Reading Resources for English language learners

The Body Snatcher

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Before You Read

The Body Snatcher is a strange tale of grave robbing and murder in 1820s Edinburgh. Robert Louis Stevenson's classic horror story is based on the scandal of the real-life 'body-snatchers', Burke and Hare.

Before you read exercise

Video Preview

Below is the trailer for a film version:

In the clip they talk about 'grave robbing'. What crime is this?

a) stealing parts of a body b) stealing a dead body c) killing a person and then selling them d) stealing from a doctor

Complete Text

Complete simplified text


Coffin - box for dead person
Conscience - what you feel about what you have done
Grave - where you bury a coffin
Hesitate - to stop because unable to make decision
Rumours - a story which is perhaps not true.
Spectacles - glasses to improve vision
Stare - look intensely at someone or something
Startled - shocked/surprised by something