In 1892, at the cemetery of the Baptist Church in Exeter, Rhode Island George Brown exhumed the undead corpse of his eldest daughter, seventeen-year-old Mercy on this day. Friends and neighbors of the family had long suspected that one of his dead family members was a vampire, feasting upon his son, Edwin's illness. Tragically, their mother, Mary, was the first to die of the disease, followed in 1888 by their eldest daughter, Mary Olive. Two years later, in 1890, their son Edwin also became sick. In 1891, Mercy, contracted the disease and died in January 1892. And now three months later the discovery blood in Mercy's heart was taken as an unmistakeable sign that the teenager was undead and the agent of young Edwin's condition.
Vampire Siege by Eric OppenDuring the spring of 1892, the Rhode Island and Connecticut militia were called up to deal with an outbreak of vampirism. The first known case was Mercy Brown. After she was identified as a vampire (although that term was not used; it came into general use only later, when foreign correspondents drew Americans' attention to the long-standing problems facing Eastern Europeans) her father and some other men tried to put her to rest, unsuccessfully. Their methods didn't work, and she continued her depredations, turning her own brother Edwin, among others, into her eternal vampire slaves.
By April, 1892, fear of vampirism had all but paralyzed Rhode Island and neighboring Connecticut. The factories that were still open closed well before dark, and after sundown, nobody could expect admittance to any inhabited building --- knocks were likely to be answered with gunfire. The legislatures and governors of the two-state region called up the militia, and prepared to ask for help from Massachussetts.
After several weeks, it was officially announced that the vampire siege had been lifted. The Lizzie Borden case, in August, 1892, was at first feared to be the work of a surviving vampire, possibly mad with hunger from having hidden for too long. To this day, many houses in rural Connecticut, Rhode Island and nearby parts of Massachussetts display anti-vampire precautions, such as cloves of fresh garlic near doors and windows.