The mortician’s harrowing encounter with the living dead took place a few hours after the elderly lady had been pronounced dead at her retirement home in the city of Gelsenkirchen, in Germany. She was taken to the Munstermann funeral parlour, where her Lazarus-like revival rendered the stunned funeral director senseless.

When he came round the terrified undertaker peered into the coffin and found the old woman continuing to groan as she lay in her box. He called an ambulance, and when paramedics realised she still had a pulse they rushed her to hospital.

The drama had begun earlier when a carer at the old lady’s nursing home thought she had stopped breathing in bed. A doctor pronounced her dead before she was taken away by the hapless undertaker.

Sadly, the woman’s coffin-dodging recovery proved to be short-lived as she became ill again and passed away for good two days later.

A police investigation will now decide whether there was originally a failure in determining death. We rather think there may have been.