“Fear: Buried Alive” is for real – 3 people to be buried, monitored in TV experiment

Channel Guide Contributor

Originally I thought we had Edgar Allan Poe to thank for the fear surrounding being buried alive, as he penned several stories around the macabre topic. Many movies have depicted the dark, claustrophobic terror as well, leaving us with long-lasting nightmares (think Ryan Reynolds in Buried — don’t worry, this one’s not a major spoiler). TV has touched on the subject, too. The Following‘s Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) started a cult of Poe-inspired killers and buried an FBI agent alive in one episode. The fear of being buried alive isn’t just dramatized fiction. Google the topic and you’ll find plenty of heartbreaking stories of people being prematurely interred. Heck, people used to pay extra for a “safety” coffin that included bells to ring to get someone’s attention above ground and pipes that delivered oxygen. A&E is capitalizing on this darkest fear with the two-hour live event Fear: Buried Alive, which airs on Monday, Oct. 26 at 8pm ET. Three people will be buried alive in this extreme experiment that tests their fears.

buried-alive-2(The above picture is just an example, not from the show.)

Now I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty confident this would rank as one of those wet your pants, holy-shit-this-is-the-scariest-thing-I-have-ever-done moments. But maybe not? That’s what we are going to find out. These brave participants in A&E’s Fear: Buried Alive experiment actually endure more than just being buried alive  apparently they have a series of escalating horrors designed to test their psyche.

Press materials confirm that the subjects will be closely monitored during the experiment, but “this extreme experiment is not about escape, it is about enduring and defeating true terror.” The experiment is apparently based on some controversial psychological practice known as immersion therapy, wherein subjects are flooded with their darkest fears in order to overcome them (kind of like what Tris had to do in Divergent???). But apparently it will be worth it, as the press materials further state: “Studies show that when we willingly push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and face our fears, we come out feeling empowered and triumphant.”

Check out Fear: Buried Alive live on Monday, Oct. 26 at 8pm ET on A&E!



  1. Wow, this was sad. Could it have been more staged or rehearsed? I,ve seen bad reality tv but I think this one beats them all.

    • Hi all i agree this was the most stupid show i have ever seen. For one did ya see how lame ass the powder dirt was. Not to mention the 6 foot empty space on top of the coffen under the plywood they had with a couple of inches of dirt on top of that to try to make it look like they actually had dirt on them. Jesus maybe the states should get there act together, cause this was just as bad as the walking dead bs. Maybe if the writers would put some thought into there writing then just maybe these shows would be worth watching. And if ya want to know whats wrong with walking dead. Just ask anybody with a brain in there head. Maybe ask a Canadian cause they pick up on the crap that americans cant seem to see. Just sayin.

  2. I’m from Lancaster PA. Where can I get Brandon’s Bio one of the participants on the show.

  3. The people in this show are all volunteers. I’m sure they were compensated. If you don’t like the show don’t watch it. Too many Americans have turned into “sissies”. Grow up it’s just a TV show!

    • Just because there are people, including myself, that believe this show is just one more outrageously STUPID program doesn’t mean they need to “grow up”. On the contrary, I think the people producing shows like this AND the ones that watch them and encourage this garbage are the ones that need to “grow up”. Just WHAT benefit to society, in ANY way, shape or form is this providing? You can’t even say it’s providing comic relief (which is often questionable in many shows today) or is even telling a gripping story. Being buried alive is one of man’s basic fears that exist in ALL humans. A hundred years ago this was no joke, no laughing matter and certainly a very REAL fear in every living human. Just where do you think the expressions “Saved by the bell” or “night shift” and others come from? People WERE buried alive accidently and it was just about the most horrifying event that could befall someone after an illness. It was ANYTHING but amusement, entertainment, enjoyment or merriment. It’s also actually been used, very horrifyingly, AS a means of people intentionally murdering others over the centuries and there are very few other ways I can imagine being murdered by someone. I wonder if the people who volunteered for this actually had a clue what they were getting themselves into? It all comes down to that same old disgusting motivator in what is stupid or nasty in this country – money. No wonder people in the rest of the world think Americans are complete idiots a lot of the time. They see us doing idiotic things just like this. In closing, considering how ridiculously impressionable people are here in the 21st century, how violent our society has become, and worst of all, how quick people want to “copycat” the crimes of others or the absurd and ludicrous things they’re try to replicate from the screen, is airing a program like this using any intelligence at all? In my opinion, any intelligence or wisdom these producers had has flown out the window. This is to be without question one of THE worst ideas ever to be shown on television. This is even worst than rich housewives fighting with each other. Eventually this WILL cause someone to be hurt in some way or another. It’s just like the very first school shooting at Columbine. Before that event I doubt it ever occurred to a student to bring firearms to the location and open fire. Now…..this type of event is happening, sadly, everywhere we look. Americans no longer seem to have any control over themselves and I think half the time they get these bizarre and stupid ideas from movies and television. Sadly, networks MUST think and be intelligent for its viewers because its long been obvious they can’t do it for themselves. I for one, will NOT be watching this sickening program and viewers, I advise you to be far far away from this episode too.

