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Nancy Levi New England Vampire

The Foster town records dated 14 October 1892 give the following account of the case of Nancy Levi who was died of consumption on 6 April 1827 but was subsequently exhumed and burned in a belief that this could prevent further deaths of the disease in her family.

Sixty years ago or more Capt. Levi Young of Sterling, Conn., who married Annie Perkins, bought the extreme southern portion of the original “Dorrance purchase” and erected a house thereon which is now the southwestern corner house in the town of Foster and commenced life as a farmer. His oldest daughter, Nancy, a very bright and intelligent girl, at an early age became feeble in health and died of consumption on April 6, 1827, aged 19 years. Previous to the death of Nancy, the second daughter, Almira, a very sprightly girl, commenced a rapid decline in health with sure indications that she must soon follow her sister. The best skill of the most eminent physicians seemed to be all in vain. There was a large family of children and several of them were declining in the same manner. Mr. Young was a very worthy and pious man and wished to do everything possible to benefit his family, and he had the sympathy of all his friends and neighbors.

There seemed to be a curious idea prevailing at the time in some localities, that by cremating or burning the remains of a departed friend or relative while the living relatives stood around and inhaled the smoke from the burning remains, that it would eradicate the disease from the systems of the living and restore them to health.

A short time after the decease of Nancy, in the summer of 1827, the neighbors and friends at Mr. Young’s request came together and exhumed the remains of Nancy, and had her body burned, while all the members of the family gathered around and inhaled the smoke from the burning remains, feeling confident, no doubt, that it would restore them to health and prevent any more of them falling prey to that dread disease, consumption.

But it would seem that it was no benefit to them, as Almira died August 19, 1828, aged 17 years. Olney, a son, died December 12, 1834, aged 29 years. Huldah died August 26, 1836, aged 23 years. Caleb died May 8, 1843, aged 20 years. Hiram died February 17, 1854, aged 35 years. Two other sons lived to be older but are now dead. The youngest daughter Sarah is the only one now living of the family. She seems as yet to have escaped the disease of consumption. Some scientific persons thought perhaps the water in the well contained impurities which caused the disease as the whole family were of exemplary habits and very much respected; but it seems to have not been so, as no disease of that kind has visited the people who have since occupied the same premises.

The family are buried at the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery FR142 which can be found 800ft west of Jencks Road at Telephone pole 15 and 200ft north of the barn in the edge of the woods. I found the following excellent Youtube video of the cemetery.


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