According to this 200-year-old legend, members of the Spaulding family of Dummerston, Vermont, started dying at inexplicably young ages with terrifying regularity due to a strange disease that seemed to gradually suck the life from them.
Today we’re pretty sure it was tuberculosis, but back then, the blame was laid squarely upon a cursed vine, one that burrowed along the family plot in the local cemetery. Each time it touched the coffin of a deceased family member, another Spaulding died. To stop it, they dug up the last body in the row of Spaulding graves, hacked up the creepy creeper tunneling toward it, and burnt the body.
The graves can be found in Dummerston Center Cemetery, where six of the Spaulding children are buried on an idyllic bit of hill. The row of six dark, mossy headstones is centrally located in the cemetery, and includes the graves of Josiah Spaulding and his siblings, whose names are hard to read on the weathered stone.
Adapted with permission from The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker