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Food for the Dead - Michael E. Bell

Paperback Published: 15th October 2011
ISBN: 9780819571700
Number Of Pages: 390

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For nineteenth-century New Englanders, "vampires" lurked behind tuberculosis. To try to rid their houses and communities from the scourge of the wasting disease, families sometimes relied on folk practices, including exhuming and consuming the bodies of the deceased. Author and folklorist Michael E. Bell spent twenty years pursuing stories of the vampire in New England. While writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Henry David Thoreau, and Amy Lowell drew on portions of these stories in their writings, Bell brings the actual practices to light for the first time. He shows that the belief in vampires was widespread, and, for some families, lasted well into the twentieth century. With humor, insight, and sympathy, he uncovers story upon story of dying men, women, and children who believed they were food for the dead. This Wesleyan paperback edition includes an extensive preface by the author unveiling some of the new cases he's learned about since Food for the Dead was first published in 2001.

Industry Reviews

"A major contribution to the study of New England folk beliefs. . . . [H]is tales, stripped of Dracula's Eastern European trappings, give a deeper and more somber meaning to the overgrown fields and their enclosing stone fences, to the derelict farmhouses and their sagging barns, of rural New England."--Michael Kenney, Boston Globe

"A major contribution to the study of New England folk beliefs. . . . [H]is tales, stripped of Dracula's Eastern European trappings, give a deeper and more somber meaning to the overgrown fields and their enclosing stone fences, to the derelict farmhouses and their sagging barns, of rural New England."--Michael Kenney, Boston Globe

"Elegantly spun. . . . Filled with ghostly tales, glowing corpses, rearranged bones, visits to hidden graveyards, and references to . . . Robert Frost, H. P. Lovecraft, and Amy Lowell. . . . Bell reveals the powerful roots of folk ideas, the importance of community and prophetic dreams, the pull of legend and blood. . . . This is a marvelous book."--Sam Coale, Providence Journal

Preface
Acknowledgments
Prologue
This Awful Thing
Testing a Horrible Superstition
Remarkable Happenings
The Cause of Their Trouble Lay Before Them
I Am Waiting and Watching for You
I Thought For Sure They Were Coming After Me
Don't Be a Rational Adult
Never Strangers True Vampires Be
Ghoulish, Wolfish Shapes
The Unending River of Life
Relicks of Many Old Customs
A Ghoul in Every Deserted Fireplace
Is That True of All Vampires?
Food for the Dead
Chronology of Vampire Incidents in New England
Children of Stukeley and Honor Tillinghast
Notes
Works Cited
Index
About the Author
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780819571700
ISBN-10: 0819571709
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 390
Published: 15th October 2011
Publisher: University Press of New England
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.56

Earn 76 Qantas Points
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