Scientists have learned who was an American, whom 200 years ago, people considered a vampire

This story began almost 30 years ago, in November1990 While mining in one of the gravel pits in the US city of Griswold in Connecticut, which belongs to the New England region, workers stumbled upon an old 200-year-old abandoned family cemetery. Archaeologists were called to the site, who excavated a total of 28 graves. They contained the remains of 27 people: five men, eight women and 14 children. One grave contained traces of burial, but was empty. But most of all scientists were interested in the grave at number 4. The coffin located in it, on the wooden lid of which contained the inscription "JB 55", contained obvious traces of reburial.


  • 1 U.S. Vampire Story
  • 2 Are there vampires?
  • 3 Causes and signs of tuberculosis
  • 4 Who was actually the 200-year-old American "vampire"?

The history of the vampire from the USA

Having opened the chest with the deceased, the scientists were very surprisedto what they saw. The skeletal femurs were displaced from their anatomical positions and were located on broken ribs, forming a figure of folded cross to cross bones under the skull. Remember the pirate flag. An unusual find was sent to the museum, and a fragment of one of the thighs of the deceased was sent to a research laboratory. However, the research technologies of that time gave scanty results and failed to identify the person at that time. The only thing that scientists were able to suggest was that the inscription “JB 55” found on the coffin was the initials of the person’s name and the age at which he died.

Fragment of the coffin cover with initials

Already today, turning to modernDNA analysis technologies, as well as historical references, and methods for predicting a surname from genealogical data, scientists were able to find out that a person had the surname Barber in life. Then the scientists checked the old cemetery records and newspapers, trying to find out if someone with that name lived in the city of Griswold. In a newspaper, researchers found an obituary reporting the death in 1826 of a 12-year-old boy, Nathan Barber, whose father was a man named John Barber. Bingo. Personality has finally been established. Soon, scientists also found out why the remains of a person in a coffin were in such an unnatural form.

Are there vampires?

Researchers concluded that localsthey considered the deceased a vampire and thus tried to prevent him from rising from the grave. It was found that the exhumation of the remains of John Barber was carried out approximately 5-6 years after his death. Most likely, this was done by members of his own family. Historians explain that at that time there were many legends about vampires who could get up from the grave and take to the next world anyone who gets in their way. Therefore, local residents often resorted to mystical rituals, with the help of which, they believed, it was possible to protect themselves. According to researchers, in historical chronicles there are records of at least 80 such rituals.

Graves of alleged vampires after a fewyears after their death, they opened and tried to check whether there was liquid blood in the heart of a dead person. If this was so, then according to popular belief, such a person was considered a ghoul. In this case, the heart was burned, the bones were crushed and re-buried. Scientists say that such rituals were performed not only among the rural population of the United States, but also in Europe at that time.

The people who excavated Barber 200 years ago did not find a heart in his chest - by that time it had already decomposed. Therefore, they simply changed the location of his bones, and some broke it.

Causes and signs of tuberculosis

But Barber, of course, was not a vampire. He had tuberculosis. Historians are sure that it was precisely tuberculosis patients who were mistakenly considered vampires. Pale and exhausted, with sunken cheeks, eyes and bad breath. In the corners of their mouth from time to time after coughing, blood accumulated and dried up. It was these external signs that described the bloodsuckers in tales and legends about vampires.

Disease pathogen - tubercle bacillus (orKoch’s wand) - was discovered only in 1882 by the German microbiologist Robert Koch, so the inhabitants of New England at that time did not understand what was really happening.

See also: Tuberculosis can be defeated before 2045

Farmers of that time lived in large families. In one room, five to seven people slept at once. Therefore, people with tuberculosis inevitably infected their relatives. It was a real epidemic. Not realizing that the disease is spreading through airborne droplets, but seeing how people began to melt in front of their eyes and die in whole groups, uneducated residents attributed what they saw to attacks by vampires, which further increased the superstitious fear among the locals. And forced them to perform the very rituals with the remains of the departed.

Who was actually the 200-year-old American "vampire"?

The fact that Barber died of a severe formtuberculosis, scientists have learned by the state of its ribs. The tuberculosis bacterium left characteristic marks on the bones. Scientists also determined from the remains that John Barber was a very hardworking, but not at all rich farmer. A person lacked several front teeth. In addition, he had knee arthritis and a collarbone fracture that did not heal properly.

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