The beginning of the 18th century in Eastern Europe had seen a spate of claimed Vampire killings, known as the 18th Century Vampire controversy, accusations of vampirism exploded and corpses were staked through the heart, or the heads were removed. A practice by the 18th century which was already ancient.
This practice and its folklore by the centuries end, had made its way from the old world into the new, and into rural New England.
The June 1784 edition of the Connecticut Courant and Weekly Intelligencer newspaper displays a letter to the editor warning its readers to beware of ‘quack doctors’ , who proclaim that families who dig up their recently dead relatives and burn them, will be spared more deaths from the deadly disease of consumption. The period’s term for tuberculosis.
It appears this advice was not followed, especially in rural Rhode Island.
This print is a reproduction of the actual Conneticut Courant newspaper with an orginal illustration. The text is from the actual letter which appeared in the newspaper detailing the practice.
While this print has histrocial reproduction elements. The large header and main image would not appear in newspapers until the middle of the 19th century.
top of page