In 1892, 19-year-old Mercy Brown's corpse was exhumed and her vital organs were ritually burned by Exeter, Rhode Island townsfolk convinced the recent consumption victim was a vampire, feasting on her surviving younger brother's life force from the grave.
As Sean shows us this week, the desecration of Mercy's corpse was only the latest in a hundred-year trend of rural New England vampire exorcisms, known as the "New England Vampire Panic". Were these "oddly preserved" corpses really blood-drinking creatures of the night? Of course not! But no matter - we dig into hundreds of years of folklore to try and figure out just where New England Vampiremania came from.
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