The Chase Vault at Christ Church Parish Church, Barbados Pocket Guide

The Chase Vault

The history of the Chase vault located in the graveyard of the Christ Church Parish Church on the island of Barbados is one filled with mystery and intrigue, even though the consequential events have long ceased.




The vault was built partially underground in 1724. It was not put to use immediately and remained "in waiting" until 1807. In the following year, 1808, a family by the name of Chase, came into possession of the vault, thus the current name. There were a wealthy and important family in Barbados and it was reputed that the head of the family, Thomas Chase was highly unpopular, perhaps even hated by many persons on the island.


Starting with Thomas Chase's young daughter in 1808, all appeared well and she was buried in peace. Subsequently another family member was buried and it was there that the unusual occurrences started to surface. It was in 1812, when the patriarch Thomas, was interred, the caskets, which were normally manufactured out of lead, were in complete disarray. The first consideration was that of mischief and vandalism. The ensuing answer was to replace all the caskets and resealed the entrance to the vault with what might be considered an almost impenetrable material: a marble slab.


Entrance to the Chase Vault, Christ Church, Barbados Pocket GuideWhen there was cause to reopen the vault in 1816, every single coffin bar one had been disrupted, which left an uncanny feeling. Between 1816 and 1820, this occurred on a few more occasions; however 1820 was the turning point. In April of that year, when the vault was re-opened, all the seals which had been placed on the last occasion were confirmed to have been intact, yet still all the caskets were in a state of massive confusion. There was absolutely no evidence or sign of other aggravated means, such as flooding or any other form of natural disaster.


There being no reasonable explanation, the vault was totally abandoned and the coffins therein were re-located. To this day, the Chase Vault structure remains vacant in the parish of Christ Church, Barbados… What a tangled web!




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