Disturbances of coffins inside sealed crypts have been recorded in places all over the world. Mysteriously heavy lead coffins are found in disarray. They are put back in the correct position only to be found disturbed or moved again when the vault is next opened for a burial.

So far there has been no completely convincing explanation for this phenomenon. Some researchers believe that the movement is caused when crypts are flooded with water. Although this may be possible in some cases it is unlikely in locations above sea level. Others believe that the movement is caused by restless spirits, especially those who have been murdered or committed suicide.

In the nineteenth century disturbances were recorded in the Getford family vault near Stamford, Lincolnshire and in the Boxhowden crypt on the Island of Oesel (now called Sarmea) located in the Baltic Sea. Perhaps the most famous moving coffin case, however, is that of the Chase Vault.