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  • People were dropping like flies; the  young, the middle-aged and the old.  

  • One day these people were healthy and the  next day they came down with something  

  • quite awful. It was as if the devil himself moved  through towns like a miasma, filling the mouths of  

  • the innocent and silently killing them, draining  them of their blood... of their very lifeforce

  • Vampires!” screamed the townsfolk, “Here they be  vampires! Evil has announced itself in this town.” 

  • It seemed a good enough theory to  good Christian people who believed  

  • evil was as omnipresent as the air they breathed. During the night the mobs got together, the flames  

  • from their tiki torches blowing in the wind. They  went out in search of the maleficent spirits,  

  • the dead that had risen again to plague the townThey would find the vampires, and exorcise them so  

  • they could cause no more pain and death. This happened late 1700s and throughout  

  • the , in the USA, a time of vampires  that most of America has now forgotten.

  • Fast-forward to the year 1990 and  some kids are playing on a hillside  

  • in a small town called Griswold in the state of  Connecticut. One of those kids finds something,  

  • something that makes his blood run cold. He runs home to his house and says to his  

  • mother, “Hey mom, look what I found.” In  his hands are a human skull. The mother  

  • almost drops the dish she's holdingand gets on the phone to the police

  • It turned out that this kid had discoveredcemetery that dated back to what archaeologists  

  • thought was the late 1700s or early 1800s. They  started digging, and soon discovered a number  

  • of skeletal remains, many of them of children. That wasn't too unusual. Back then life was tough,  

  • people died young, and folks didn't have  the money to erect large gravestones

  • But what was certainly unusual, was the fact some  of those graves contained the bones of people  

  • who'd been accused of being vampires. Let's take you back to the start

  • So, when this kid revealed to his mom that  skull her first thoughts of course were not,  

  • Hmm, that could be the remains of  a vampire.” What she thought was,  

  • Oh my God, someone may have been murdered.” That's exactly what the police thought, too, since  

  • a serial killer named Michael Ross had killed  eight people in the 1980s and three of the victims  

  • were from Griswold. Maybe there were more victimsand so the cops made the hillside a crime scene

  • But then more remains were found, 29 in all. A  forensic archaeologist was called to the scene  

  • and he soon explained that there was no way those  skeletons were once the living victims of Ross

  • They dated back to the colonial era, a time when  people in that area buried their loved ones in  

  • uncomplicated wooden coffins. The remains, for  the most part, were found in the normal position.  

  • They were laid down with arms folded  over the rib cage or down by their side

  • But notBurial Number 4”, this was a special  case and it confounded archaeologists.  

  • They had to dig deeper to get to this cryptand unlike the others it was made of stone.  

  • It was as if this person had been buried  in a way so that it could not rise again

  • The archaeologists struggled to remove the  heavy stones that were guarding the coffin,  

  • a box that strangely had been painted red

  • What they found was not the skeletal  remains of someone laid to rest intact,  

  • but bones that had been severed. The limbs had  been cut up and the head had been chopped off,  

  • and the bones had been rearranged to look  something like a pirate's Jolly Roger flag.

  • Not only had the remains been smashed and taken  apart, but the coffin had been partly wrecked.  

  • Someone had dug those remains up  and proceeded to tear them apart.  

  • How unusual, thought the team of archaeologists. Those guys and some historians were confused by  

  • what they saw before them. None of the bodies were  buried with any valuables so it wasn't a case or  

  • grave-robbing, and it seemed highly unlikely  that anyone would have made the effort to dig  

  • down deep, cut apart what was left of a dead  body, and then re-bury it, for no good reason

  • Then one historian's mind lit up and he  believed he knew what had gone down. He  

  • asked his colleagues working on the case if  they had ever heard of the Jewett City vampires

  • What,” his colleagues said,  “vampires in the USA!?” 

  • Yep,” said the historian, New England  was once plagued by vampiresor  

  • at least that's what people thought. Jewett City was a settlement in the U.S.  

