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.

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Farkaskoldus

Werewolf and vampire myths were common in Hungary. It’s not surprising that they these myths would cross.

If a werewolf ever consumed the flesh of and executed person when he died he’d raise as a vampire revenant called Farkaskoldus.

It rises from it grave at night, it can shape-shift into a cat, dog or goat, which allows it to move through town discreetly. While it looks for a victim.

When he finds his victim he lays on top of the victim, drains his blood and returns to the grave before sunrise. If a deceased person is suspected of being a Farkaskoldus, its grave is exhumed. If there’s merit in the suspicion the corpse won’t be decomposed, the scent of death or decay, the body will also be full of fresh blood.

There are a few ways to destroy a Farkaskoldus. The simplest is to burn the body to ash or soak it in holy water.
The next level if it’s felt a more severe method is needed, a stake must be driven through the heart or a nail through the head, then burn the body to ashes.
The most extreme is to remove the heart through the vampire’s back then burn everything. The ashes must be gathered in a sack and thrown into a deep river.