We’ve all familiar with vampires from the the sparkly vampires of the Twilight franchise to the more frightening variations like Nosferatu and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. What was the inspiration for these characters and have there been real life encounters with vampires?
Historical Legends of Vampires
Legends of vampires exist across the world with stories coming from almost every continent. The first reports of vampire-like creatures came out of the Persian empire. Pottery shards have been found depicting creatures attempting to drink blood from men.
The ancient cultures of Babylonia and Assyria had legends of a creature called Lilitu who has been connected to Lilith from Hebrew mythology. Lilitu was a demon who fed on the blood of babies.
These cultures had another vampire like creature called estries. These entities were female shapeshifting demons who lurked around villages at night looking to suck the blood of innocent victims.
Greco-Roman mythology has several entities who fit the description of vampires, feasting on the blood of humans under the cover of darkness, the Empusae, the Mormo, the Lamia and the Striges.
Empusa was the daughter of the goddess Hecate who feasted on blood by transforming into a young woman and seducing men before drinking their blood.
The Lamia sucked the blood of young children, preying on them while they slept at night. The striges were described as having the bodies of crows or other birds and feasted on the blood of both children and adults.
Another early legend that fits the label of a vampire is the story of the Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet and the ka.
According to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Egyptian goddess Sekhmet was known to have an insatiable taste for blood.
It wasn’t just Egyptian goddesses with this bloodlust however. The Ancient Egyptians believed that every person had an astral companion called the ka. The ka was said to be a spiritual double that lived on after an individual died but only if it had a place to live which is why the Egyptians took great care to preserve their bodies through mummification.
If the ka of dead individuals was not provided with adequate offerings it was said to leave the tomb and feast on the blood of humans to sustain itself.
Several parts of Africa have folklore featuring creatures with vampire-like abilities.
The Ashanti people of West Africa tell of the sharp toothed tree dwelling vampire called the asanbosam. The Ewe people have the legend of the adze, which shapeshifts into a firefly that hunts children.
Madagascar’s Betsileo people tell of the ramanga, a living vampire who eats the nail clippings and drinks the blood of nobles.
The Loogaroo is a legend of a vampire that is widespread through the Caribbean Islands and the southern United States.
Similar vampire-like creatures in the region are the Patasola of Colombian folklore, the Soucouyant and and the Tunda of Trinidad. Hanging Aloe vera behind or near a door was thought to ward off vampires according to South American folklore.
In the USA during the late 18th and 19th centuries belief in vampires was widespread, particularly on the East Coast. There are many reports of families digging up the remains of loved ones who had passed away in order to remove their hearts, which they believed prevented vampirism.
In the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia there are the Mandurugo, the Penanggalan and the Manananggal who are known for eating peoples organs and drinking their blood. In Vietnam vampires were known as ma cà rồng and like to feast on the blood of pregnant women in particular.
Vampire Sightings and Encounters
The Neplach’s Chronicle contains two of the earliest European reports of vampire activity. The writings mention a shepherd named Myslata from Blov the 1336. Myslata died and was buried soon after but he didn’t stay in his grave.
Every evening he was reportedly seen walking around, talking to other village people who were all incredibly frightened. Before long he started to kill the people they visit. It was said if he said someones name they would die within 8 days.
Several nearby villages decided to exhumate his body and burn it. While his body was burning it let out a loud scream. One of the villagers stabbed him in the heart with a stick and a large amount of blood flowed out of the wound. After the body was burned the visitations stopped and no one saw Myslata again.
The second case reportedly occurred in 1344. Neplach wrote about a woman from Levín who after dying being buried came back to life. She is said to have killed several people and danced on top of their bodies.
Her body was also exhumated and a stake was put through her, blood started pouring out of her body as if she she was still alive.
Even after this she was still attacking the villagers so they burnt her body using wood for the roof of the church to start the fire. However, the wood wouldn’t catch fire until they used pieces of the church roof to start it.
A report from Croatia from in 1672 described panic descending upon the villagers as they believed Jure Grando who died in 1656 had become a vampire. The villagers claimed Grando returned from the dead and began killing people and drinking their blood. The leader of the village ordered that the corpse be beheaded and a stake driven through it’s heart.
There are a number of humans who identify as vampires. Some just like the aesthetic and like to wear dark clothes and fangs. Others believe they genuinely need to drink blood to sustain themselves and do this by taking syringes of blood from consenting humans.
