Superstitious man finds no good luck six feet under

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Spending a night buried underground may bring you good luck and long life. Or turn you disappointingly dead, as one superstitious man in Siberia found out.

A 35-year-old resident of Blagoveshchensk, in Russia’s Amur Region, stumbled on to an online collection of folk recipes for improving your life with a bit of magic.

One superstition, which was said to attract good fortune required spending a night in a confined underground chamber. The idea got into the man’s head, and he went on to carry it out, reports Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

He dug a hole in the ground, reinforced its floor and walls with wood, prepared a cover with air ducts, some warm blankets and a mobile phone for emergencies. The last element was to convince a friend to bury the improvised chamber in the ground and dig him out the day after.

The plan however went terribly wrong during the night, when heavy rain started. It left the man with no air supply and apparently damaged the mobile phone, since he did not call for help. In the morning the friend found a dead body underground.

Doctors say the poor superstitious man either drowned or died from hypothermia. Police are now investigating the circumstances of the death from a possible criminal angle.

Last June a similar case happened in central Russia. A fan of Slavic paganism convinced a friend to bury him alive in a ritual which was meant to reinforce his link with the land, but suffocated instead when the soil compressed his chest and neck.