When two boys discovered a macabre surprise while playing in a Connecticut gravel pit, they uncovered more than a piece of the past. Their discovery echoes stories that are much older, stories with roots that reach far deeper than anyone might imagine.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
in the early nineties nineties two boys were playing on a gravel hill near an old abandoned mine outside of Griswold Connecticut kids. Do the oddest things to stave off boredom so
weighing on a hill covered in small rocks. Was it really surprised me and my guess is never having a blast.
That is until one of them this lodge to larger rocks, but when the rocks tumbled free
And rolled down the hill, both boys noticed something odd about them:
They were nearly identical in shape and that shape was eerily familiar.
We headed down the hill one last time to take a closer look. That's when they realise what they found skulls.
at first, the local police were brought in to investigate the possibility of an unknown serial killer.
That many bodies all in one place was never a good sign, but it became obvious very quickly that the real experts they needed were, in fact archaeologists, and they were
right in the end, twenty nine graves were discovered in what turned out to be the remnants of a forgotten cemetery time and the elements
slowly eroded away the graveyard and the contents had been swallowed by the gravel. Many skeletons were still in their caskets, though, and it was inside. One of them marked with brass tacks, to form the initials of the occupant at something
Usual was discovered long ago. It seems somewhat
had opened this casket shortly after burial and had then made changes to the body specifically they'd removed both famers bones of the fire and place them across the channel
Then moving some of the ribs and the brass bone out of the way they placed the skull above them, it was a real life skull and crossbones, and its presence hinted at something darker
The skeleton you see it wasn't just the remains of an ordinary early settler of the area
this man was different and the people who buried him knew it. According to them, he had been a vampire I Aaron Mahnke. This is lore
while it may be a surprise to some people graves.
like the one in Griswold are actually quite common. Today we
in the Bronx Stoker era vampires, so our expectations and imagery or highly influenced by his novel in the world it evokes.
Victorian. Gentlemen in dark, cloaks mysterious castles, sharp fangs, protruding over blood red lips, but the white face, and
had lips started. Life is nothing more than stage make up an artifact from nineteen. Twenty four theatrical production of the novel called count Dracula
Another feature we associate with Dracula. His high collar also started there with wires attached to the points of the collar, the actor playing Dracula returning
back on the audience and dropped through a trap door, leaving an empty Kate behind the fall on the floor moments later. The true myth of the vampire, though, is far older than stoker. It's an ancient tree
With deep and twisted routes as hard as it is for popular culture to fathom the legend of the vampire and the people who hunt it actually predate Dracula by centuries,
just a little further into the past from Brahms Stoker in the cradle of what would one day become the United States, the people of New England?
identifying vampire activity in their own towns and villages and then assemble
teams of people to deal with what they perceived as a threat. It turns out that Griswold was one of those communities. According to the archaeologists that study the twenty nine graves, a vast majority of them were contemporary to the vampires burial and most of those,
Showed signs of an illness, tuberculosis is the most likely gas which
It was a long way towards explaining why the people did what they did. The folklore was clear: the first to die from an illness was usually the cause of the outbreak
followed. Patient zero might be in the grave sure, but they were still at work
slowly draining the lives of the others? Because of this belief, body.
All across the North EAST were routinely exude and destroyed in one way or another, and many more
it was as if the old superstitions were line their way out of the depths of the past to haunt the living. The details of another case from Stafford Connecticut in the late eighteen seventies illustrate the ritual perfectly.
After a family, their lost five of their six daughters to illness. The first two a passed away, was dug up and examined. This is what was recorded about the events,
Exclamation has revealed a heart and lungs, they wrote still fresh and living in case
rotten and slimy entanglements and in which, after burning these portions of the defunct living relative
else, doomed and hastening to the great as suddenly and miraculously recovered.
