The Legend of Mercy Brown
It was the late 1800’s. Tuberculosis, or consumption as it was called then, was killing thousands. It was in Exeter, Rhode Island. George and Mary Brown had five children; their daughters Mary and Mercy, a son Edwin and two other children. Early in the 1880’s, the two Marys came down with consumption and died of the disease. Two years later, Edwin contracted the disease.
Trying to help Edwin regain his health, George took him to Colorado. While Edwin appeared to be getting better, back in Exeter the rest of the family was suffering from the disease. Mercy died before George and Edwin got back from Colorado. Because Mercy had died in the dead of winter, her body was placed in an above ground crypt.
Once back in Exeter, Edwin again fell into sickness. Then people started saying that they kept seeing Mercy wandering the graveyard or nearby farms. Edwin also claimed that one night he awoke to Mercy sitting on his chest and trying to draw the rest of the life out of him. Naturally, people assumed she was a vampire.
With everyone talking about Mercy being a vampire, George was forced to take action. He and a physician ( with the rest of the town as an audience) dug up George’s wife and daughter and brought Mercy out of the crypt for examination.
Both Marys were decomposing in their coffins. But to the townspeople’s awe, Mercy had not decomposed at all. In fact, she was even in a different position. Her skin was flush and her skin and nails were grown. Now positive that Mercy was a vampire, the physician cut open her chest and removed her organs, which were still dripping with liquid blood.
They quickly burned her organs on a rock and, mixed with water, gave to Edwin to drink. Eating a vampire’s ashes was said to be the only way to end the death curse. However, Edwin still passed away several weeks later.
Most people say that it was a lack of medical knowledge, and that people mistook the common things dead people do ( especially in winter) for supernatural activity. And the more superstitious say that on dark nights, you can still see Mercy Brown wandering the graveyard.