During The Victorian Era, People Performed So-Called Vampire Autopsies To Cope With Fears Of Tuberculosis

Andrey Kiselev - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

On one chilly New England morning back in 1892, a group of men met up at a Rhode Island cemetery. Their goal? Unearthing a family of supposed vampires.

The men first focused on a woman named Mary Eliza Brown, who had passed away eight years prior of tuberculosis– also known as consumption. Mary’s remains were found to be partially mummified.

Then, the group set their sights on Mary’s oldest daughter, who was aptly named Mary Olive. She also died of consumption not very long after her mother. All that remained in the daughter’s grave were bones and hair.

The last family member that the group exhumed was Mary’s youngest daughter, Mercy. Mercy had been just nineteen-years-old when she died of consumption two months prior.

And to the groups’ surprise, Mercy’s body appeared to have been bizarrely well-preserved– a well-known indicator of vampirism at the time.

A medical examiner, Harold Metcalf, was also on-site with the group of men that day. He went on to perform an autopsy on Mercy– a supposed vampire– right in the middle of the cemetery.

Harold first cracked Mercy’s chest and removed her heart and liver. Both organs were found to be in typical human form.

Her overall body was, too, since the frigid winter had slowed natural decomposition processes.

Then, the medical examiner decided to slice into Mercy’s heart, and what spilled out was blood.

Andrey Kiselev – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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