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Mercy Brown
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Oddity
    (1872-January 17, 1892)
    Born in Exeter, Rhode Island
    Known as 'New England’s Last Vampire'
    Died of consumption (tuberculosis) at age 19
    Body removed from crypt, heart cut out and burned on a nearby rock (March 17, 1892)
    Circumstances recalled in the 2001 book 'Food for the Dead - On the Trail of New England's Vampires' by Michael E. Bell
    Though TB was running rampant in New England during her time, after death she was singled out as a probable vampire.
    Her brother Edwin contracted the disease, and during an episode of high fever, stated that his sister was 'sitting on his chest,' suffocating him.
    When she was disinterred, it was reported she barely showed any signs of decomposition, thus making her a vampire (never mind the cold winter freezing her body in the above ground holding vault).
    After her heart was burned, it was mixed with a liquid concoction and given to her brother to drink as a remedy.
    Her brother proceeded to die of TB two months later.
    She had become the unwitting victim of superstitious folklore linking multiple deaths in one family to the activity of the undead.
    Her mother and older sister had contracted TB and preceded her in death.
    She died of a misunderstood disease at a young age.
    Her body was desecrated over superstitious nonsense.
    Her life is the subject of Caitlín R. Kiernan's short story, 'So Runs the World Away.'
    She was the inspiration for the characters Lucy Westenra in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel 'Dracula' and Mercy Dexter in H.P. Lovecraft's 1924 short story 'The Shunned House.'

Credit: Scar Tactics


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