The year is 1728. The place--Edinburgh, Scotland. People had just come from the respectable hanging of one Maggie Dickson, Musselburgh fish-wife, in the Grassmarket area of the city. It was a hanging much like any other. They thought everything would be fine. But Maggie Dickson had other plans.

The crime she swung for was murder--infanticide, more precisely. She killed the illegitimate child she gave birth to while her husband was working in the Newcastle fisheries. She was caught, tried, and strung up in short order. They frowned on that sort of thing in 18th Century.

They took down her body, put it in an inexpensive coffin, and sent it on its way back to Musselburgh for burial. This idea must not have sat well with Maggie Dickson, however. Indeed, she objected so strongly to the idea of being buried that she came back to life and beat on the coffin lid until her relatives opened it, revealing an extremely undead and none-too-happy convicted child-murderer.

Of course, justice is justice, and since according to law, Maggie Dickson was legally dead, and could no more be executed twice for the same crime than tried for it, she was released, no doubt amidst judicial grumblings and urgent orders for more reliably lethal rope. Maggie lived a long time afterwards, giving birth to further unmurdered children, and running a local alehouse.

She also gave her name to a pub still operating in the Grassmarket, full of macabre images, famous killings, and bizarre beverages.