The legend of the Mercy Brown vampire incident occurred in 1892 and is one of the best documented cases of exhumation the of a corpse in order to perform rituals to banish an undead manifestation. The incident was part of the wider New England vampire panic.
Several cases of consumption occurred in the family of George and Mary Brown in Exeter, Rhode Island. Friends and neighbors believed that this was due to the influence of the undead. Two family members' bodies were dug up, and they exhibited the expected level of decomposition, so they were thought not to be the cause. Daughter Mercy, however, was held in a freezer-like, above-ground vault, and her corpse exhibited almost no decomposition. This was taken as confirmation that the undead were influencing the family to be sick. Mercy's heart was burned, then the ashes were mixed with water and given to her brother, Edwin, to drink as he was sick, in order to stop the influence of the undead. The young man died two months later.