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Ghastly Affair‘s Grave Robber class represents not only desperate resurrection men looting recent burials, but also aristocratic antiquarians rifling through ancient barrows. In fact, 18th and early 19th century archaeology was often little more than grave robbing, and the great museums of the Western world were partially founded upon the spoils of looted tombs. By the 19th century, stealing bodies for medical research was mostly a phenomena of United Kingdom, United States, and British colonies. Thieves everywhere, however, dug up new graves for clothing and jewelry, as well teeth for dentures.

Some Historical Grave Robbers (Body Snatchers, Antiquarians, and Physicians):
Thomas Bateman
William Burke
Ben Crouch (See “The Dairy of a Resurrectionist”, page 128)
William Cunnington
Bernardino Drovetti
Bill Hartnett (See “The Dairy of a Resurrectionist”, page 130)
Jack Hartnett (See “The Dairy of a Resurrectionist”, page 131)
William Hare
Sir Richard Colt Hoare
Charles Knowlton
Tom Light (See “The Dairy of a Resurrectionist”, page 132)
Joseph (or Joshua) Naples (See “The Dairy of a Resurrectionist”, page 136)
Girolamo Segato [Multi-Classed Grave Robber / Mad Scientist]

Some Literary Inspirations:
Jerry Cruncher (A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens)
The Editor (The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg)
Doctor Fettes (The Body Snatcher – Robert Louis Stevenson)
Doctor Wolfe Macfarlane (The Body Snatcher – Robert Louis Stevenson)
Jonathan Oldbuck, Laird of Monkbarns (The Antiquary – Sir Walter Scott)
Muff Potter (The Adventure of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain)
William Shiel, and W. Sword (The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg)
St. John, and the Narrator (The Hound – H.P. Lovecraft)

Some Grave Robbers from Movies and Television:
Arthur Blake (I Sell the Dead)
Fanny Briers (I Sell the Dead)
Timothy Broom (The Doctor and the Devils)
Robert Fallon (The Doctor and the Devils)
The Graverobber (The Horror of Frankenstein)
Willie Grimes (I Sell the Dead)
Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
Ygor (Son of Frankenstein)

A Few Inspirational Songs:
The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa WhoreRob Zombie
Cold Ethyl Alice Cooper
Dig Up Her BonesMisfits
The Hearse SongTraditional. Versions by Harley Poe, and various others
I Like (You Too)Heathen Dan
I Love The DeadAlice Cooper
Skull Full of MaggotsCannibal Corpse

Gallery of Images
1 Two anatomists dissecting a corpse, surrounded by birds, a c Wellcome V0010464

2 Rowlandson - The Anatomist

3 Resurrectionists by phiz

4 Rowlandson - Resurrection Men

5 The Anatomist Overtaken by the Watch

6 Museo del Prado - Goya - Caprichos - No. 12 - A caza de dientes

Manufacturing Mummies

One facet of the Egyptomania that swept Europe in the very early 19th century was a fashion among the wealthy for displaying mummies. The mummies might even be unwrapped in front of gathered groups. Of course, there weren’t actually enough genuine mummies to satisfy the demand – considering that ground up mummies had long been used as a paint pigment, and a medicine! Naturally, enterprising Egyptian grave robbers stepped up to remedy the situation. The corpses of criminals and the indigent were dried out and wrapped in bandages to create create counterfeit mummies for the European market. Sometimes, the corpses of disease victims were used. If the cases and coffins weren’t complete fabrications, they would be cobbled together from various broken bits and pieces looted from actual ancient tombs.

Credit for Image 1 : Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org . Copyrighted works available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/