      • You know, I don’t want my comments to be mistaken. They aren’t meant to be taken as being condescending, teasing or backhanded. I simply would like to make an academic point.
        You have gotten across that you feel strongly, perhaps passionately, about this show and those like it. You were successful as well at making clear that you perceive a social breakdown, throughout our current society. I’m sure you’re aware that you aren’t alone in these convictions. So it seems to me that you would want to make sure what comments you make about this, indeed about anything I would wager, are taken at face value and taken, of course, with all the seriousness they were written with, right? So let me give you a friendly tip, okay?
        I’m a retired Radio and Television writer, news anchor/reporter, former Rock & Roll and Country D.J., an Old School Telephone Operator…. You get it, I’ll bet. I have always been in some sort of communications. There, I’ve qualified myself to you, hopefully, as someone who might be of some use with this subject. So here’s what I’ve got for you.
        The three fatal mistakes people make, when trying to get what they consider to be a very important point across, are as follows;
        1) Run-On Sentences.
        Attempting to include an explaination for every single aspect of a point is unnecessary and will always prove fatal to the original intention. Make your point early on and make it susinct and clear. Trust your reader. It’s almost always true that “hand holding” isn’t needed.
        2) Grammatical Errors and Misspellings.
        Proof Read, Proof Read, Proof Read! Some of the, shall we call it, ‘social decay’ we see throughout society these days comes from how people rush through what they do. Especially as it applies to communication in general. It’s shocking how even large, established publications obviously fail to go back over what they have written, correcting and even re-writing when needed. You may remember the old Ben Franklin adage; “It’s better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought of as a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.” I think it applies to the written word as well. Don’t give the reader cause to find fault with your statements by having gone on so long the reader starts to identify “chinks in your Armour”. In other words, being too verbose in an effort to support your credibility can hurt what you aim to prove.
        3) Seeming too Passionate. Sometimes to the Point of Unstable.
        Using just the RIGHT amount of capitalization, and keeping Punctuation!!!, to a MINIMAL!(?))¿(!!!
        I’m just being funny, but the point should be clear. Be concise, to the point. Cut out the superfluous.
        Anyone in Radio can recite the “KISS” rule to you. “Keep It Simple Stupid”! Credibility dies under the weight of too much flourish.
        Be the voice of Authority. If you’re educated and ‘sure footed’ on a subject, be direct! Passion and emotionality can indicate the author is a bit of a kook maybe. People who are secure in their convictions don’t often find it helpful to use their emotions to prove a point. The point on its own merits should be good enough.
        I would like to add one more. People who do all the above are often terrific people who honestly care, and would just like others to care too. Keep at it!
        “JimB in Kingman, AZ

      • OMG seriously!? Way to be a drama queen. Comparing it to these massacre shootings!? It is nowhere near like that. It’s just an experiment. If people are dumb enough to do it on their own then that’s their stupidity. I watched it and it’s not a big deal.

  4. This sounds like one of the worst ideas I’ve heard for a television program. It’s torture, and I can’t believe there are people soulless enough to do this to someone else. My heart hurts for the people being buried. They are being treated like their emotional well-being has no value at all, like they are objects to be used for profit, not human beings with value. It’s disgusting, and disturbing. No, this won’t cure anyone of their fear, it will only reinforce it. In fact it might cause this fear to develop in some of the viewers.

    • Don’t be too concerned. The contestants were well compensated. And each of them, for various personal reasons, were willing volunteers. They don’t feel as sorry for themselves as you feel for them. But you’re a Good Doobie for honestly caring about your fellow human!

  5. It’s not really facing a few….sure, they’ll be inside a box and buried, but they must know that they wil be freed…….not like it’s a race for people to have to search for where they are buried and gig them up before the air runs out.

  6. I guess when you have no more duck feathers to fly you over the ratings moon, you are forced to offer the public desperate, repulsive, exploitative filth like this. Thank you A+E for showing the world Duck was a fluke and had zero to do with network skill. You simply stepped into a hot steaming pile of luck that you did not know what to do with. This is the most schizophrenic TV brand on the air – Bates Motel airing after Duck Dynasty just about says it all.

    • Although I agree with you, is this really that much worse than Duck Dynasty? That show is awful, so seeing this from A&E doesn’t really surprise me at all.

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