E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Bleeding of a Dead Body (The).
It was at one time believed that, at the approach of a murderer, the blood of the murdered body gushed out. If in a dead body the slightest change was observable in the eyes, mouth, feet, or hands, the murderer was supposed to be present. The notion still survives in some places.