Mercy Lena developed a bad reputation for being a vampire. 19th century farm families in New England were exhuming their relatives from their graves, suspicious that they were vampires, or as they called them, “undead”. In 1883 Mercy’s family members began dropping like flies. It was not terribly uncommon then for people to keel over and die as there were a host of illnesses and very poor public health systems in place, but mostly because of “consumption” or, what we now call tuberculosis. In 1892 at the ripe young age of 19, Mercy died…or did she?
Two months after her burial her body was exhumed. Strangely, it was found displaced. Her heart was said to be found fresh and completely unscathed by rigor mortis. Her heart was immediately removed and burned. Such a practice was becoming more common at that time due to great superstitions that surrounded consumption. Her disembodied organ was thought to be a healing agent, and was mixed with water in an effort to make a medicinal concoction. It was then fed to her dying brother Edwin, who died just two months later, despite drinking his sisters dead heart.
You can still visit the grave of Mercy Lena Brown…if you dare. She is buried at the Baptist Church in Exeter, Rhode Island.
As always, your experience, suggestions and questions are enjoyed!