A 50-year-old South African man, whose relatives had prematurely packed him off to the local mortuary, proved very much alive when he woke up screaming, prompting two terrified attendants to take to their heels.
The poor bloke was declared dead by his own family on Saturday night when they couldn't wake him, the BBC reports. Rather than going to the bother of calling a doctor, they requested the services of the private body bank in the village of Libode, Eastern Cape.
When he reanimated at 5pm on Sunday afternoon, his cries demanding release convinced the pair of mortuary workers he was a ghost, and they abandoned him for almost 24 hours, before returning and calling an ambulance.
He was subsequently treated in hospital for dehydration, and doctors described his condition as "stable", according to Eastern Cape health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo.
Officials have suggested to grieving relatives that it's a good idea to contact the emergency services or a doctor to get professional confirmation of death, before talking to an undertaker.
Kupelo mused: "You begin to ask yourself how many other people have died like that in a morgue."
The Libode walking dead rumpus at least has a happy ending for the corpse. Last month, a Russian woman suffered a fatal heart attack at her own funeral, when she woke up to find mourners filing solemnly past her coffin. ®