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Michael Bell
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Posted By Michael Bell

The Rider narrative of Sarah continues:

Their hearts were then to be cut from their bodies and burned upon a rock in front of the house. The neighbors were called in to assist in the lugubrious enterprise. There were the Wilcoxes, the Reynoldses, the Whitfords, the Mooneys, the Gardners, and others. With pick and spade the graves were soon opened, and the six bodies were found to be far advanced in the stages of decomposition. These were the last of the children who had died. But the first, the body of Sarah, was found to be in a very remarkable condition. The eyes were opened and fixed. The hair and nails had grown, and the heart and the arteries were filled with fresh red blood. It was clear at once to these astonished people that the cause of their trouble lay there before them. All the conditions of the vampire were present in the corpse of Sarah, the first that had died, and against whom all the others had so bitterly complained. So her heart was removed and carried to the designated rock, and there solemnly burned. This being done, the mutilated bodies were returned to their respective graves and covered. Peace then came to this afflicted family, but not, however, until a seventh victim had been demanded. Thus was the dream of Stukeley fulfilled. No longer did the nightly visits of Sarah afflict his wife, who soon regained her health. The seventh victim was a son, a promising young farmer, who had married and lived upon a farm adjoining. He was too far gone when the burning of Sarah's heart took place to recover.

    The conditions here narrated are precisely similar to those alleged to have taken place in the Danubian provinces and the remedy applied the same. But in those countries certain religions rites were observed, and occasionally, instead of burning a part or the whole of a body, a nail was driven through the centre of the forehead. At the period when this event took place, religious rites were things but little known to the actors in the scene, and fire in their hands was quite as effective an agent as an iron nail. Those from whom these facts were obtained little suspected the foreign character of the origin of the extraordinary circumstances which they described; but extraordinary as they are, there are nevertheless those still living who religiously believe in them.

At this point in his article, Rider noted that he had sent it to the Providence Journal for their consideration, but that it was rejected because it was “too sensational.” Defending the integrity of his article, Rider provides yet two additional vampire examples, one apparently already undertaken and the other in contemplation.

 
2 Comment(s):
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August 18, 2017 01:24:22
 
Ken Heard said...
Dear Dr. Bell, I'm an assistant editor with Dark Discoveries magazine, and we would be interested in an interview or article from you for our upcoming Vampire issue. I am in RI, so a face-to-face interview would be feasible if that were your preference. I've enjoyed your work, and I think our readers would be fascinated with American vampire history.
November 15, 2015 01:04:36
 
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