Uncle Richard, Vampire Hunter

Two years ago I wrote a post--Uncle Richard and The Shark--about the fun I have with my nephews. My brother has four boys, my sister has two, and Jana and I have two. So that's eight boys around when we go home to visit Mom and Dad in PA. Collectively the boys are called "the cousins" and they call me "Uncle Richard."

As I wrote about in the post about the shark one of the things that Uncle Richard does with "the cousins" is to get involved in little adventures.

This year it was vampire hunting.

During last Christmas in Erie Jana found a book about all the paranormal stuff in the city. Haunted houses and other sorts of ghost and monster stories. Aidan, our youngest, loves this sort of thing so Jana bought him the book.

So the book is in the car this summer as we drive back to Erie for some summer vacation. And reading the book Aidan finds a story about a crypt in the Erie Cemetery that contains a vampire.

We know this cemetery. The Erie Cemetery--started in the mid-1800s--is right across the street from our favorite ice cream stand--Whippy Dip. So we see this cemetery all the time. But who knew there was a vampire in there?

The Erie Cemetery is pretty big. And being an older cemetery it's pretty cool. Jana and I have walked around it before.

On the south side of the cemetery is a substantial, tree-covered hill dotted with mausoleums.  According to Aidan's book one of these mausoleums has a vampire inside.

How does anyone know this? Well, the mausoleum has no name on it. The only thing on it is a V above the door.

That's right. Only a V above the door. Gotta be a vampire lair, right?

In addition, the mausoleum has a burnt look with the story being that concerned citizens of the town once tried to burn the vampire out.

Hearing Aidan read all this out loud in the car I say, "Cool! We gotta check that out."

Getting to Erie we tell the cousins that there is a vampire in their town but, don't worry, we know where it's located. And we're going to go vampire hunting.

Well, in reality we are just going to go to the cemetery to find the mausoleum marked only with a V and see how creepy it is. 

And to make it as creepy as possible I do insist that we go at sundown, right before the cemetery closes. If there is a vampire inside sundown might be a good time to catch the vampire leaving his crypt to go stalk the night. That's what I tell the boys.

And so we went. We walked through the cemetery. Around a bend on the hill we saw a burnt looking mausoleum...

We drew closer...could this be it?

We checked for names...

The blood red sun dipped below the horizon as darkness fell...

No names could be seen on the charred stone...

Only a V...right above the door.


Some of the boys did seem legitimately creeped out. Particularly as dusk fell.

But before we left, a picture to commemorate the event. The Great Vampire Hunt. Here at the vampire lair is Uncle Richard and his wonderful Mother along with their entourage of vampire hunters: Michael, Brenden, Levi, Matthew, Cole, Aidan, and Mason.

The Vampire Hunters
Good times. And how to end the night? What do you do after vampire hunting? Well, you walk across the street and get some ice cream at Whippy Dip. Of course.

Best night of the summer.

I said it then about the shark, and I'll say it now with the vampire.

I love being Uncle Richard.

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10 thoughts on “Uncle Richard, Vampire Hunter”

  1. A vampire movie  filmed in Pittsburgh, "Innocent Blood" never got the attention it deserved - i mean, robert loggia and don rickles as vampires in Pittsburgh - how can you lose?  I worked with people in Pittsburgh who would frequently escape to Erie - I  guess they could have been vampires, some of them were from "the old country" being slavs (or "hunkies" -the local slang).

  2. Apologies for the non-sequitur, but Amy has just shown me this webpage, where Tori Amos describes the "glorious nightmare" of turning "The Light Princess" into a stage musical.  Thought some readers might be interested...  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19634833

  3. I am totally reading The Light Princess now. I have it on my Kindle (it's one of the free classics), but it was on the waiting list of books to get to. I'll have to read it next. :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. You all have so much fun, doing the most unlikely things.  I love it!  This reminds me of a road trip we took a few years ago in the fall to Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, IL -- where Abraham Lincoln is entombed.  I find cemeteries peaceful places to walk.  The history on the gravestones is often interesting to read.  Lincoln's tomb is a solemn place.  You're not allowed to even speak during the tour.  I was reading yesterday about the psychology of fear (i.e., death).  The more we talk about our fears, the less anxiety we feel.  So take that, vampires!

  5. Lucky boys! Great story. Those old cemeteries are such a treasure. There's one here, Wilmington NC, that is like walking through a story book--the yellow fever victims, Confederate and Union soldiers, The Brave German Sailor And His Loyal Dog (buried alongside), The Ship Captain's Daughter Who Died At Sea And Was Brought Home In A Cask of Brandy to Be Buried (or is it rum?). You don't get high romance in these new places with their plastic flowers. 

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