'Dead' man wakes up in morgue

(MSNBC.COM) - A 50-year-old South African man woke up inside a mortuary over the weekend and screamed to be let out — scaring away attendants who thought he was a ghost, MSNBC.COM reports.


The man's family presumed he was dead when they could not wake him on Saturday night and contacted a private morgue in a rural village in the Eastern Cape, according to a news report on the BBC's website.

He spent almost 24 hours inside the morgue, the region's health department spokesman told the Sapa news agency. The man woke up at 5:00 p.m. local time, startling two attendants, and demanded to be let out of the chilly morgue. The workers, frightened, ran away, but returned to call an ambulance to take the man to the hospital, where he was treated for dehydration.

"Doctors put him under observation and concluded he was stable," Eastern Cape health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said. "He did not need further treatment."

A lesson can be learned from the whole ordeal: Call a doctor to make sure a person is dead before calling the undertaker.

"You begin to you ask yourself how many other people have died like that in a morgue," Kupelo said. "We need to (get) the message across to all South Africans that it is very wrong for them to conclude on their own that a person has died."