  • that now stands in the town of Griswold. In factthat hillside cemetery is located in Jewett City

  • In 1845, a young and healthy man from the Ray  family suddenly became very sick and he died  

  • shortly after. The next to go was the fatherfew years later, and a couple of years after that,  

  • another child of the family died. A year later  and yet another member of the Ray family died,  

  • and people began to think the  family was cursedPerhaps evil  

  • spirits were at work, namely, vampires. Word got around, and soon various parts  

  • of New England thought they were under attack from  vampires. People indeed were dropping like flies,  

  • and the townsfolk weren't exactly  familiar with medical science

  • The dead were rising again and  taking others down with them,  

  • so someone had the bright idea of tearing out  the heart, or lungs, or head, of the deceased  

  • and burning them. This, they thought, would  keep the dead down and no one else would die

  • But more people kept dying, despite the ad hoc  surgery and the burning of the vital organs.  

  • More drastic measures had to be taken, and that  meant exhuming more bodies and cutting the remains  

  • apart. The rationale was that the dead couldn't  rise if they were legless, heartless and headless

  • This wasn't only happening in Griswold. In  New Hampshire in the mid-19th century there  

  • were many small towns where people believed they  were under attack from the evilest of spirits

  • A newspaper clipping from 1840 explains how  vampire panic was moving through other towns in  

  • New Hampshire. This is what was written about what  people did to the corpse of one alleged vampire

  • This was disinterring a human body, which  belonged to a family all strongly predisposed  

  • to consumption, for the purpose of removing  the heart, which was burned, the ashes of  

  • which were considered a sovereign remedy to  those of the family who were still living,  

  • and might be afflicted with the same disease.” The practice didn't only happen in New England,  

  • and historians now think that if bodies all  over certain parts of the USA were exhumed  

  • it would be found that ribs had been  cracked open and heads had been chopped off.  

  • Sometimes this happened right after the  death, but at other times the bodies were  

  • dug up and the dismantling and burning began. There were reported cases in Massachusetts,  

  • Ohio, and Vermont, and each involved many members  of families suddenly getting very ill and dying.  

  • In each case, in each state, to save anyone  else from an early death, either the head,  

  • or the heart, or the lungs, or all threewere removed from the deceased and burned

  • They watched the burning of the hearteach clinging to the belief that now  

  • they were safe from this man turning intovampire and taking their family members out

  • Newspapers across the U.S. gained knowledge of  this strange practice pervading small towns in  

  • the North East., with some of them calling the  townsfolk superstitious and ill-educated, writing  

  • that entire communities believed they had been  stricken by evil spirits rising from the grave

  • Some newspapers called itviciousand  “barbaricand said in this day and age  

  • people should not believe in vampirism. As for  the townsfolk, they thought they knew better,  

  • and as you'll soon see, it wasn't only the  uneducated rabble that believed in vampires

  • Why were they doing thisWhere did the belief come from

  • Well, vampirism in the USA goes back a long way. In 1793, in New England a dead man's heart was  

  • burned at a Blacksmith's forge and this is  what was written about that at the time

  • Timothy Mead officiated at the altar in  the sacrifice to the Demon Vampire who it  

  • was believed was still sucking the blood  of the then living wife of Captain Burton.  

  • It was the month of February and a good slaying.” A good slaying! And this happened during a period  

  • called, “The Age of Reason.”  The age of un-reason more like

  • In Woodstock, Vermont, in the early 1800s a  20-year old man named Frederick Ransom suddenly  

  • fell ill and died. He was buried, but then his  father decided to have the body of his son exhumed  

  • and his heart burned on a blacksmith's forge. Was he under pressure from the townsfolk to  

  • do this or did he do it to save the rest of  his family? We ask that because hundreds of  

  • local people turned up to watch the burning  of this recently deceased dead man's heart.  

  • The whole town was possessed by the belief  that vampires were killing their young

  • Now we can fast-forward to the year 1892  and look at the death of a 19-year old girl  

  • named Mercy Brown. Her death and subsequent  accusation of being a vampire is perhaps the  

  • case that was most reported in the media. She died in Exeter, New Hampshire,  

  • but not before her mother and elder sister  died. Mercy and her elder brother then got sick,  

  • and soon people living within the vicinity became  very scared, believing that this family would rise  

  • again and infect them with the illness. More members of the Brown family died  

  • and one of last surviving members  under pressure from the townsfolk  

  • granted the town permission to exhume the bodies. The mob got their shovels ready and headed over to  

  • the place where the dead were buried. Most of  the corpses were horribly decomposed, but not  

  • MercyMercy looked almost as sweet as she  had been when she was alive and it was said  

