Reuters news service had a story about a “vampire” unearthed from a Venice plague grave.
The story goes, because folks in the 16th century didn’t understand the decomposition process, they thought the bodies — that sometimes got dug up when adding to mass graves — might be undead. Their evidence?
Hair and nails still growing (as surrounding tissues shrank)
Blood and other fluids from the mouth (as the innards expelled)
Strange noises (as bloating gases settled)
Shredded shroud clothes around the mouth (where mouth bacteria broke down the material)
Yeah. That’s all it takes to get a story started.
Because we are pattern-seeking primates, on the flimsiest of evidence, we will create a story — with characters, plot, conflict. Even an end.
The solution to the problem of plague-spreading vampires was apparently to fill their mouths with an inedible substance. In the case of the Venice Vampire, a brick.
But even a brick won’t stop the story.