During the 18th and 19th centuries there was a major vampire scare in New England. At least a dozen cases of alleged vampirism occurred throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont, and rural New Englanders took gruesome steps deal with it.
Paul Sledzik, former curator of anatomical collections at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, analyzed several corpses from a cemetery in Griswold, CT and determined they had been subjected to ritual vampire slayings. According to Sledzik, after a family member had died from tuberculosis, living members exhumed the body to look for "vampire" signs. If the corpse proved suspicious, its heart was removed and burned to ashes.
And accounts of such activity persist to this day. In July, Romanian villagers claimed to have seen the corpse of a 76-year-old man sucking blood from his living family members. A group of men armed with wooden stakes opened his grave and removed his heart. Read more at bostonherald.com(1).