Mercy Brown and Consumption

The most famous case of consumption was in 1892 in Rhode Island. Ms. Mercy Lena Brown.

The Brown family had already lost two members of the family. Mercy’s mother, Mary, and sister’ Mary Olive died of consumption in 1888. Her brother got sick in 1890 and in 1891 Mercy got sick. She died on January 17, 1892.

Mercy’s father George worried about his only son’s failing health. (he’d been sick for 2 years)

On March 17, 1892 George led a mob of fellow farmers and townsfolk to the Brown’s graves. George was convinced a vampire was the cause for all his family’s suffering.

When mercy’s mother and sister were exhumed the mob agreed their bodies had decomposed sufficiently. But Mercy’s body wasn’t, she’d been in a crypt for a few months, -until the ground thawed enough to bury her.

Her body was cut open. Her heart and liver were still full of blood. It was decided that Mercy was a vampire (although the term vampire wasn’t used at that time, she was undead).

Her heart was burned to ash then given to her ill brother in hopes it would cure him, or break the curse that Mercy had placed on him. It didn’t work, Edwin died two months later.

A newpaper article about Mercy Brown was found in Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula. It’s believed Stoker’s Lucy was based on Mercy Brown.

8 thoughts on “Mercy Brown and Consumption

  1. Karen says:

    Thank you for these amazing insights, Mari!

  2. Amazing story. I love the research part of writing, and the strange stuff that comes up.

  3. rebecca2000 says:

    I didn’t know that. You always give us great info.

  4. Awesome post, Mari. Mathair and I had read something about a man that had died during the Plague somewhere in Germany or Poland and was buried without his shoes. Because of this, he haunted his wife every night, screaming for her to bring his shoes out to him. He was unable to enter the home she’d bought after his death, due to the fact that he was a vampire and wasn’t invited. When the exhumed the body, a few months later, his mouth was full of blood as was his stomach. 😉

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