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DNA Reveals Identity of New England Vampire

In 1990, a mining operation found an abandoned graveyard in Griswold, Connecticut. Investigators found the remains of 28 people buried in the early 1800s, mostly children. But one coffin was especially intriguing, the one marked with brass tacks as "JB 55," presumably the man's initials and age at death. The body had been exhumed and reburied some years after the original burial, and the bones had been rearranged. Connecticut state archaeologist Nicholas Bellantoni tells the story.

"Every one was in good anatomical position . . . except this one individual, JB 55," Bellantoni said.

Under his coffin lid, Ballantoni and his colleagues found the strange skull and cross bones arrangement.

"His thigh bones . . . were uprooted from the anatomical position and crossed over the chest," he said.

"The chest had been broken into, and the . . . skull was decapitated and moved away," he said. "I was totally befuddled. I had no clue what I was looking at."

Research soon suggested a link to the New England vampire folk belief, he said.

History revealed why this man was considered a vampire, and although a DNA test in 1994 was inconclusive, more advanced tests have recently given him a name: John Barber. In life, he was a farmer. In death, he is the only American vampire scrutinized by scientists. Read about the case at ScienceAlert. -via Strange Company


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