By Josh Eliot


In 1993, I was videographer on the Catalina Video movie The Bite for director Chi Chi LaRue. It featured a great cast headlined by Jon Vincent, and featured Derrick Corbin, Dillon Reid, Londun, Max Holden and Rob Cryston. We shot it at the same time as a movie I directed called Sex Between The Lines in a Hollywood Hills house formerly owned by Fatty Arbuckle, but at that time occupied by squatters. Say what? Ask Scott Masters! He had some really funky connections! I do remember regretting that I had not come up with the vampire movie idea; it was right up my alley, as I was born and raised in one of the most haunted states in the union. But I was just glad to be shooting a horror-themed movie, and Chi Chi did a great job with The Bite and The Bite 2! I never went the vampire route in any of my movies, but I probably should have If I had, I would have drawn upon two of the most notorious cases below.


Cover art for Chi Chi LaRue's The Bite
Chi Chi LaRue's The Bite


The Grave of Mercy Brown


A farmer named George Brown lost his wife, Mary, and daughter, Mary Olive, after both became sickly and died one after the other. In 1892, another daughter, Mercy, died at the age of 19. Two months later, George Brown’s teenage son, Edwin, became sick and frail. The village doctor told George that it was “consumption” that was taking his son, but occupants in the town of Exeter had another explanation. The undead.

Between 1790 and 1899, it was not uncommon in New England, particularly Rhode Island, for family members to demand that the bodies of their deceased family members be exhumed. The reason being that they suspected the dead of being “undead” and afflicting the living. Sometimes going as far as to burn the hearts, lungs and livers and mixing the ashes into a solution to administer to the afflicted as a treatment.


Historical photos of Mercy Brown


Historical photos of Mercy Brown


In March of 1892, villagers, a local doctor and a newspaper reporter, along with George Brown, entered the Chestnut Hill Cemetery, under the wild idea that one of the deceased members of George’s family was leaving the grave at night to suck the life out of his son, and only by killing the undead could Edwin be saved. The bodies of George’s wife and daughter Mary gave no clues, but when Mercy Brown’s body was exhumed, it appeared oddly well preserved, appearing like her hair and nails had also continued to grow. When they prodded the body with the shovel, they found it filled with fresh blood. They continued on and removed her heart and burned it on a nearby rock. All documented. The ashes were added to Edwin’s medicine, but he died a short time later. Rhode Island’s South County between 1870 and 1900 was known as the “Vampire Capital of America.” Rumors, accusations and panic set in. Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula in 1897, kept newspaper accounts of “vampire” Mercy Brown in his files that were discovered after his death. For the less superstitious, the well-preserved condition of Mercy’s body could be due to the fact that she was buried in the ground during the two coldest months of the year. Mercy’s grave is one of the most visited to this day and is reinforced with a metal band connected to a post to protect it from being stolen. The Mercy Brown case is one of the best documented cases of the exhumation of a corpse in order to perform rituals to banish an undead manifestation.


The Grave of Nellie Vaughn

Vampire's Grave is located in a rural 19th century cemetery by an old wooden church in West Greenwich Rhode Island, not all that far from the real Conjuring house at 1677 Round Top Road in Burrillville, RI.


The real Conjuring house


Starting back in the 1960s, stories related to an occupant of the graveyard spread like wildfire around the state. A teacher at Coventry High School told the students the story of Mercy Brown, a young woman whose body was exhumed and heart removed because family members were convinced she came back from the dead. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based in part on Mercy Brown, and she is currently buried in a graveyard in Rhode Island. The students, mixing up their details, tracked down the wrong cemetery and headstone belonging to Nellie Vaughn. Nellie Vaughn died in 1889 at the age of 19 from pneumonia. When the students came upon her headstone which read in epitaph, “I am waiting and watching for you,” the legend of Nellie Vaughn being a vampire was born. Still the talk of high school in the 1970s, my friends and I along with probably every other student in the state at some point went to Vampire's Grave after smoking a ton of weed. Of course we were 100% sure that she was in fact a living dead vampire. The night we were there was scarier than hell; to reach it you drive for miles through a thick forest to a very desolate area. It is at a crossroads where you come upon the Plain Meeting House Cemetery. It took us forever to find her headstone, and yes, no grass was growing over her grave like the story said. Although it was a very creepy experience, no sightings of strange phenomena occurred that night.

Today, that headstone has been removed because there was too much vandalism of her grave site over the years. Nellie Vaughn has no marker and is in an unmarked grave. However, people have reported seeing a woman in Victorian clothing in the cemetery before vanishing into the woods, and also hearing a young woman’s voice near the grave site saying, “I am perfectly pleasant.” Almost as if she is trying to clear her name. Trying to tell the visitors that she was not an evil, frightening vampire, but only a very pleasant, proper young lady. The worst thing for us that night was driving home from the grave, still very stoned, going down that very winding wooded road in the middle of nowhere. We turned a corner that opened up to a big field on the right side of the road. There was a huge barn fire with about twenty to thirty people in white robes standing around it in a circle. Very scary, “devil worshippy” and demonic! We all screamed when we saw them and hit the gas to get out of there, constantly looking in the rear-view mirror to make sure no one was coming after us.


Vampire's Grave historical photos

Vampire's Grave historical photos


I promised that when I wrote this final “Halloween” themed blog, I would include a little bit of sizzle in keeping with the fact that this is after all for the BijouWorld website. So, after our harrowing adventure to Vampire's Grave, we dropped off the girls (our high school “girlfriends” at the time) and met up with one of their brothers named Michael and his “friend” Donald. There was a house in the neighborhood that was vacant and under construction. David and I had been “working” these two for what seemed like forever, getting a little flirt here and there, always followed by a big fat “nothing.” We met up with the boys, smoked some more weed; then, after months and months of build up, I did Donald, while my friend David did Michael.


PLEASE NOTE: No ghosts or vampires were spotted in the vacant house while exchanging blowjobs.


Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 


You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?
Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END
How Straight Are You Really?
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
My 1992 “Porn Set” Diary
Out of Print
There’s a Gloryhole WHERE??!
LUNCH HOUR: When the Big Boys Eat
IN and OUT and All ABOUT
UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele
8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd
Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast
The Many Facesof Adult Film Star SHARON KANE
The ALL-MAN Magazine Interview: The Man Behind Catalina Video
Captain Psychopath

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