When thinking about Rhode Island history, vampires is not often a
image that comes to mind right away, unless you are asking the right
person. Most will tell you of its colonial origins, or the booming
slave trade, or the dawn of the industrial revolution. Not many will
mention figures such as Nellie Vaughn or Mercy Brown. Unless, of
course, the person being asked is into that kind of thing. I am one
of these people. I love to look at the aspects of history that are a
little more obscure, or fantastical. When this project was announced,
I immediately knew what I would do. I wanted to visit the alleged
"vampire graves" of Exeter/West Greenwich.
Although maybe tougher to prove, Rhode Island's occult history is
just as important as its practical. Rhode Island was formed by those
society deemed outcasts. Smugglers, pirates, criminals, they all
called Rhode Island home.
This being the case, one cannot fully
examine Rhode Island's past without taking a peek into the darker side
of things. Stories have been circulating around as far back as most
people can remember about various vampires said to have lived in Rhode
Island. Two of these with graves located conveniently close together
are those of Nellie Vaughn and Mercy Brown, in West Greenwich and
Exeter respectively. I decided the only way to go on a true vampire
hunt would be under the full moon, so armed with only our knowledge of
vampire lore and some flashlights, Mike, his girlfriend Jenna, and I
headed out on our expedition once night had fallen.
Once we arrived at the incredibly dark Route 102, we knew almost
instantly we were in vampire country. Maybe it was the circumstances,
or just the darkness, but the woods and roads down here give off...