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Grave of Mercy Brown in Exeter, Rhode Island

The case of Mercy Lena Brown, a 19-year-old resident of the town of Exeter, was the last known instance in the state of Rhode Island of a large group of otherwise sensible folks exhuming, mutilating, immolating, and cannibalizing a corpse to kill a vampire. In 1892, a farmer named George Brown lost his wife Mary, then his daughter Mary, and then his daughter Mercy. When his son Edwin was teetering on the edge of death with the same mysterious symptoms (which today we know to be those of tuberculosis), George and the villagers exhumed the bodies of the two Marys to see if they were actually vampires preying on the living members of the family.
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