American Vampires: Their True Bloody History From New York To California by Dr. Bob Curran comes hot off the press just in time for Halloween. Dr. Curran documents vampire fright throughout many parts of the United States, including Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana, Vermont, New York, Arizona, California and Wyoming, to mention just a few of the places covered.
According to Curran, vampires come in all shapes and sizes, from a melon-head child to a well in the ground. Some vampires drink blood while others sap energy from the body. Not all vampires are wealthy, like the Count Dracula. Many are poor and working class.
Some are part of the wandering dead who prowl the earth for many years. Dr. Curran even tells tales of man-eating trees, which have come up over the centuries through popular folklore.
After a period in the cold earth, they arise and raise havoc for the living, which include their families and friends. In parts of the world, vampirism has been linked to witchcraft.
The classic ways to destroy a vampire include driving a stake through the heart, as well as burning the corpse. Sometimes, invading the coffin yields a lifeless corpse with dried blood protruding from the mouth. In addition, gases build up in the body after death. The body has a bloated appearance oftentimes.
According to Romanian lore, there were specific procedures for disposing of a corpse. The head was to be decapitated. The mouth was stuffed with garlic and the heart had to be surgically removed and burned.
Dr. Curran documents specific incidents of haunting throughout the book. For instance, the Hampton Plantation, founded by a French Huguenot, is said to have hauntings on the property. The ghost of John Henry Routledge roams the property. He committed suicide after being spurned in love.
Dr. Curran has done a considerable amount of research and fact-checking to provide readers with a splendid sequence of vampire stories just in time for Halloween!