Fleshgait: Predatory Mimic in the Woods
A fleshgait is a creature that imitates the voices and appearances of people in the woods, with the intention of luring them away. People who have seen fleshgaits describe them as tall, thin, grey beings with long claws and no hair.
Description of a Fleshgait
Imagine a mysterious creature lurking in the depths of the woods, capable of mimicking human voices and appearances. Meet the fleshgait—a cunning trickster that entices unsuspecting wanderers. Witnesses who have encountered these eerie beings describe them as towering, slender figures, draped in a shroud of grey, with razor-sharp claws and an absence of hair.
Picture this: as you venture into the wilderness, unaware of the lurking danger, the fleshgait slinks in the shadows, perfecting its masquerade. With a supernatural ability to mimic the voices of both people and animals, it skillfully mimics the ones you hold dear, beckoning you deeper into its treacherous domain.
It is widely believed that fleshgaits are dangerous towards humans and often lure them deeper into the woods in order to harm or eat them. Some people also think that fleshgaits are connected to the Missing 411 disappearances, but there is no evidence to support this claim.
The powers of fleshgaits are not fully understood because nobody has witnessed their full capabilities. Based on reports, here are the commonly agreed-upon traits:
Voice Mimicking: Fleshgaits can imitate the voices of both humans and animals. They can only mimic voices and phrases they have heard before. Their calls can be captivating and difficult to resist, even when people know the voice is not from the person they are concerned about.
Super Speed: Fleshgaits are known for their unnaturally fast movement, often disappearing quickly into the woods.
Excessive Strength: Animals found torn apart in areas where fleshgaits are sighted suggest that these creatures possess tremendous strength.
While some reports suggest that fleshgaits can change their shape, not all reports mention this ability. Reports of shape-shifting fleshgaits occur frequently enough for many people to believe in their shape-shifting abilities.
The Lore Lodge covers the the legend of the Fleshgait
Angeles National Forest, California – Alex Reynolds, Sarah Mitchell, and David Thompson, had a heart-stopping encounter with a fleshgait almost ten years ago. Despite the scary moment, these brave explorers managed to come out of it without any harm.
On a sunny afternoon, specifically on July 21st, 2013, the trio set off on an exciting adventure deep into the breathtaking Angeles National Forest. Towering trees and stunning views provided the backdrop for an experience they would never forget.
As they went further into the wilderness, a strange feeling of unease settled over them. It felt like the forest was holding its breath, and they sensed something they couldn’t see. Curiosity pushed them forward, unaware of the terrifying encounter they were about to face.
In the heart of the forest, they heard a voice calling their names from all directions. Confused, they looked at each other, trying to figure out where the calls were coming from.
With fear gripping them, the hikers cautiously followed the enchanting yet unsettling voices. Suddenly, in a sunny spot, they saw the fleshgait appear. It was tall and slender, with eerie eyes that seemed to shine from another world. Its appearance matched what others had described—a tall and thin creature with pale skin that stood out against the green forest.
Surprisingly, the fleshgait showed no signs of wanting to harm them. Instead, it seemed curious and watched them with an enigmatic gaze. The hikers watched in both awe and fear, their hearts racing with a mix of emotions.
After a few intense moments, the creature vanished into the forest, disappearing quickly as if it were never there. The hikers were left bewildered but relieved that nothing bad had happened. They hurried back to civilization, eager to share their extraordinary story.
How to Know A Fleshgait is Near
Here are some signs that suggest that a Fleshgait may be nearby:
You hear someone calling your name, but it’s not the person you know. For example, a woman heard her “mother” calling for help in the woods, even though she knew her real mother was far away. Despite the strange voice, she felt a strong urge to follow it. Later, she heard chattering noises and realized something was wrong. She barely escaped.
Your group feels like it has more people than before. People often sense an “extra person” around them before a fleshgait attack.
You see claws wrapped around a tree or a very thin figure that doesn’t look human. Many people witness them with their hands wrapped around trees or standing nearby. Some even describe them as resembling the character Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
There are reports of animals being killed in unusual ways or strange disappearances happening nearby. This makes sense because fleshgaits are predators.
The forest suddenly becomes quiet and eerily still. This often means there’s a predator nearby and creates a feeling of panic in the woods.
Your “friend” starts acting strangely and doesn’t sound like themselves.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to trust your instincts and make a quick exit from the area.
How to Avoid a Fleshgait Attack
Fleshgaits are believed to be attracted to bright colors so it may be wise to wear more dull colors when adventuring in the woods.