This sort of Mc Cobb Community event happened frequently in places like Connecticut, remind New York, New Hampshire and even on
YO, Canada and long time. Listeners of war will, of course, remembered the subject of the very first episode and how the family of mercy
Brown in Rhode, island exude. Her body after others died doing a very similar thing,
Mercy Brown was in the first american vampire, though, as far as we can tell that honour goes to the wife of Isaac, burden of Manchester Vermont all the way back in seventeen. Ninety three
and for a shilling and dark as the exhumation and mercy round might have been the burden incident. What's that story to shame Captain Isaac
married Rachel Harris in seventeen eighty nine, their marriage was brief within
and of the wedding Rachel took sick with tuberculosis. What was then called consumption because of the way the disease seem to waste the person away as if they were being consumed by something unseen.
Rachel soon died, leaving her husband, a young widower, but that didn't last long Burton married again in April of seventeen. Ninety one, this time to a woman named hold the power,
but again within just two years of their marriage. Burton's new bride became ill
friends and neighbors started to whisper and, as people are prone to do, it began to try and draw conclusions unanswered questions bother us, so we tend to look for reasons.
And the people of Manchester thought they knew why holder was sick, although Isaacs wife Rachel had been dead for nearly three years. The people of Manchester suggested that she was the cause
clearly from her new home in the graveyard.
draining the life from her husband's new bride, with Burton's permission, the town prepared to exude her and end the curse
The town blacksmith brought a portable forge to the grave site and nearly a thousand people
gathered there to watch the grim ceremony and Rachel's liver, heart and lungs
we're all remove from her corpse and then reduced to ashes. Sadly, though, all the burden never recover. She died. A few months later, this ancient ritual
as far as the people of Manchester Vermont concern at somehow failed them before
What they had been taught to do as unpleasant as it must have been, and yet it hadn't worked, which was odd, because that has always been the case.
A lot of what we think we know about the roots of the vampire legend is thanks to Dracula the novel by brown stoker. Most of us know the basics stoker built
mythology around a historical figure from the fifth century in loud. The third lad was for
The kingdom of well Algeria now part of money
day. Romania Laud had to titles blood tapirs, which meant the simpler
referred to his brutal military tactics in defence of his country, the other blood draw cool or the dragon referred
to his membership in the order of the dragon. A military order founded to protect Christian Europe from the
armies of the invading Ottoman empire, but Brom Stoker never travelled to Romania, the castle that he describes as the home of Dracula, a real I fortress known as brand castle was just an image he found in a book that he felt captured them
he was aiming for ran castle as far as historians can sell, has no connection to fly. The third whatsoever, the notion of a vampire, or at least of an undead creature, that
It's on the living does have routes in the area, though stoker was close, but he may,
the mark, by a little more than three hundred miles, the real roots of the legend, according to most historians,
we found in modern day Serbia. Serbia of today sits at the southwestern corner of Romania, just south of Hungary, between one thousand seven hundred and eighteen and one thousand seven hundred and thirty. Nine, the country Pass briefly from the hands of the Ottoman Empire to the control of the Austrian
because of its place between these two empires, the land was devastated by war and destruction, and people were frequent.
moved around in service to the military and, as is
in the case when people cross borders so do ideas.
your blog. We was a serbian peasant in the village of casino. In the early seventeen hundreds now
How much is known about his life, but we do know that he was married and had at least one son and one thousand seven hundred and twenty five
Causes unknown Peter died at the age of sixty two in most stories. That's the end, but not here
You probably knew that, though, didn't you
days that followed Peters, deaf other people in the village began to pass away nine of them, in fact,
and all of them made startling claims on their deathbeds detail.
That seemed impossible to prove
but were somehow the same. In each case, each person was adamant that Peter blood we age
there recently deceased neighbor, had come to them in the night and attack them
Peters widow even made the startling claim that her dead husband had actually walked into her home and asked for of all things. The shoes
She believe so strongly in this visit that she moved to another village to avoid future visits. The rest of the people of Casey, EVA, took notice. Something had to be done now would begin with digging up Peters corpse.
The inside the cloth- and they found Peters body to be remarkably preserve some note
tell the man's nails and hair had grown. Others remarked on the condition of his skin, which was flushed and bright, not pale. It wasn't natural, they said something had to be,
They turn to a man named rumbled, a local representative on the austrian government. Together with the help of a
priest. He examined the body for himself in his written report. He confirm the earlier finding,
an added. His observation that fresh blood could be seen inside Peters Mouth Run describes how the people of the village were overcome with fear and outrage,
how they proceeded to drive a wooden stake through the corpses. Heart then still afraid of what the creature might be able to do to them. In the future, people burn the body rumbles report. Details
all of it, but he also makes the disclaimer that he was responsible for the villagers actions. He said
that it was fear that drove them to it. Nothing more Peters story was powerful and created a panic that quickly spread throughout the region.