  • blood was still in her heart. An actual newspaper report from  

  • back then said, “The heart and liver were  removed, and in cutting open the heart,  

  • clotted and decomposed blood was found.” The people didn't understand that Mercy  

  • had been stored in a cold crypt during the winterand so her body was preserved. Nope, they believed  

  • that the girl was undead and she was to blame  for numerous other Browns' deaths. Her brother  

  • at the time of her death was now very ill, and  the people thought that maybe he could be saved

  • At the time theProvidence Journalwrote  that Mercy had likely been surviving in the  

  • afterlife by consuming theliving tissue and  bloodof her brother. The journal mentions the  

  • wordvampirebut it's unlikely that this word  was used by locals. That's debatable at least

  • The locals burned Mercy's heart and lungs and  turned them into ashes. They then mixed those  

  • ashes with a tonic and gave the drink to  Mercy's brother, since he was now knocking  

  • on death's door. Did the drink save him? The  answer is no. The boy died two months later

  • Still, that didn't stop local communities in  various states digging up more of the dead

  • Historians and folklorists now say this vampire  panic swept through many towns and communities  

  • in the region and there are newspaper clippings  and other historical data that shows it. Even  

  • the great American philosopher Henry David  Thoreau wrote about the vampire superstition

  • In 1959, he wrote, “The savage in man is never  quite eradicated. I have just read of a family  

  • in Vermontwho, several of its members having  died of consumption, just burned the lungs and  

  • heart and liver of the last deceased, in  order to prevent any more from having it.” 

  • There is evidence that it wasn't only the  ignorant locals that got down with burning  

  • parts of corpses, sometimes local doctors  and even members of the church gave their  

  • blessing or even took part in the ceremonies. The people were not possessed by any kind of  

  • evil spirit, and we think that we don't need to  point that out to you. What they were dying of was  

  • tuberculosis, which was then called consumptionIn towns throughout the North East of the U.S,  

  • many of them blighted with abject  poverty, this disease was killing  

  • about a quarter of the people in the 1800s. The problem back then was that there was no  

  • cure for this disease and it wasn't understood  very well, so the townsfolk were pretty much  

  • constantly worried out of their minds. Organ  burning was their only hopealbeit one that  

  • was macabre, unholy, and just plain wrong. But then what could they do? People would  

  • watch in terror as their once healthy  family members became horribly feverish  

  • and later started coughing up blood. This is  how it was described by one writer back then

  • The emaciated figure strikes one with terror. The  forehead covered with drops of sweat; the cheeks  

  • painted with a livid crimson, the eyes sunk.” They'd then start coughing up blood and it  

  • seemed to onlookers that blood  was being drained from them

  • What kind of evil thing would do suchthing? A vampire of course. These people,  

  • isolated as they were from most of the  world, did in fact believe in evil spirits.  

  • They hung things in their houses to ward off  the devilsome of them even thought that dead  

  • people bled when in the presence of the person  that killed them. How's that for police work… 

  • It wasn't always the family that wanted to exhume  the bodies to save the rest of the members,  

  • but pressure came from the people  of the town. They didn't want those  

  • undead to enter their houses. It was simply  a case of mass hysteria in a time when many  

  • seemingly healthy people were dying. It was the  historical equivalent of hoarding toilet paper

  • To be fair to the townsfolk, there was nothing  they could have done to save the victims. There  

  • was no cure until the 1940s, and until thenpeople died a horrible death, and indeed,  

  • it seemed that something sinister was draining  the blood and lifeforce from entire families

  • They prayed and prayed and said things  like, “I blow the wind of God on you. You  

  • are destroyed forever, and you'll never be back.”  Unfortunately, their prayers were never answered,  

  • so they went after the devil by themselves. Are people still superstitious in those parts?  

  • Well, there are rumors right now that  when the spirit of Mercy hangs around,  

  • a person's olfactory sense notices the sweet smell  of roses. In the cemetery where she's buried,  

  • some people believe her voice can still be heardAs for the devil...he's still doing his dastardly  

  • business for a lot of people in those parts. Now you really have to watch, US Soldiers  

  • Use Vampires To Terrify Enemies. Orwatch this one insteadif you dare.

People were dropping like flies; the  young, the middle-aged and the old.  

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B1 INT vampire mercy died people family blood

USA Vampire Outbreak Problem

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    Summer   posted on 2020/10/22
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