Have you ever seen a Fleshgait? Tell us about it in the comments.
One of the Belmez Faces.
In 1971, strange stains in the shape of human faces started appearing on the kitchen floor of a house in Bélmez de La Moraleda, a little village in Andalusia, Spain.
The Story of the Bélmez Faces
Another Belmez Face
Back in August 1971, María Gómez Cámara noticed a weird stain forming on her kitchen floor. It soon transformed into a creepy face, and to her surprise, the stain seemed to move around.
María tried to remove it, but nothing worked. Her husband and son even tried destroying it with a pick-axe and re-cementing the floor, but it came back a week later, along with more faces.
News of the “house of faces” spread quickly, attracting many curious visitors who wanted to witness this mysterious phenomenon for themselves. Parapsychology experts arrived and considered it a great mystery. They even claimed to have recorded strange voices in the house.
A local urban legend began to spread claiming that skeletons were found buried under the floor during an investigation.
Eventually, a new floor was made, and people thought the faces were gone for good. However, just two weeks later, a different face started appearing, surprising everyone once again.
By Easter of 1972, a large number of people were visiting the house to witness the faces. The Pereira family continued to claim that new faces kept appearing for the next 30 years. These faces were of both men and women, and they varied in shapes, sizes, and expressions.
Investigations into the Belmez Faces
The main researchers involved in the Bélmez case were Hans Bender and Germán de Argumosa. They worked together in Bélmez and Freiburg in the early 1970s when the alleged phenomena began. Surprisingly, neither Bender nor de Argumosa published an official report on their findings.
Bender only mentioned the case briefly in his journal, Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie. He did make some references to the case in his lectures, particularly mentioning the sealing of certain areas of the floor where faces were forming, using transparent plastic material. He stated that slight changes in the faces’ appearance during this sealed period, as documented by a notary, supported their paranormal origin.
In 2014, a TV show called Cuarto Milenio, hosted by Iker Jiménez, conducted a technical analysis to investigate the possibility of a hoax related to the Bélmez faces. The research was carried out by José Javier Gracenea, a chemical engineering doctor and general manager of Medco, along with Luis Alamancos, a forensic criminalist who served as the chairman of Gabinete Pericial Inpeval and director of the Spanish Institute of Applied Criminalistics. Alamancos was later honored with the European Police Cross of Honor.
With the permission of the house owner, Gracenea collected samples from the faces and analyzed them. His conclusion was that the images “were not created with paint” and that there was no evidence of external manipulation or added elements based on scientific knowledge and analysis techniques.
Alamancos attempted to replicate similar images using various methods that had been considered valid in previous investigations, including concrete solvents, hydrochloric acid, and silver nitrate. However, he failed to reproduce the faces and concluded that he was utterly perplexed by the phenomenon.
Skepticism about the Belmez Faces
Super Horror Bro covers the Belmez Faces
According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell, the Bélmez Faces were intentionally fabricated, and he believes that the faces had a very unprofessional and amateurish appearance in their design.
Similarly, Brian Dunning from Skeptoid has written that investigations revealed the faces were actually painted onto the concrete floor, initially using paint and later with acid. Dunning also suggests that the woman residing in the house was involved in perpetrating a hoax on the public, potentially for financial gain.
In a journal article published in July 1993, Luis Ruiz-Noguez discussed the presence of three pigments commonly used in paint manufacturing: zinc, lead, and chromium. Based on this, Ruiz-Noguez suggested that the use of paint should be considered when it comes to the Bélmez faces, particularly with the suspicion of lead being involved. Here are the reasons he provided:
Lead was commonly used as a pigment for primary colors for a long time.
The analysis showed that the amount of chromium present was too low to be a likely option.
Lead tends to create dark and hard-to-see colorations, unlike chromium.
The most common and inexpensive primary colors are enamels that contain lead, which are widely used in homes because they are easy to apply.
However, Ruiz-Noguez also mentioned some objections to the hypothesis of paint being used based on the ICV (inorganic chemical values) samples. These objections include the fact that alkydalic-type enamels are not resistant to abrasion, paint leaves a visible film that is easily distinguishable from the surface it is applied on, and alkydalic enamels have low chemical tolerance to acids, alkalis, and detergents.
What do you think caused the faces to appear in Belmez? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about the Belmez Faces you might also be interested in other ghostly faces such as the SS Watertown Ghost Faces or faces appearing in an airplane oven on Flight 401.
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