Brown, Mercy

First reported in 1892 by The Providence Journal Newspaper, this was the highly editorialized story of the alleged vampiric REVENANT known as Ms. Mercy Lena Brown of Exeter, Rhode Island. This story broke a full four years before Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula, was even published.
Mercy Brown had consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis), just like her mother, Mary, who had already died of the disease, and her sister, Mary Olive, who died in 1888. In 1890 Mercy's brother, Edwin, began to grow sick, and after watching her family grow ill and die all around her, Mercy herself began to show signs of the illness in 1891. Mercy lost her strength, her skin grew pale, and she stopped eating. At night her condition always seemed to worsen. From time to time in the morning she would awaken with traces of blood on her mouth and bedsheets, and panting heavily. Pale, thin, and half dead with blood on her lips, 19-year-old Mercy must have looked like a vampire even before she died on January 17, 1892.
Mercy's father, George, after having lost a wifeand two daughters in such a short period of time, was seriously concerned about the health and well-being of his only son and last remaining family member, Edwin, whose health had been failing for so long.
On March 17, 1892, George led a mob of fellow farmers and townsfolk to the Brown family's graves, convinced that one of the deceased had to be a vampire and was the cause for all the pain and suffering that he and his son had endured. Both Mary and Mary Olive's bodies had decomposed to the mob's approval. However, when Mercy's body was revealed, it was in their opinion that she was too well preserved for the length of time she had been deceased. Mercy's body was then cut open and it was noted that her liver and heart were both full of blood. Deciding that Mercy had to be the vampire, her heart was removed rendered down to ash, then given to Edwin to consume in hopes that it would cure him of the curse that his sister had laid upon him. Sadly, Edwin died two months later.
Source: Bell, Food for the Dead; Belanger, World's Most Haunted Places, 121­25; Brennan, Ghosts of Newport, 11 3­16; Stefoff, Vampires, Zombies, and Shape-Shifters, 1 7

Encyclopedia of vampire mythology . 2014.

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