Creepy Fact #1: Mercy Brown Vampire Incident.

Are you ready for the most chilling, creepy and spooky Halloween countdown? OF COURSE YOU ARE! A creepy fact is going to be posted on a daily basis until Halloween and will give you goosebumps, guaranteed!

Couldn’t stop myself to dedicate this first creepy fact to a “vampire” story.

The Mercy Brown vampire incident, which occurred in 1892, is one of the best documented cases of the exhumation of a corpse in order to perform rituals to banish an undead manifestation. The incident was part of the wider New England vampire panic.

In the 1880s and 1890s the family of George and Mary brown of Exeter, Rhode Island, suffered a sequence of tuberculosis, called consumption at the time. Mary, the mother, was the first to die and then their eldest daughter, Mary Olive, died in 1888. Their son, Edwin, then caught the infectious disease in 1890. Sadly, in 1891, another daughter, Mercy, became infected and died of the disease in January of 1892.

She was buried in the Baptist Church cemetery in Exeter. People began talking about one of the family members being a vampire, as folklore went at the time that if multiple family members died of a disease, then a family member must have been involved in “undead activities”. George Brown was persuaded to give permission to exhume several bodies of his family members. Villagers, the local doctor and a newspaper reporter exhumed the bodies on March 17, 1892. While his wife and daughter, Mary Olive, were considerably decomposed, the more recently deceased Mercy was still relatively unchanged and had blood in the heart and liver. This was taken as a sign that the young woman was undead and the agent of young Edwin’s condition.
As superstition wanted, Mercy’s heart was removed from her chest, burned and the ashes mixed with water and given to Edwin to drink to cure his ailment. He died two months later.

This event inspired a lot of stories. It has also been suggested by scholars that Bram Stoker (-here- you can read a little something I wrote when I’ve been at the Golders Green Crematorium where you can find Bram Stoker’s urn), the author of the novel Dracula, knew about the Mercy Brown case through newspaper articles and based the novel’s character Lucy upon her.

Elle. x

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