Yet another story brought to us by William of Newburgh, it concerns a rich merchant who was a victim of the plague but was known as a religious, thoughtful man. Only after his death did the villagers of Berwick discover that the man had lead a corrupt, sinful life and they denied his burial on consecrated land.
[This was a common practice for that time, concerning people who were not baptized, had committed suicide or were immoral. Those that were of noble birth would normally buy dispensations from the Pope]
Soon after his funeral, inexplicable and terrible incidents took place in Berwick.
The merchant had begun to rise from his grave in search of human flesh and blood amongst the villagers. The demented demon would bolt through the streets looking for victims shouting “Until my body is burnt, you folk of Berwick shall have no peace!” Behind the Vampire a pack of howling dogs followed him, their loud baying keeping villagers awake.
Ten young farmhands were selected to exhume the merchant’s grave and dismember the body and burn it until only ashes remained.
But tragedy would not go away, shortly after the destruction of the vampire, the plague returned to Berwick leveling half the population. Villagers claimed as they buried their dead that the sound of baying hounds and the fearful screams of the Vampire could be heard.