the dead hands off of him.
Relations and neighbours who witnessed the incident, also confirmed the report.
Zeng also revealed that when his dead brother held his hands, he asked him: “Choji why did you hold my hand, you want me to join you or what?”
Choji Zeng was pronounced dead once again after the incident.
One of the mortuary attendants said that it was not the first time such a thing had happened in the mortuary.
There have been many odd cases of people coming “back from the dead”: In South Africa a man awoke to find himself in a morgue fridge – nearly a day after his family thought he had died; in Brazil a woman who was pronounced dead and wrapped in plastic was found breathing by her daughter as she said her goodbyes.
The strange incident on this instance can most likely be linked to a condition called Cadaveric spasm, a rare form of muscular stiffening that occurs at the moment of death and persists into the period of rigor mortis. The spasm typically affects forearms or hands, and often crystallises the last activity one did before death.