DNA Analysis Discloses The Identity Of 19th Century Connecticut Vampire


Remains in a Connecticut grave arranged in a manner to forestall the ‘vampire’ from ‘rising and feeding,’ has been identified as laborer John Barber.

Back in 1990, kids in Griswold, Connecticut playing near a gravel pit stumbled upon a pair of skulls that were unearthed from graves in an unmarked cemetery from the 19th century. Subsequent excavation unconcealed 27 graves—notably that of a man identified by the mere initials “JB55” (John Barber, 55 years old), scribed out in brass tacks on his casket. Different from the other burials, JB’s femurs and skull were neatly organized in the form of a skull and crossbones, having archaeologists conclude that Barber by his community had been a suspected “vampire.”

via Tenor

His remains displayed hints of lesions on the ribs, thereby Barber possessed a chronic lung condition—tuberculosis most likely, known during that period as consumption. In the 1800s it was often lethal, because of antibiotics nonexistence, and symptoms consisted of jaundice (pale, yellowed skin), bloody cough, swollen and red eyes, and a general look of “wasting away.” The infection spread commonly to family members. So it’s not shocking that local folklore alleged victims of being potential vampires, rising up from the grave to ail the community they departed from.

Given Barber’s lung illness and the fact that there were indications of decapitation, he was likely a presumed vampire. “This was being done out of fear and out of love,” Nicholas F. Bellantoni, a retired archaeologist from Connecticut who in the early 1990s worked on the case, told local news reporters. “People were dying in their families, and they had no way of stopping it, and just maybe this was what could stop the deaths. They didn’t want to do this, but they wanted to protect those that were still living.”


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Aaron Granger


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