my informant MK is my brother and he told me this story this past summer while exchanging horror stories one night. He heard this story from his friends at school. MK is 18 and a senior I high school. He was born in the States but has been living in Croatia for the past 15 years
“There were three friends and one day like every other they were competing with each other who among them was the bravest and more manly. In order to settle this discussion once and for all, one of them suggested that if they are really fearless tonight as the clock strikes midnight they will dig out a grave and hammer a nail into it. All three of them were scared at first, but after one of them said that he is a the bravest one and he will do it and since the other two didn’t want to be seen as cowards they said they were going to do it as well. That same night they dig out a grave and when the clock hit twelve the first one went down and hammered the first nail. When he came out the second one went down and hammers his nail. After the second friend climbed out the third one went down to hammer his nail. He hits once, twice and after the third time it was nailed in. As he was going back up something pulled him back in and the two friends that were watching ran back home without even looking back. Tomorrow morning not hearing from the third friend they went back to the graveyard looking for him. When they came to the spot they left him, they found him dead. While he was hammering the nail in the coffin he got his jacket sleeve to, so when he tried to go back up that was what pulled him back. Thinking it was a dead man that pulled him he got a heart attack and died.”
I heard a slightly different version of this story from my friends back in elementary school. I thing that the story has a message (children not to mess around late at night especially at cemeteries), but it is used more for entertainment around kids to scare each other, rather than educational purposes.