Being buried alive is not as far fetched as you might think. How would you like to have been buried back in the day before embalming and modern mediciene.
This is one reason that a lot of the Zombie and Vampire legends got started and continue to this day. Many times down thru the years peoples graves have been dug up only to find tears and scratches that meant the person buried had to have been buried alive.
The National Undertakers association say they have several hundred documented cases where people were buried only for it to be discovered later that the person buried was alive when they were buried. Hell I would haunt you to if you had buried me alive.
In 1934 in Charleston South Carolina at the Blue Lakes Cemetery a man was buried alive. He was placed in his coffin and then the coffin with him in it was placed in the family crypt. The next morning the wife and the 17 year old son went to visit the final resing place of the man and boy were they surprised. The man couldn't get the lid on his casket up high enough to get out but they could hear the man screaming and the mans son ran for help. The man was removed from his coffin and he lived for 22 more years.
The concern over being buried alive was so great at one time that coffins were equipped with a rope in them to ring a bell above the surface. But you won't find modern coffins equipped with such devices.
Its said that in a lot of the world especially in underdeveloped countries being buried alive is still one of the greatest fears.
Here in the United States especially in the deep south where there are a lot of above ground crypts many people have been buried alive. One of the most famous cases is of Andrew Marten near Charleston South Carolina. His family put him in his casket in January of 1923. The next summer in June a workman discovered that Andrew Marten had been able to get out of his coffin and out into the family crypt room but that was as far as he got. He had taken a sharp piece of metal and written a long letter to his wife and children on the floor of the family crypt. He wrote according to the dates in the letter for nine days before he died probably of exposure. The man found his remains laying in the floor of the family crypt. The family returned his mortal remains to the coffin he had escaped from.
No one knows for sure exactly how many people have been buried alive but it has happened in the past. During and before World War II China used buried alive as a punishment for some convicts who had been convicted of sex crimes.
To this day Andrew Marten the man from above who was buried alive is said to show up outside the family crypt trying to get someone to let him out because he has been buried alive. He is often carrying his favorite shotgun that was buried with and he has frigtened many people over the years.