Spaulding Family: Another Vampire Case

Spaulding family case is similar to the Young family case where numbers of family members died due to consumption.  The supposed vampire case of the Spaulding Family happened in Dummerston, Vermont.   Multiple deaths in Lt. Leonard Spaulding Family led to some superstitious belief about vampire like desecration of tombs, dismembering remains and burning them.

A total of 9 Spaulding family members within 16 years,  Mary (20) on 1762, Leonard (Father) 1788,  Leonard Jr. (1792), Timothy and John (1793) twins, Josiah (1798). Three of their daughters managed to survive.

Based on what’s written in the History of the Town of Dummerston, when the death of the family reached at around 6 or 7, the remaining members decided to take drastic measures.  The rumors about the vampire manifestation are not contained inside the family, even neighbors are talking about the random deaths and that they are associated with something paranormal.
 “It is related by those who remember the circumstance; after six or seven of the family had died of consumption, another daughter was taken, it was supposed, with the same disease. It was thought she would die, and much was said in regard to so many of the family’s dying of consumption when they all seemed to have the appearance of good health and long life. Among the superstitions of those days, we find it was said that a vine or root of some kind grew from coffin to coffin, of those of one family, who died of consumption, and were buried side by side; and when the growing vine had reached the coffin of the last one buried, another one of the family would die; the only way to destroy the influence or effect, was to break the vine; take up the body of the last one buried and burn the vitals, which would be an effectual remedy: Accordingly, the body of the last one buried was dug up and the vitals taken out and burned, and the daughter, it is affirmed, got well and lived many years. The act, doubtless, raised her mind from a state of despondency to hopefullness [sic].”-History of the town of Dummerston (David L. Mansfield)

It is not clear whose remains were cremated, some says it could be one of the twins who dies, and some claimed it was Leonard Jr.  It is also noted that some vines started to grew on the tomb, which the locals believed was a sign that the corpse may have been compromised by the undead, but the Vermont Historical Magazine did not gave a detailed account as to what type of vine is growing on the lot aforementioned.


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