Exeter, Rhode Island: Grave of a Suspected Vampire

Mercy Brown, the suspect blood-sucker, did not rest peacefully. But that's mostly due to all-hours visits to the Baptist cemetery by modern ghost hunters and vamp fans.

Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery

Address:
Victory Hwy., Exeter, RI
Directions:
I-95 exit 5 to Victory Highway east to Route 3 S/Nooseneck Hill Rd; left on Rt. 102 (Victory Highway); Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery is 5.1 miles on left; in cemetery, pass a rock wall and look left for Brown family plot next to a cedar tree.
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Mercy L. Brown's tombstone at night. Grave of a Suspected Vampire

Here's a quick version of the story surrounding Rhode Island's reputed vampire grave:

In 1883, Mercy Lena Brown's family started dropping dead around her (19th century people constantly died with little explanation, perhaps consumption/TB... or perhaps that's just what the vampires want us to think.). Mercy "died" herself in 1892 at age 19. When her body was exhumed by family members and a doctor two months after her burial, it had shifted in its coffin and worse -- her heart was juicy, fresh and uncorrupted! The grave-exhuming entourage quickly removed the heart and burned it to ashes. The ashes were mixed in a medicinal brew and fed to her ill brother Edwin, who died anyway, two months later.

News accounts of the Mercy Brown vampire exhumation at the time may have helped inspire Bram Stoker in penning his novel "Dracula."

You can still visit the vampire's grave (the headstone was stolen once, but since replaced with more indestructible anchoring).

[Roadsideamerica.com Team, 12/23/2006]

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