Nestled within the lovely expanse of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts, is a little plot that is full of the graves of a staggering number of famous authors.
Throughout the 19th century, graves of those believed undead would be dug up, the chest cavity of the deceased broken open, the heart removed and burned, and the skull and leg bones dislodged and rearranged. Nicholas Bellantoni, emeritus state archeologist, will talk about the history and mythologies of vampires in the “Nutmeg State,” focusing on mysterious remains found in the Jewett City area in eastern Connecticut. During a 2013 talk at the Danbury Museum and Historical Society, Bellantoni said in the 19th century, people who were unaware of the actual cause of consumption – tuberculosis – a belief grew in these rural communities that it was caused by undead family members visiting their children, wives or husbands in the night and “sucking the life spirit out” of them. According to an article on Smithsonian.com, in neighboring Jewett City, Connecticut, townspeople in 1854 had exhumed several corpses suspected to be vampires that were rising from their graves to kill the living.
H.P. Lovecraft’s monstrous creation Cthuhlu first appeared in the short story The Call of Cthuhlu, published in 1928.
Gothic Gold: The Sadleir-Black Gothic Collection by Frederick S. Frank