The Wine Barrel is an urban myth about something horrible found floating in a cask of alcohol. There are quite a few variations on this story.
There was a married couple in Scotland who inherited an old castle when the husband’s gradfather died. Shortly after they moved in, they decided to renovate the old place and hired some builders to work on it.
While the builders were cleaning out the basement, they discovered a large barrel of wine amid the clutter. They tried moving it, but found that the barrel was too heavy for them to lift. One of them had the bright idea that they could make the barrel lighter by drinking some of the wine.
The wine had a very peculiar taste. After drinking as much as they could, the workers tapped the barrel and filled some bottles to take home with them. Then, they carried the barrel upstairs and told the owners about their discovery.
A few days later, the married couple decided to throw a housewarming party and invited all of their friends. All of the guests drank glasses of wine that were filled from the barrel. By the end of the party, the wine was almost finished. A few guests stayed behind to help the couple clean up.
As they were moving the empty barrel of wine, to take it downstairs, they noticed that it was still very heavy. The husband decided to investigate so he went off to fetch a hacksaw from his toolbox. When he cut off the top of the barrel and looked inside, he was horrified.
Curled up at the bottom was the dead body of an old man.
They found out later that it was the corpse of the husband’s great uncle. He had died many years ago in Jamacia and his wife had arranged for his body to be shipped back to Scotland. Because of the long journey, the body was preserved in wine to prevent it decomposing.
The Monkey Barrel
There was a group of workers who were transporting a shipment of goods to a university. Among the goods in the back of their van, they noticed a large barrel. One of them was wondering what was inside, so he lifted the lid. Taking a sniff, he was sure it was rum. The workers, unable to resist temptation, decided to have a drink.
Later that day, when they delivered the barrels to the university, they handed them over to a professor of natural history. The professor opened the barrel in front of the workers and to their amazement, there was a corpse of a large monkey inside. It had been preserved in
alcohol to keep it fresh before it was displayed in a museum.
Upon seeing this, the workers immediately began to vomit and none of them ever touched a drink of alcohol again.
The Beer Vat
There was a brewery in the United States that imported cheap beer from a foreign country. This beer was transported in large tanker ships. When the ships reached port, the tanks were drained and the beer was then bottled and sent out to stores.
During one shipment, the tanks were being drained, when the pipes suddenly became clogged. Workers investigated and found an old boot caught in the pipe. They later discovered the dead body of a sailor floating in the beer. They realized that he had been murdered. His hands had been cut off so he couldn’t swim or escape when he was thrown into the tank.
However, the discovery was made too late to stop the beer being bottled and transported to stores. When this scandal came to light, the brewery went out of business.
The Jar of Honey
In 1200 AD, an Arabic historian named Abd el-Latif recorded a strange method of embalming that he discovered on one of his expeditions. According to his story, a group of treasure hunters were excavating a site near the pyramids in Egypt, when they unearthed a large, unopened jar which was full of honey.
During a lunch break, they opened the jar and dipped their bread into it. They all declared it a delicious lunch until one of them discovered a human hair floating in the honey. A quick investigation revealed the preserved corpse of a young child curled up at the bottom of the jar.
True Story or Urban Myth
Of course, all of these stories are just urban myths. They never actually happened. However, centuries ago, before the invention of refrigeration, dead bodies that were being transported over long distances were sometimes packed in alcohol to preserve them.
When Admiral Horatio Nelson was killed in the battle of Waterloo, his corpse was placed in a barrel of rum to keep it from decomposing on the long journey back to England. The barrel was strapped to the ship’s mast and kept under guard to stop the sailors on the ship from drinking the alcohol inside. Now that’s a true story.