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New England Vampire Epidemic

Updated on December 9, 2015
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Paranormal history, folklore, legends and the true stories of fairy tales. Myths from all cultures.

The Ancient Tale

The undead have existed for as long as civilization has.
The undead have existed for as long as civilization has. | Source

The Myth of the Vampire

The vampire is a monster that can be found through out the globe, going back for as long as recorded history has existed. Every place on the globe has their own version of the vampire and is still feared in many different countries. In many Eastern European countries, graveyards have to be patrolled because people will break in and try to destroy the vampire before they can rise from the grave.

The basic legend is that once a person has been infected by another vampire, they will end up rising from the grave and will have to live off of the blood od humans. Normally when a new vampire is made, they tend to go back to their homes once they are out of the ground. When their families end up seeing them, they are often brought inside and will end up feeding off of their family. In some circles, this believed to be the act that seals a person to a life of being one of the undead.

Unlike other forms of the undead, vampires tend to become apex predators and have superhuman strength. Their strength is also in addition to the ability to manipulate the thoughts of people, shape sift, as well as a wide variety of additional benefits. Even with all of the superhuman abilities, there are still various ways that you can kill one of these creatures. The first being exposure to direct sunlight. This will cause them to burn up. The other is by driving a wooden steak through their heart. The stake is normally driven through the heart while the monster is resting in its coffin. This way hunters don't have to try and fight with the creatures strength.

One of the richest paranormal histories in the country,
One of the richest paranormal histories in the country, | Source

Paranormal New England

New England is a part of the country that is no stranger to the paranormal side of things. Almost from the start with the original colonies, there is always a string of strange occurrences. Over the years, New England has played home to witch hunts, vampire hunts and also plays home to a diverse amount of folk lore about numerous creatures. There have even been outbreaks of UFO sightings in present day.

One of the most famous parts of the history of this region are the Salem Witch-hunts. When this occurred, an inquisition had occurred in the Massachusetts colony that was in order to combat the witch problem that was mainly blamed for the hardships that the colonists where facing. The trails that where conducted found many woman being burned at the stake, with most of the proof resting on the testimony of someone who had a grudge with the person in question. It is also though that an outbreak of ergot (the main molecule in LSD) might have played a part in the out break of this epidemic.

Hunting Vampires

With the witch trails, they where mostly found in just one location. With the vampire scare, people from almost everywhere where on the look for the undead plaguing their towns. While there where many different townships and cities that where going through this craze, Jewett City in Connecticut, played home to some of the more bizarre tales that come out of what can be best described as an extreme form of mass hysteria.

When someone had died from one of many different aliments that where common of the time, many family members would break into the mosoluems or they would dig up the dead relatives before they had a chance to rise up and take out the rest of the family. This lead to cemeteries having to be patrolled to make sure that there wasn't any type of desecration going on.

According to lore, in order to kill a vampire, you have to break into their tomb while they are resting and place a stake through the heart. You also have to decapitate the body just an extra bit of insurance policy to ensure that the creature will not be able to rise. In the few short years that the people of Jewett where living in fear of the living dead, almost every cemetery in the surrounding areas filled with trespassers looking to desecrate the graves.

Jewett City CT

One of the centers of the vampire hunts.
One of the centers of the vampire hunts. | Source

The Ray Family

While the vampire scare did have an effect on the vast majority of the families that where living in this part of Connecticut, there was one family in particular that many people believed was the source of the out break; the Ray family. The Rays where a well established family that was on the large size. The size combined with a serious of unfortunate events made it so the Ray family would go down in folk lore as the source of the plague.

The Ray family had contracted tuberculous around the height of the vampire scare. Once one member had gotten extremely sick, it wouldn't end up being long until another member would end up contacting it. Many of the members of the family ended up believing that the family was cursed and where charged with ensuring that those who where left surviving would be safe from the vampire curse.

The tuberculous outbreak claimed so many lives, that people are still discovering small cementaries that where used for both a resting place for loved ones who passed, but where also used as a way to control the spread of vampires. Many of these smaller cemeteries tend to filled with a mixture of people from the Ray family as well as a few of the other more prominent families in the area.

Vampires Have A Very Long History in CT

Modern New England Vampires

While the days of people having to go out and hunt for vampires have come to pass, there is still a following for these kinds of tales. Fueled by the pop culture trend with vampire films, there has been a new interest in the vampire folk lore of New England. The cemeteries that played home to those vampire safari, in many cases are still standing to this day. The more famous ones can be found with a short drive through Connect to Jewett City. Every year, there are many people who take haunted tours of the area just to visit the rich supernatural history that New England is soaked in.

Graves of Vampires

A few weathered graves of some vampires.
A few weathered graves of some vampires. | Source

Tips for Touring Vampire Graves

If you are looking for a unique trip to take, visiting the graves of the vampires can be a fun way to spend some time outside enjoying the New England landscape. When it comes to planning your day there are a few things that you are going to want to keep in mind. The first being, is not to visit the graves at night. This isn't because some vampire is going to get you, but many of these locations have strict rules about no visitors once the sun goes down. Many of these locations tend to also be heavily patrolled by police officers.

The other thing that you want to keep in mind, is the New England has a lot of old cementaries. Not all of them are that easy to find. Sometimes, you can spend hours hiking through the woods and struggle to find the location of one of these spots. Always make sure that you bring with you a map to help ensure that you don't end up becoming lost.

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© 2015 Jon Peloquin

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      Wanda L Sanders 18 months ago from U.S.A.

      Very good .An interesting read.

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