It was the first event of its kind in history to be recorded in official government documents,
report was still missing, an official cause without it
The stories might have died where they started, but then
just a year later. Something happened in the legend has never been the same
Arnold power was a former soldier
the many men transplanted by the austrian government in an effort to defend and police their newly acquired territory.
No one is sure where he was born, but as finally gears.
were spent in a serbian village along the great moreover river near Paris, and
his post, more life. Arnold became a farmer and he frequently told stories from days gone by in one such story. Arnold claimed that he had been attacked by a vampire years before, while living in Kosovo, he survived, but the injury continued to plague him until he finally to
action. He said that he cured himself by eating soil from the grave of the suspected vampire. Then, after digging up the vampires body, he collected some of its blood and smeared it on himself.
And that was it according to Arnold and the folk lore that drove him to it. He was cured.
When he died in farming accident in seventeen twenty six, though, people began to wonder,
Because, within a month of his death, at least for other people in town, complain that Arnold had visited them in the night and attack them when those
People died, the villagers began to whisper in fear. They remembered Arnold stories
stories of being attacked by a vampire of taking
on the disease himself stories
his own attempt to cure himself, but what if it hadn't worked
of suspicion, and doubt they decided to
his body and examined it here for what was most likely. The first time in recorded history. The story of the vampire was taking on the form of a communicable disease. Transmitted from person to person through biting with might seem obvious to us now, but
We ve all grown up with the legend, fully formed the people of this small serbian village, though this was something new and horrific.
where they found seem like conclusive evidence to rush skin
new nails, longer hair and beard. Arnold even had blood in his mouth.
Putting ourselves in their context. It's easy just.
how they might have been chilled with fear, so they drove a stake through his heart. One. Witness claim that as the stake pierce the corpses chest the body groaned and bled unsure of what else
do, they burn the body, and then they did the same to the four who had died after claiming Arnold attacked them, they covered all their bases so to speak and then walked away.
Five years later, though, another outbreak spread through the village. We,
no this, because so many people died at the austrian government, sent a team of military physicians from Belgrade to investigate the situation. These men led by two
Officials in Glasser and looking her were special, though because they were trained in communicable diseases, which was
good thing by January, seventh of seventeen. Thirty one, just eight weeks after the beginning of the outbreak, seventeen people had died.
at First Glasser, had looked for signs of a contagious disease but came up empty handed.
He noted signs of mild malnutrition, but there was nothing deadly that could be found. The clock was ticking
the villagers were living in such fear. They had been gathering together
into large groups each night taking turns keeping watch for the creatures, they believed were responsible, the even threatened to pack up and move elsewhere. Something needed to be done,
And quickly, thankfully, there were some aspects:
This was a young woman named Stana, a recent newcomer to the village who had died
in childbirth, early on in the outbreak at sea
to have been a sickness that took her life, but there were other clues Stana,
and fast to smearing vampire blood on herself years before as protection, but that the villagers claim at backfired and most likely turned her into one is
Add the other suspect was an older woman named milligram. She was all
so from another part of Serbia and had arrive shortly after Arnold death like so many
others johanna history, neighbours
claim that she was a good woman who never did anything intentionally wicked, but she had
told them once of how she beaten. Meat from my sheep, killed by a vampire Matt seem like
evidence enough to push the investigation to go deeper literally,
permission from Belgrade glasses.
and the villagers exhumed all of the recently deceased opening their coffins for a full examination.
And while logic and science should have prevailed in a situation like that, what they found only deepen their belief in the supernatural,
of the seventeen bodies. Only five appeared normal in that they had begun to decay in a manner that should be expected,
These were we buried and considered safe, but it was the other twelve.
