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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vampires of New England



 When I was a kid I can remember being intrigued with vampires. My mom watched “Dark Shadows” which was a soap about Barnabus Collins whom was a vampire searching for the love of his life. I think I was only five when that was on and it made that big of an impression on me.

I remember when Steven King’s “Salem’s Lot” came on TV as a mini series. I remember being scared out of my pajamas and trying to hide in my mom’s chest and after that I was hooked. I was watching every vampire flick I could. I was afraid, mind you and wore garlic for a while when I went to bed. I didn’t want to be sleeping and then bitten by one of my neighbors that I swore were vampires too.

I even had my vampire killing kit just in case. Oh it gets worse. As a teen me and my friends went to an old cemetery in the town I grew up in and it was around midnight that night and there was a fog around the grounds just like in the movies. I had my vampire killing kit with me, really was just a wooden stake and salt. At the time that is all I knew of to kill them. So we went out there and my friend fell into a fresh grave that wasn't covered and I could have sworn he had been swooped up by a bat that turned into a vampire cuz he was gone!!! It was so dark we couldn't really see anything and I was trying to light a lighter to see and I almost fell in with him he jumped out at us scaring the crap out of all of us. That was my last midnight tour of Cemetery Corner. Never again!

I know I am not the only one whom is consumed by watching shows or reading books about vampires. I mean when Ann Rice’s “Interview with a Vampire” came out I bought almost every book of hers and boom she was a huge success with not only that book but the many others and everyone knows who she is.

Just as everyone knows whom Steven King is a horror writer although he writes a variety of topics not just one scary thing but all scary things. What is your favorite vampire movie or flick? Are you now consumed with watching “The Vampire Diaries?” I know I am but of course here we have the triangle love affair between brothers and Elaina and the enemy werewolves that can kill them all. Who is to trust Klaus and his wicked ways even if he is smitten with a vampire girl?

Have you ever heard of the great New England Vampire scare? Well I come from back there and maybe this is why I was so scared and consumed of the bats turning into vampires at night. Seriously I really thought they could. So this story actually isn’t that old it dates back to 1990 but really happened to the towns back in the late 1700's into the 1800's. So hmmm wonder what kinds of pranks were really happening or were they? The story goes that one of the burials was being disturbed and the police at first thought it must be the serial killer named Michael Ross but as they investigated closer they realized that on the hillside was an old unmarked burial area full of dead bodies.

Interesting to date that when the unburied the buried they found bodies that had been decapitated and had damaged areas of the ribs. Hmmm were they vampires and the local towns people came out and cut off their heads and stab them through the heart with a wooden stake? What is interesting about this? These injuries mentioned above did not happen until five years after their original death.

So were they stalking the town at night drinking on people’s blood to suffice their thirst? So what did they find? A town next to the town they had found this burial place was a place that vampires were rising from his/her coffin and come after the towns people. Legend has it that the townspeople believed they were rising in the night and coming after the townsfolk and so they took upon themselves to make sure they could not rise again by decapitating the head and stabbing them through the heart with wooden stakes.

What did they find? They found that the townspeople were scared and took matters into their own hands and word of mouth got over to nearby towns causing a hysteria to happen at the same time that TB was at an all time high for deaths but wait who got blamed for these deaths oh yeah “Vampires.” There is much research conducted by a fella by the name of Michael Bell. He has written a book about this if you are interested called, “Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires.”

During his research he found that 80 bodies had been exhumed thought of as vampires. So he comes across some research on a vampire chick named “Mercy Brown,” which her family called her “Lena.” Story goes that her family was hit with the tb and wasted away sometimes over the course of years before death and it looked almost like they might have been feasted on by a vampire!! Well at least according to the towns people anyways.

She had a brother who had gotten sick and moved away hoping to get better and then came home because he wasn’t doing much better. So he was very sickly at first but then his family was dying off and he was restored to perfect health. It was the town’s people that believed her brother was feeding on them to restore himself. The towns people wanted to dig up the bodies and check to see if they were really vampires. One story went around that possibly three of the woman in his family that died were indeed alive and feeding on him to get better.

So they took out Lena’s heart and liver and found it to be in sort of a preserved state but upon further analysis found that she had the tb and that was what she died from. The town’s people burned her liver and heart and then fed these ashes to her brother Edwin whom died a few months later.

So this was all document in newspaper clippings and articles that reached across america and overseas as well. It is believed by some that that Bram Stroker got his idea from the newspaper clippings about this vampire story and then produced "Dracula" the very next year. This is all hear say we don’t know if this is true but people do agree that his “Lucy” is modeled after Mercy or Lena whomever you want to call her. The stories and characters are very much the same according to the documentation out there about these New England Vampires. So hang the garlic next to your doors so that you won't wake up to being bitten and  become part of the legend of vampires.

So has Hollywood succumb to the vampires check out this video. Not appropriate for children some bad language and violence.Quite funny though.