Angelo Hays

Angelo Hays: A Man Who Survived After Being Buried Alive For 2 Days


This is the bizarre, yet true story of the famous Frenchman and inventor Angelo Hays (born in 1918, died on January 12, 2008). At the age of just 18, Hays took a joyride on his motorcycle. Little did he know that he was about to take the scariest ride of his life. Despite his unimaginable experience, this was a tragedy that helped him become a French celebrity.

This article was updated on August 20, 2019.

September 1, 1937: The Motorcycle Crash

 man in motorcycle accident

Not long after taking off on his bike for a joyride, Hays himself claimed that on September 1, 1937, he fractured his skull in a serious motorcycle accident. He was thrown from is motorcycle headfirst into a brick wall. The impact messed his face up so bad, his own parents were not even aloud to view his body. Talk about a devastating experience. When doctors examined Hays, they could not find a pulse. He was declared dead and was laid to rest.

A couple of days later, due to an insurance policy (worth 200,000) that was taken out on Hays just days before the accident, insurance investigators requested his body to be exhumed. Of course, police first looked at his parents as possible murder suspects. When they were told Hays’ body was going to be exhumed, they requested him to just stay buried. Of course, this made investigators even more suspicious. However, Hays’ parents didn’t know that the suspicions are what made their life go from sadness, to immediate happiness. Just a couple of days after the accident, Hays was exhumed.

Hays Never Died

Once forensic examiners saw Hays, they were in shock when they realized that despite being buried in a coffin for two days, his body was still warm. Why was he still warm? Examiners later determined that Hays was never dead, but instead was in a coma caused by his head injury.

Although Hays had to endure several operations, he made a full recovery. His unexpected survival was the best gift his parents could have ever asked for. Surprisingly, Angelo Hays went on to live a full and prosperous life. Now this is a story with an ending you would have never expected.

How Did He Survive Being Buried Alive For Two Days?

It is hard to believe that one could survive being buried alive for an entire 2 days. So how did Hays do it? Due to his serious head injury that put him in a coma, his body no longer needed the normal amount of oxygen necessary for survival. Therefore, he was required very little oxygen to survive.

Hays Invented A Security Coffin

safety coffin

Above is the 19th century Taberger’s Safety Coffin. A bell was a signalling device just in case one was buried alive.

The accident that caused Hays’ injury, also helped him become a celebrity in France. Since he survived a premature burial for two days, people would travel many miles just to speak to him.

A few decades after his accident, Hays invented a security coffin. It was created for other people who might be mistakenly buried alive. His invention was equipped with a food locker, oxygen supply, chemical toilet, radio transmitter, alarm bells, and even a library (for whatever reason).

Images Of Hays?

angel hays image

young man Angelosurvivor

old inventor


If you go to Google and type in “Angleo Hays,” you will see images from various sources. The websites show him as a young and older man. Perhaps these are not the same person?

Google’s current search results also show Wikipedia’s claim (look to the right of your screen) that Hays is now 101 years old. However, if you go to the article, it says the date of his death was actually January 12, 2008. It also mentions that some sources around the web misspelled his first name. According to Wikipedia, Hays’ first name was Angel — not Angelo.


If the story is true, it should be known as one of the most horrific stories of people who were buried alive, and got out. People will be talking about Angelo Hays for centuries to come.

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About Joseph Caltabiano

Joseph Caltabiano is a blogger, oddities lover and a former surgical technologist. He left the field of surgical technology to pursue a career in blogging and internet marketing. As clearly shown in his posts, Joseph is very passionate about unusual topics. His two most favorite topics are medical and weird science.