The Vampires of Rhode Island: Bright, Like An Angel. Nancy Young, 19, Foster. 1827

 Levi Young and his wife Anna’s farm was bountiful. The native corn, potatoes, and onions provided steady income for the family. Anna Young’s preserves , made from wild blackberries,  was renowned locally, and were even fetching a good price in nearby Providence. Their oldest daughter, Nancy, was known as a smart young woman with a quick wit and even temperament. At nineteen, Nancy was the managing the accounting of the family farm. Sadly, in 1827, calamity struck. Nancy soon became gravely ill with the consumption. As she lay ill, her sister, Almira, took over the bookkeeping of the farm. On the sixth of April 1827, Nancy succumbed to her illness. A few month after Nancy’s death, Almira became ill with a similar condition, albeit one acting  slower. Levi called on the best doctors in the region to help treat his ailing daughter, but none could remedy  this strange affliction. Then one morning, Levi went to his daughter’s room to find the girl up in her bed. Almira told her father that thought she was getting better, though she looked extremely pale and weak for the disease. Almira told her father that she had dreamed of her sister Nancy. ‘She looked so bright, like an angel’ said the sickly Almira. She continued to tell her father that Nancy had told her that the pain would go away soon, and that she had forgotten about being sick for the duration of the dream. Levi Young was trying not to show his concern as his daughter described her deceased sister’s appearance. He was beginning to doubt the effectiveness of conventional medicine, and started to look into local folklore of evil spirits from beyond the grave that preyed on the living. Levi Young went before the town elders and they, surprisingly enough, agreed that the Young household was being torment by an evil presence, and that the vampire must be driven out. A small group of townsfolk accompanied Levi Young to the graveyard that his daughter lay in. The leader of the group was a gaunt old  man named Nathan “Doc” Lennox. Not a real doctor, Doc was the expert in folklore and strange local superstitions. As some of the group gathered wood for a pyre, Levi Young alone took the burden of exhuming Nancy’s grave. By sunset, the, apparently never opened, coffin of Nancy Young lay burning atop a pyre. Doc Lennox advised the members of the Young family to stand around the fire so that the vapors from the blaze may cleanse them of the evil consuming their household. Braving the heat the Youngs joined hands and allowed the smoke to wash over them. By morning the next day all but ash remained of the body of Nancy Young. Unfortunately this seemed to do little to stop the consumption ravaging the Young family. Shortly after the exhumation of Nancy, Almira died of her illness. Within a few years four more of Levi and Anna Young’s children died of consumption. None of the remaining children were exhumed

Nancy Young was, before her corpse was burned, buried at Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Foster #142 –  Young Lot. I’ve yet to visit this graveyard, hopefully that should change soon though