October 12, 2012


Vampire Scares of the 1840s Subject of Talk
Based in CT, RI
Tues, 10/16, 5 p.m., Room A101, Lafayette Hall

BRIDGEPORT - Michael Bell, New England’s pre-eminent expert on the folk practices of area residents in the 19th century, will discuss the Connecticut and Rhode Island vampire scares of the 1840s in a talk Tuesday, 10/16 at Housatonic Community College. During that scare, residents of Jewett City, CT and Exeter, RI, who had contracted tuberculosis, exhibited many symptoms believed to be associated with vampire bites. Believing the bites were caused by vampires rising from the grave, other residents of the area exhumed the bones of ancestors and rearranged them in a way believed to prevent the vampires from rising. Author Bram Stoker visited the area in 1896 and drew on accounts of these episodes in writing his book Dracula. The talk will begin at 5 p.m. in Room A101 in Lafayette Hall. The event is open to the public at no charge. Free parking is available in the Housatonic Community College garage. HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd, in downtown Bridgeport, 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the Harbor Yard sports complex.