As it is the path of nature for us to return to the ashes and dust whence we came, there’s always been something somewhat uncanny about the embalmed and thus non-decaying corpse. There should be no surprise, then, in seeing embalming taken up as a horror theme, creepy in itself and perhaps also something to throw in a bit of a necrophile or A.S.F.R. kink. The March 1936 cover painting by Tom Lovell and the story it illustrates goes to this directly.
Interior art for the same story:
The curators of Pulp Covers have generously made the entire issue available for download.
While featured girl on May 1940 appears to be very much alive and putting up an active, if not exactly effective, resistance. Note that this cover might also be an example of the mummification trope, which I shall be covering a few posts from this one.
But perhaps the best or most shocking example (depending on your point of view) of the trope (as well as also the coffin stuffer trope) might be the November 1933 cover (issue ISFDB entry here), where the artist has managed, aside from some serious implied nudity, to get a look of real terror on the victim’s face.
And two-fisted hero/rescuer in sight, alas. Just the cold full moon looking on.