Exhuming Vampires: October 8 (Rhode Island) Oct 3, 2015 2:39:40 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Oct 3, 2015 2:39:40 GMT -5
Exhuming Vampires: October 8
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – In colonial times when multiple family members died in rapid succession from consumption (tuberculosis), a horrifying ritual sometimes occurred. Fears that a vampire, or spirit of the dead, was reaching out from the grave to cause those deaths were dealt with in a gruesome manner – with exhumation. The dead would be dug out, cut open and if any fresh blood was found in the heart, there was a cremation ritual and in some cases, the living actually ate the dead.
It’s all true and backed up by the impeccable and fascinating research by Rhode Island Folklorist Michael Bell, who has been the consulting folklorist for the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission for more than 25 years.
You can find out more about these chilling tales when Bell visits the Metz Exhibit Hall at South County Museum (above) Thursday, October 8 at 7 p.m. Bell will present a talk about the topic, drawing on his years of research that led to the publication of the acclaimed 2011 book, Food for the Dead and his upcoming book, In Vampire’s Grasp: New England’s Restless Dead. Bell’s interest in the subject was sparked by a conversation with a rural Rhode Islander in 1981, who related a family story. Bell will share both old and new exhumation stories in this illustrated talk.
Bell has a master’s in folklore and mythology from the University of California at Los Angeles and was awarded a Ph.D. in folklore by Indiana University in Bloomington. He and his wife, Carole, split their time between Rhode Island and Texas.
This presentation is part of the museum’s Coastal Living Lecture Series sponsored by Centreville Bank. The lecture is free and open to the public. South County Museum is located at 115 Strathmore Street, Narragansett, R.I. For additional information, call 401-783-5400 or visit www.southcountymuseum.org
Source: Mark Schieldrop, Narrangasett-South Kingstown Patch, October 1, 2015.