In the small country of Guyana on the Northern coast of South America, a 55-year old woman, Radika Singh, was beaten to death by inhabitants of the village of Bare Root. A couple of reports on this incident can be found here and here. She was believed to be an "Ol Higue," a vampire-like evil spirit, there were reports that she had bitten a baby. The family of the woman told reporters that she was a quiet woman who never bothered anyone, but had a mental breakdown a few years ago. The woman was encircled by villagers, beaten with a broom, and left to die by the road side. Apparently, she was then sprinkled with some kind of flammable material and set on fire, the grass around her body showed burn marks when she was found.
I find it hard to believe that people believe in this nonsense. But most disturbing is the cruel reaction of the villagers, and that nobody thought it necessary to step in and help this woman. A clear example how mass superstition kills people. There were, not remarkably under these tragic circumstances, reports that the woman did not retain a human form upon being burned, and that she turned into a hair ball, before turning back into human form. And to dispute the allegations that the woman was a vampire, her family insists that this is quite impossible because she was a properly baptized christian. Go figure.
It leaves me utterly speechless.