In June, 2023, a real-life Twilight Zone episode took place in Babahoyo, Ecuador: Bella Montoya, a 76 year-old woman who had been pronounced dead, regained consciousness at her own funeral.
An Ominous Knocking on Montoya’s Coffin
Bella Montoya knocked on her coffin at her own funeral after being declared dead in an Ecuador hospital. https://t.co/e04x2cnJJm— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 13, 2023
Attendees of Montoya’s funeral were stunned at the sudden sound of knocking emanating from her coffin.
In a video posted to social media, her son Gilberto Barbera described what happened next: “I lifted up the coffin, and her heart was pounding, and her left hand was hitting the coffin… We called 911 to bring her here to the hospital.”
Such an occurrence may sound like a work of fiction, but much of the incident was captured on video. The 90-second clip depicts Montoya’s loved ones raising the lid of her coffin, revealing the elderly woman gasping for breath. She is then seen being placed in an ambulance.
How Exactly Did Montoya “Rise From the Dead”?
Many are insisting that Montoya’s story is proof of divine intervention, that a power beyond our understanding decided that she had more to accomplish on Earth. Of course, others have searched for a more scientific explanation.
According to the Ministry of Public Health, Montoya had been admitted to a hospital for a possible stroke and cardiopulmonary arrest. Because she didn’t respond to resuscitation, her doctor prematurely declared her dead.
Hoping to identify the doctor who issued the death certificate, Montoya’s sister has lodged a formal complaint about the mishap.
One Week Later, Montoya Dies… For Real This Time
Woman who knocked on coffin during her own funeral dies after a week in intensive care https://t.co/WL3dIKq27n— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 18, 2023
After spending a week hospitalized in critical care, Montoya finally passed away.
Her daughter Zeneida Leal told CNN, “The doctor said that my mom was sick, that she was very delicate, that she was suffering from kidney failure, that she couldn’t be saved because everything was getting complicated and she went into respiratory arrest.”
Premature Death Declarations Are Nothing New
In February, an 82 year-old Long Island woman had been pronounced dead at Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Center at 11:15 a.m. By 2:15 p.m., she was found to be breathing while in the mortuary.
That same month, a 66 year-old Iowa woman woke up within a body bag after staff at her nursing home declared her dead and shipped her to a mortuary. As a result, the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center faced $10,000 in fines.
In both of the above instances, the women actually died two days after the mistake.