Corpse Contracts: People who Sold Their Own Dead Bodies It is a sinister fact that, before the passage of the various Anatomy Acts, the doctors of the past paid for stolen corpses for their dissecting rooms. What is less well-known is that various individuals in what might be termed the “pre-corpse stage” might sell their own bodies to the anatomists.
The life of a graveyard guard was a thankless one. He had to walk the grounds of a cemetery in the dark and in all weathers, ever vigilant for the dreaded body snatchers. More than one watchman was murdered by these ghouls or exchanged gunfire among the tombstones. It was no wonder that, in the 1880s, a new occupational disease emerged.