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Will you heed my warning? For if you do not, this room will forever be your tomb.
— Hoffman's ultimatum[src]

The Glass Coffin is a trap from the Saw franchise, appearing in Saw IV, V and VI.

Design and Function

This trap was located in a room in the underground tunnels beneath the Nerve Gas House. The walls on the right and the left side of the room were made of thick, solid metal. Once the game began, the two metal walls would slowly start to move towards each other and ultimately crush the victim between them. The only way to escape was to enter the glass coffin, which was located in the center of the room in a slightly reclined upright position. The coffin itself was an elongated box made of bulletproof glass with a metal framework, and was filled with numerous glass shards. Once the door of the coffin was closed, it was automatically locked by a deadbolt. On the ceiling of the room was a grate with two oxygen tanks above it. These tanks were connected to the coffin by tubes which would fill it with enough oxygen for the victim to survive in the coffin for a short amount of time. Additionally, the coffin was connected to a gear system, which, once it was activated, caused the coffin to be lowered into the floor of the room, thereby avoiding the crushing walls. After the game, it was transported to an adjacent room where it was opened again, enabling the test subject to leave it easily. (Saw IV, V, VI)



The coffin in John's workshop

Shortly after the beginning of his series of murders, John Kramer, better known as the Jigsaw Killer, built the glass coffin in his workshop where he covered it with a large, white cloth. One day, his wife, Jill Tuck, came to the workshop after she had learned about the death of Cecil Adams, who had accidently caused the miscarriage of her and John's unborn son, Gideon, during a robbery on her recovery clinic. Thinking she was alone, she searched the workshop and quickly found a bunch of photos of Cecil on a table. When she went further into the room, she discovered a big, elongated contraption hidden under a big cloth. However, as she was about to drag away the cloth, John suddenly appeared by her side and grabbed her arm, angrily telling her that he didn't want her to come. He tried to drag her out, but Jill broke free and confronted him with the newspaper and the photos, asking what he had done to Cecil. John however merely responded that he had taught him not to take his life for granted. Shocked by this, Jill asked him what had happened to him. Angered by this, John grabbed a crowbar and smashed the old clock with it before he managed to calm down again. Then, he told her once more to go away, which she subsequently did. When he was alone, John uncovered the coffin and moved it away. (Saw IV)

Peter Strahm's Test

Hello, Agent Strahm. If you are hearing this, then you have once again found what you are looking for. Or so you think. Your dedication is to be commended. But I ask you: have you learned anything in your journey of discovery? As the old adage goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." The situation you find yourself in is one of trust. So I ask you, Special Agent Strahm, have you learned to trust me? The only way to survive this room is by entering the glass box before you. Pain will be incurred, but you will have a chance of survival (Strahm Hears Hoffman And Stops The Tape) However, if you choose not to, you will never be heard from again. Your body will never be found. You will simply vanish. I ask you, Special Agent Strahm: Have you learned enough to trust me? Will you heed my warning? For if you do not, this room will forever be your tomb. And my legacy will become yours. Make your choice.
— Peter Strahm's tape[src]

Strahm traps Hoffman in the coffin

Over a year later, John's apprentice and eventual successor, Detective Mark Hoffman, used the coffin to set up a trap in the underground tunnels located beneath the Nerve Gas House. The victim of this trap was Peter Strahm, a special agent who was about to discover his true identity. While following Hoffman, Strahm eventually reached the room with the coffin. Besides numerous glass shards, it contained a tape recorder. Strahm grabbed it and played the message left for him by Hoffman, but stopped when he heard Hoffman's steps behind him. He quickly went into hiding behind the door and waited for the detective. When Hoffman arrived and entered the room, he found the tape lying on the floor, and Strahm calmly approached him from behind while holding him at gun point. However, Hoffman saw a reflection of Strahm in the coffin glass and therefore thwarted his surprise attack. The two men engaged in a fight and eventually Strahm managed to lock Hoffman inside the coffin. Seconds later, the door to the room closed, and Strahm furiously demanded Hoffman to tell him how to open it, but Hoffman just calmly pointed at the tape. When the agent listened to the second half of the tape, the coffin was slowly lowered down into a hollow space in the floor, while the walls of the room started to move towards each other. Strahm desperately tried to find a way out and angrily yelled at Hoffman. However, he was eventually crushed to death by the walls, while Hoffman averted his gaze in disgust. (Saw V)


Hoffman reenters the coffin room

Moments later, Hoffman was transported to another room nearby where he was able to open and leave the coffin. He returned to the hallway and used a switch which caused the walls that killed Strahm to return to their original position. Upon reentering the room, he saw Strahm's mutilated corpse which was still clinging to a grate at the ceiling with one hand. When he approached it, it fell down to the floor. However Hoffman realized that the now severed hand, which still clinged to the grate, was almost unharmed. Therefore he removed it by using pliers and took it with him in order to use it to place Strahm's fingerprints on his future crime scenes. (Saw VI)


A shot of the unused scene of the vagrant in the glass coffin.

  • Originally, the room was supposed to to fill up with water, ending the scene by drowning Strahm. However, the crew realized that it would be too difficult to shoot and therefore thought about a different concept.
  • The idea to have Strahm crushed between two walls actually came from the son of the director of Saw V, David Hackl.
  • In an earlier version of the script of Saw IV, the coffin was supposed to be used for the drunk vagrant seen at the Alexander Motel. The vagrant was supposed to lie in the coffin almost naked and had to find a key among the glass shards. The scene eventually got removed as the MPAA deemed it too violent.