In this article we will be taking a look at one of the most famous of the Rhode Island vampires – the case of Sarah Tillinghast…
19-year-old Sarah Tillinghast lived in Rhode Island in the late 1700’s. She was a well-liked, thoughtful young lady that would often been seen wandering through old graveyards – looking for secluded areas to read her beloved poetry.
One day as she returned home from one of her visits to where the Revolutionary soldiers lay, she told her family that she was feeling terribly unwell.
She was told to rest in bed, but a strong fever developed throughout her system within hours.
Sarah remained seriously ill for weeks until she finally died.
Several weeks later, and still the Tillinghast family members were living in extreme grief for their loss.
One morning, Sarah’s brother, James, came down for breakfast and complained about a pain throughout his chest – he said it was as if someone was pushing down on his rib cage.
He was also looking extremely pale in skin color and could not stop shaking.
His concerned parents asked him when this ‘illness’ had started, and he replied that it started when Sarah had come to him and sat on his bed at night.
James’s shocked parents put the incident down to grief messing with the lad’s head – surely he was suffering mentally after the loss of his sister?
Days later, James was also dead.
But this was just the beginning – shortly after Sarah and James’s deaths, two more Tillinghast children died, both saying beforehand that Sarah had visited them.
The remaining Tillinghast relatives had a family meeting – did they really believe that Sarah was returning from the dead to suck out the life from remaining family members?
It wasn’t long before the subject spread it’s way through the local town – Sarah was returning from the dead as a vampire…
The sickness seemed to spread throughout the area – and all of the victims claimed to have been visited by Sarah the night before they fell ill, and died.
Eventually, Sarah’s mother, Honour Tillinghast, fell ill.
As she lay on her deathbed she told the surrounding family members that she could actually hear her dead children calling out to her – they wanted her to join them.
Sarah’s father, Snuffy Tillinghast, had seen enough – he had lost just about everything. With the help of his farmhand, Caleb, he went out early one morning to the cemetery where Sarah was buried.
The two of them then dug up Sarah’s coffin and opened the lid…
Sarah’s body lay inside without any signs of decomposition…even though she had been dead for 18 months.
Tillinghast drew his knife, and cut his daughter’s heart out of her body, through abnormal amounts of blood.
He quickly built a small fire and then watched Sarah’s heart burn to ashes – as soon as the heart was destroyed…Honour Tillinghast started to make a full recovery.
Also, the strange illness disappeared from the area.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Rhode Island vampires, please leave them in the comment section below.