October 8th, 2012


In keeping with the Halloween spirit

Since I have today off (Columbus Day is a Federal holiday, strangely enough), I figured I'd post a article to inspire Halloween tales. It deals with vampires in America during the late 1800s, strangely enough.

The Great New England Vampire Panic.

I thought it interesting that this vampire hunt (and one that also occurred in the Chicago area both dealt with tuberculosis (called consumption at the time). Consumption was a very, very common disease during the Victorian era. So much so that there is a lot of speculation that the Victorian ideal beauty (thin, frail, fainting, pale, with shortness of breath to produce the infamous heaving bosom) is based on the symptoms of tuberculosis. The Smithsonian article even mentions that one of the characters that becomes a vampire in Bram Stoker's Dracula (published 1897) wastes away like a victim of tuberculosis.