EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The heartbreaking story of Julia Legare takes place in the southern portion of Charleston County back in the mid-1800s.

Julia Legare was visiting family on Edisto Island when she became very ill and fell into a deep coma. Many believe she had become paralyzed and showed no signs of recovery.

After weeks of waiting, Julia was pronounced dead and interred in the Legare family mausoleum at the Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island.

Embalming methods were not used during this period of time, so the deceased were buried rather quickly before they began to decompose. As such, Legare was placed in the tomb the day she had been pronounced dead – and the mausoleum was sealed.

Following the death of a family member some years later, the tomb was reopened for their internment — but there behind the crypt door was the decayed remains of Julia Legare.

It was apparent a terrible mistake was made; Julia had been buried alive and awoke from her coma to find herself trapped behind the mausoleum’s heavy marble door.

Julia was placed back into tomb. But from that point forward, the doors of the crypt would never remain closed.

Heartbroken over what had happened to poor Julia, the family visited the tomb often to pay their respects and were often shocked to find the door was open.

Again and again family members and caretakers would find the doors to the crypt on the ground. No matter how they tried to reinforce the door – chains, locks, bricks, concrete – the door would not stay closed.

Visit the tomb even now and you’ll find an open door. Many believe Julia Legare stands guard to make sure she is never trapped behind the door that claimed her life so many years ago.