The story is retold by many authors so you may find slightly different versions all over the internet. The account is based on a 14th century Bohemian report and the events are said to have happened in 1345.
It is in that year that the wife of a potter died before she could be put on trial for suspicion of being a witch. The townsfolk decided to bury her at a crossroad since it was the custom at that time.
But she did not find peace and started to leave her grave at night, appearing to many people under various forms [beasts] and attacking them.
When her grave was opened it was discovered that she had eaten half her shroud so she was labeled a vampire and staked through the heart.
Enraged by this she pulled out the stake and started to use it as a weapon in her more vicious prowls in the night. More people were killed and the villagers decided to cremate her.
Only after she was burned to ashes did the attacks stop!
It is said that a whirlwind was seen at the place where the corpse had been cremated.
Among the papers that cover these happenings I mention: Erasmus Francisci`s “Der Höllische Proteus” ; “The Vampire, His Kith and Kin” by Montague Summers ; “The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead” by J. Gordon Melton; “Vampires” by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and many many others!
NOTE: You may find the name of the village written as Lewin. On a Czech map you will find it as Levin.
๑۞๑ Related: ๑۞๑
† Vampire Accounts
Records on this matter are not very clear, so I have no way of checking up on the sources. That is way I was considering not adding a piece on this Rhode Island Vampire. None the less I opted to write about her because I wish to bring something new every day.
Ruth Ellen Rose of Peace Dale, Rhode Island, was another victim of Consumption [Tuberculosis] as well as a suspected Vampire.
She was born in 1863 as a result of her father`s first marriage and died on May 12, 1874 at age 15. When members of the family started to fall ill, Ruth’s father, William G. Rose, had his daughter’s corpse dug up and her heart burnt in hopes that this would help keep the family members safe.
We still have the oral legends and an interesting thing to keep in mind is the fact that Mary, the second wife [the stepmother of Ruth Ellen] was a grand-daughter of Stukeley Tillinghast [father to ~Sarah Tillinghast~]. Needless to say that the family tradition surely contained the story of Sarah and that might explain why the tomb of Ruth Ellen was so quickly labeled as that of a vampire.
William and Mary Rose are buried in South Kingstown, but the actual site of Ruth Ellens grave is unknown since she is not at the side of her family.
NOTE: You will find the name “Ruth Ellen” all over the internet, but it is uncertain that it was this daughter and not another. Also, there are no records that the Roses lived in Peace Dale.
Here`s where things get REALLY interesting!
According to “A History of Vampires in New England” by Thomas D’Agostino the name was actually Phebe Rose and she was 48 when she died, on May 12 1874.
Furthermore, Ruth Ellen ROSS died on May 12 1871 and she was indeed 15, but other than that nothing about her legend is true.
The author explains this in the book blaming the way the records were kept back then. Because the priests were the ones that filed the births and deaths, in some occasions they maybe misspelled the names or mixed up some dates.
The author goes as far as to suggest that maybe the older woman was intentionally replaced with the young Ruth Ellen because the 15 year old fit better the lore – all the Rhode Island vampires are young, with ages between 15 and 20.
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† Vampire Accounts
§ Mercy Brown
§ Sarah Tillinghast
§ Nancy Young