Large, the villagers and government men alike, because these bodies were still fresh.
in the report filed in Belgrade in January of seventeen thirty to sign,
all five of the government positions who witness the exhumations. These twelve bodies were completely untouched by decay. Oregon still held fresh blood, your skin
was healthy and firm. A new nails and hair had grown since burial.
These are all normal occurrences, as we understand decomposition today, a three centuries ago. It was
less about science and more about superstition.
This didn't seem normal to them, and so, when the physicians wrote their report, they used a term that until the very moment had never appeared in any historical account of such
Case described the bodies as vampire it in the face.
of answered questions, the only conclusion they could commit to was that each of the twelve bodies have been found in a van condition.
with that, the villagers did what their tradition demanded. They remove the heads from each corpse,
gathered all the remains into pile and then burn the whole thing: the threat to the village
was finally dead and gone, but it was too late. Something new had been born,
thing more powerful than a monster, something
that lives centuries. It spreads like fire, a legend,
Many aspects of folk lore haven't fair to well under the critical eye of science. Today we have a much deeper
our understanding of how illness and disease really works, and while experts are still careful to explain that every corpse decomposes in a slightly you need
way. We have a better grasp of the full picture. Now in any previous,
I'm in history answers when we can find them
come as a me. Leave it safe to say,
That we don't have to fear of empiric infection when the people around us get sick today, but there were still people at the centre of these ancient stories
normal folk, like you and me, simply wanted to do what was right. We might do it differently today, but it's hard to follow them for trying.
Answers, don't kill every myth them there,
our stories like their immortal. Subjects have simply refused to die. In fact, they can still be found if you know where to look for them
In the small romanian village of Maritime Day, Seuss you're, the southwestern court
that borders, Bulgaria and Serbia authorities work
to investigate an illegal exclamation, but this wasn't one thousand seven hundred and four or even one thousand eight hundred and four. This happened just a decade ago.
Patriots Toma had been the clan there in the village, but after
lifetime of illness and hard drinking. His accidental death in the field almost came as a relief to his family and friends. That's how they put it
at least so when he was buried in December, two thousand three: the community moved on.
But individuals from petrol family began to get sick. First
his niece Marilla Mariner School. She complained that
uncle had attacked her in her dreams. Her husband made the same claim involve offered their illness as proof.
Even their infant child was not well, thankfully, the
Measures of the village immediately
knew why, in response
to her story. Six men gathered together one evening in early two thousand for the entered the local graveyard close to midnight
then travelled to the burial sight of Petra Toma.
using hammers and chiseled. They broke through this
slab covered the grave and then move the pieces aside. They drank as they were. Can you really blame them?
They were opening the grave of a recently deceased member of their community. I think it was more than that in their minds. They were putting their lives in danger because they're inside the gray they had just uncovered lay the stuff of nightmares away.
fire. What these men did next will sound strangely familiar, but to them it was simply the continuation of centuries of tradition
they can't open the body using a knife and saw they pride, the ribs, apart with a pitchfork and then cut out the heart
according to one of the men who was there when the heart was removed, they found it full of fresh blood proof them at least that Petra had been feeding on the village when they pulled it. Free the witness said that the body audibly side and then went wimp it's hard to prove something that six in
credibly, superstitious men, men who had been drinking all night mind you claim they wish
in a dark cemetery them it was pure unaltered truth. They then use the pitchforked
hearing the heart out of the cemetery and across the road to a field where they set on fire once it was burned completely. They collected the ashes and funnel them into a bottle of water. The offered this time
click to the sick family who willingly drank it, was, after all, what they had been taught to do.
Amazingly, everyone recovered.
No one died of whatever illness they were suffering from. Nowhere
reported visits from Petra tone that in their minds the nightmare was over.
Men and save lives.
Maybe something evil and contagious has survived
for centuries, after all, spreading across borders and oceans
certainly left a trail of horrific events in its wake and its influence. Countless
tales and superstitions, all of which seem to point to a real life cause.
But far from being unique to Serbia or Romania, this thing is global,
as if that words, and not this horrible
Ageless monster is
and always has been right inside each of us like a vampire it curse. We carry it in our blood, but it's probably not wait and expect its fear.
This episode of Lore was researched, written and produced by me. Aaron monkey.
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.