I thought the author attempted to be very thorough in his investigation of the several incidents family members' corpses were dug up to see if they were "vampires". He interviewed descendents of family members when he could, local historians and other public record keepers, newspaper accounts during the times the incidents happened, etc. He explained about how consumption (tuberculosis) was at epidemic levels with almost whole families contracting the disease and wasting away. People often had good reason to distrust doctors, who had little actual training (especially in the late 1700's and early 1800's) and often did more harm than good when they really didn't know how to treat diseases. People relied instead on folk remedies passed down from older family members and others in the community. People did not refer to the dead as "vampires" - that term got applied to these stories much later, making people think of Count Dracula - but it wasn't like that. He also cites how news media like to make it seem more spooky and mysterious and supernatural than it actually was, to entertain people rather than investigate the facts. The author gives a lot of historical information to help you understand the social and geographic climate at the time. I think it's a good book and I highly recommend it.