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Bellatoni breathes life into local vampire lore

Rust-colored leaves swirled through the air and a dank rain sprinkled the mossy gravestones. A cloud of cackling blackbirds rose en masse from the trees into the slate-gray sky, and then alighted again on the bare branches. It was a set director's dream for a talk about vampires. Retired state archaeologist Nick Bellatoni had about 30 hardy listeners – the ones willing to brave a chilly November rain – in the palm of his hand as he spun tales of vampire belief among earlier generations of New England residents. His Nov. 1 walk in the Jewett City Cemetery, one of many Walktober events statewide, breathed life into the superstitions unearthed with a 19th-century coffin in...