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Exeter is a small, spread-out town in southwestern Rhode Island. Exeter is noted by folklorists as the site of one of the best documented examples of vampire exhumation: the Mercy Brown Vampire Incident of 1892.


Its population was 6,425 in 2010.


The town of Exeter was formed in 1742 from the western part of North Kingstown. The name Exeter is derived from the county town and cathedral city of Exeter in Devon, England.

After several cases of consumption (tuberculosis) occurred in the family of George and Mary Brown in Exeter in 1982, friends and neighbors believed that this was due to the influence of the undead. George Brown was persuaded to give permission to exhume several bodies of his family members in order to perform rituals to banish an undead manifestation. As superstition dictated, Mercy Brown's heart and liver were burned, and the ashes were mixed with water to create a tonic and was given to a sick person to drink, as an effort to resolve his illness and stop the influence of the undead. The young man died two months later. What remained of Mercy's body was buried in the cemetery of the Baptist Church in Exeter after being desecrated. The incident was part of the wider New England vampire panic.

Get in[edit]

Map of Exeter (Rhode Island)

The best way to get to Exeter is by car because the town is very spread out and no car rental locations are within Exeter.

Get around[edit]

A car is the best way to get around but it could be done with a bicycle.


  • Arcadia Management Area, Nooseneck Hill Road, +1 401-539-2356. Over 13,800 acres of fishing and hiking for family. Numerous dirt paths into Exeter woods. Historic land sites of Indians.
  • Oak Harbor Village Car Show. Over 100 classic cars line up on the lawn of Oak Harbor Village in support of a local cause. Cars range from the 30s to current day and everyone is welcome. It is free to attend but there is a place to donate and an 50/50 raffle. Classic rock is provided by a volunteer DJ. Every Monday at 5PM when the weather is warm.
  • RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Located on RT 2 in Exeter with over 265 acres dedicated to those who served makes a great day activity. Multiple sculptures are spread throughout each dedicated to a specific branch of the military. Many use at as place of exercise walking or running around. Just be wary of novice drivers as the quiet maze of roads offers an ideal area for new drivers seeking practice and is used often as such. Make sure to check out the back of the cemetery because some of the graves are from 1800s.
Mercy Brown's gravestone in the cemetery of the Baptist Church in Exeter
  • The Grave of Mercy Brown, 467 Ten Rod Rd. The graveyard of Chestnut Hill Baptists Church is home to the grave of Mercy Brown who died in 1892 and was an alleged vampire and the center of one of the most well well documented cases of the performance of rituals to banish an undead manifestation. The grave stands today as an attraction to many interested in vampire tales. Mercy Brown vampire incident (Q21214529) on Wikidata Mercy Brown vampire incident on Wikipedia
  • 1 The Ladd School, 162 Main St. At the turn of the twentieth century, institutions for the mentally and physically disabled began to dot the United States, separating them from the psychiatric population residing in the asylums. After the successes of the schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut, it was soon proposed that an institution should be built for the state of Rhode Island in the rural town of Exeter.
    The Rhode Island School for the Feeble Minded was founded in 1907 as a farm colony for the residents to work and learn, with Dr. Joseph Ladd as the superintendent. The patient population grew quickly, and in 1909 a dormitory was erected as the other was full; the new building would be for girls only. In 1917 the name of the facility changed to The Exeter School as the term "feeble-minded" (amongst many other medical terms) were becoming objectionable at the time. As the facility grew in size and population, funding became more scarce, and the school began to deteriorate into an overcrowded place to put the state's unwanted as many other state funded institutions did at the time. In the 1960s the facility had over 1,000 patients, and was re-named the Ladd Center in memory of its first superintendent.
    Although abandoned today, visitors are able to view the buildings from afar and wander the grounds. A great destination for paranormal sitings.
    The Ladd School (Q17060900) on Wikidata The Ladd School on Wikipedia


  • Exeter Country Club, 320 Ten Rod Rd, +1 401 295-8212. Exeter is an 18-hole public golf course with challenging tree-lined holes. Offering affordable rates for golfers wanting to experience a fun day at the links, Exeter will provide a fun time for all. Greens fees: M–Th $36, with cart: $53; F-Su and holidays $41, with cart: $58. 9-holes M–Th $22, F-Su before 7:30 $26.
  • Yawgoo Valley Ski Area Sports and Golf Course, 160 Yawgoo Valley Rd, +1 401 295-5366. Spend a day skiing or snow boarding. Rentals and lessons available with day passes and lift. During the summer the ski slope is turned into a small golf course for a quick game of golf. There is also a water park sporting three pools and two waterslides.


