Every year, around Halloween, our town tends to get a bit more interest than at other times of the year. This can be attributed to the legend of an Exeter resident from many years ago.
Mercy Brown was only 19 years old when she died of tuberculosis on January 17, 1892. While the loss of someone so young is tragic enough on its own, the legend that grew around the circumstances of her death are horrifying as well. Mercy was labeled a vampire by some of her superstitious contemporaries. Not only was she not allowed to rest in peace after her burial, but curiosity about her gravesite has kept this myth alive for a very long time.
Providence Journal writer G. Wayne Miller wrote a thoughtful article about Mercy Brown and the vampire legend this past October. We think it provides a long-overdue debunking of some of the assumptions made about her.
You can read the online version of the article here . It was originally published in the Journal on October 31, 2008.