it’s a virtual band (basically you treat the characters as if they were an actual band). Theyre set up in a universe where messed up stuff happens to them (and it kind of coincides w ours? idk) Anyway, there’s a book where you can read about all of those stuff? (forgot the name) and each character has their own book where you can find out more about them.
WHAT IS THE NEW ENGLAND VAMPIRE PANIC IT SOUNDS AMAZING PLEASE ENLIGHTEN US also i lov gothic lit more than i love anything else so please dear goodness is it in any way related to vampirism in lit / dracula's affect on the general public ANYWAY IT SOUNDS WILDE
OKAY SO HERE WE GO
BUCKLE UP CREAMPUFFS
this is less of a panic actually and more of a sustained belief that the outside world became more aware of all at once so it seemed like a condensed event
belief in vampires was a Thing in much of the world for a really long time, including rural New England (mostly Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont). during the 19th century, tuberculosis was also a very big, very bad Thing as @queenofairandsnarkness pointed out. it’s transmitted through microscopic aerosolized drops of infected saliva when the victim coughs, and highly contagious, especially among families or other people who live in close quarters. in a time when people commonly shared beds for warmth, quarters could be very close. one case usually became an outbreak
a wasting illness that slowly drains the energy and strength from its victims…sound familiar?
the word “vampire” was seldom if ever used, but stories spread of the consumptive dead- the consumed, I guess you could say -rising and stalking the village. often they were said to prey specifically on their own family members. it’s a bit dicey in these accounts whether the villagers believed the vampires spread the disease or it was a vampire instead of the disease
the body of the suspected vampire would be disinterred and examined. if the hair or nails seemed to have grown (a common misconception with fresh corpses, since the scalp and nail beds draw backand make nails and hair look longer) or the mouth was bloody (decomposition. fluids. enough said), the corpse would be staked in the grave.
or have a brick stuffed in its mouth
or all three
overkill was very big in rural 19th century New England. but that wasn’t the most gruesome part. often, the vampire’s organs would be cut out and burned on a gravestone or in a forge. the ashes would then be mixed in water and given to a victim to drink
why they kept doing this cure even though it had literally a 0% success rate is beyond me. maybe everyone knew a “friend’s cousin’s sister” it had worked for. maybe chain emails would have been huge in 1860s Vermont. go figure
anyway, the most famous face of the New England Vampire Panic was Mercy Brown, a 19-year-old girl who died of consumption in 1892. shortly thereafter, her ailing brother claimed that Mercy came and sat on his chest, draining the life from him. the obligatory mob dug up her grave, found her corpse well-preserved, and assumed not that being buried in January in Rhode Island had frozen the corpse but that she was a vampire. they gave her brother her heart to drink. her brother still died. this is my shocked face
the press got ahold of some of these stories and regarded them with a curious mixture of classism and Victorian morbidity. these were country people, after all- superstitious yokels with backward beliefs alien to a new age of enlightenment. (can you feel the extreme sarcasm there)
never mind that the medicine of the time only accepted germ theory near the end of the century and had no more idea what caused TB than a Connecticut farmer burning his neighbor’s liver on an anvil. people have always loved to feel superior to someone
anyway, as for influence on literature, it’s possible. authors get their information from varied sources; I’m sure any vampire lit that existed at the time was fair game for Stoker to read. it’s been suggested that Lucy Westenra is based on Mercy Brown, but honestly I think she’s too common of an archetype to cite any specific inspiration. other people have argued that there hadn’t been time for the newspaper reports to reach Stoker in England when he wrote the book in 1897. one way or another, I guess you could argue that the NEVP influenced him in the sense that all vampire lore did
H.P. Lovecraft references the exhumation of Mercy Brown in his story “The Shunned House” as does Caitlin Kiernan in “So Runs the World Away.” There are also a few movies that draw inspiration from her story, I believe, but I’m not sure which ones they are.
AND THAT’S THE NEW ENGLAND VAMPIRE PANIC EVERYBODY
hey friends! my dash has been a little dead as of late so I thought that I’d follow some fresh new blogs! if you post supernatural ( destiel / cas / dean / sam / cockles /etc) or shameless ( gallavich / ian gallagher / mickey milkovich ), like/reblog this post and follow me and I will check your blog out!!
supergirl season 1 appreciation week: day 7: free | best of cat grant → “You don’t have to thank me for the shower gift, Kate. But you might want to ask your grandmother-in-law to reconsider her rule about Americans not receiving damehoods.”