She Died Of Tuberculosis During The New England Vampire Panic, But Her Family Believed She Was Haunting Her Sister, So They Dug Up Her Grave, Removed Her Heart, And Burned It On A Rock

Lana - - illustrative purposes only

As one of the original 13 colonies, Rhode Island has a deep and rich past. In particular, the tiny state is known for having a history of hauntings. At one point in time, Rhode Island was consumed with what we call a vampire panic today.

Due to an outbreak of tuberculosis and the freaky symptoms the disease caused, many people believed that the dead were vampires. To prevent them from rising from the grave, they would perform rituals on their bodies.

The most well-known case was that of Mercy Brown. When the townspeople dug up her body in the middle of winter, they found that it was remarkably well-preserved.

Convinced that she was a vampire who was responsible for her family’s deaths, they cut open her body and cremated her organs. Today, visitors can go to her grave to pay their respects.

Another lesser-known victim named Sarah Tillinghast suffered a similar fate during the vampire panic nearly 100 years before Mercy Brown. Sarah was the daughter of a prosperous farmer in Exeter, Rhode Island, named Stukeley.

Aside from Sarah, he had 13 other children. One night, Stukeley had a disturbing dream in which half of the trees in his apple orchard died.

Soon after the dream, his eldest daughter Sarah became ill with tuberculosis and passed away. The death of another daughter quickly followed, but before she died, she claimed that Sarah had been visiting her every night.

During these visits, Sarah would sit on various parts of her body, causing her extreme pain. After Stukeley’s second daughter died, four more children passed away as well.

Then, Stukeley’s wife and son began having visions of Sarah. At that point, people started to blame vampires. Neighbors helped Stukeley unearth the graves of his dead children to put a stop to the attacks once and for all.

Lana – – illustrative purposes only

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