  • Oak Harbor Village, 567 South County Trail. RT 2 offers a variety of stores and little gift shops. A variety of places to eat and you can also take a quick lesson in martial arts. The village is continuing to expand so expect more stores every year.
  • Ocean State Harley Davidson Shop, 435 Nooseneck Hill Rd, +1 401 392-1162. Offers a complete shop for motorcycle parts and accessories. During the summer they host a variety of shows for those who enjoy Harley Davidsons.
  • Schartner's farm, 1 Arnold Pl, +1 401 294-2044. Founded in 1902 on 150 acres, Schartner’s farm offers a year round gift shop, produce department with freshly farm grown produce and a deli and cheese department, freshly baked goods, an independent line of jams and a nursery and green house. Schartner’s Farm has everything for the home yard and garden and year round seasonal activities including berry picking, corn mazes and hay rides.
  • 1 Wolfrock Wine and Spirits, 806 South County Trail, +1 401-294-4251. M-Th 9AM-9PM, Th-Sa 9AM-10PM, Su noon-6PM. A small liquor store with reasonable selection. Liquor prices standard for Rhode Island.


  • Celestial Café, +1 401-295-5559. 567 South County Trail, Exeter. 11AM-10PM. Reasonable to expensive menu prices. Casual to fine dining atmosphere. Reservations available.
  • Middle of Nowhere Diner, 222 Nooseneck Hill Rd, +1 401-397-8855. Breakfast and lunch diner. Great food, small-town, country atmosphere. Inexpensive.
  • Exeter Town Pizza Inc., +1 401-294-2393. South County Trail. 11AM-11PM. Small-town pizzeria with variety of pizza specials. Take-out and sit-in available. Inexpensive.
  • Effie Filippou's Twisted Pizza, 567 South County Trail, Suite 107, +1 401 294-9767. 9767 Greek style pizzas, calzones, wings, and more. Delivery, take-out and sit-in available. Relatively inexpensive.
  • Little Country Pizza, 349 Nooseneck Hill Rd, +1 401 397-2500. A small, family owned and run pizza shop well recognized for their fast, friendly service and great food. Casual seating indoors with an outdoor picnic area, LCP is a great place for the family or a group of friends to relax. Prices are cheap and a takeout menu is available.
  • Homestead Restaurant, 750 South County Trail, +1 401 294-7810. A casual, laid back restaurant good for individuals, couples or groups. Contains a fully stocked bar and a wide menu selection including quality seafood and fresh salads and vegetables with generous portions, all items are available for takeout. Waiting staff is very professional, service is prompt and prices are moderate.
  • Sophie's Coffee and Cafe, 699 South County Trail, +1 401 667-0603. Monday through Saturday 6-6 Sunday 7-5. A family owned and run Coffee shop and bakery brewing fresh coffee flavors made from the finest ingredients without any artificial syrups. Sophie’s serves a variety of food items including baked goods and breakfast sandwiches, cinnamon buns, bagels and other pastry made fresh in the kitchen every morning. For lunch, handmade pizza and deli lunch meat sandwiches are available and the many pies, éclairs and other deserts offered at Sophie’s are difficult to turn down.


  • Wawaloam Campground, 510 Gardiner Rd, West Kingston, +1 401 294-3039. Just outside of Exete. They offer camper essentials and tent spots available for nightly rent. During the summer they offer weekly activities geared towards the younger crowd. It has a mini-golf course, public swimming pool, a playground area for younger children, and a bathroom and shower house.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Exeter
ENDVoluntown ← becomes  W  E  HopkintonNewport

This city travel guide to Exeter is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.