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Vampires: The Legends they are based on and Real Life Encounters



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 Americas

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.

Human Vampires

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.

If you enjoyed this article you may enjoy reading about the Banshee of Ireland or South America’s La Llorona.

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Crisis Apparitions




Can we communicate with our loved ones telepathically during times of crisis?

In the early 1800s, Pastor John Frederick Oberlin moved to the town of Bande-la-Roche, France, hoping to educate the residents and relieve them of their superstitions. In the end it was Oberlin who was educated, becoming convinced that the apparitions residents saw in times of crisis were real.

Pastor John Frederick Oberlin and the Crisis Apparitions of Bande-la-Roche

John Frederick Oberlin, a well-known pastor, teacher, and philanthropist from the 18th and 19th centuries, completely changed the way of life in the Bande-la-Roche valley in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace. When he arrived in the area, he didn’t like the superstitions of the locals, especially their stories about seeing their dying family members appearing to them in spirit form before their deaths. Despite his efforts to educate them and speak against these beliefs, the reports of such sightings continued.

A significant turning point in Oberlin’s attitude towards the apparitions occurred in 1806 when a devastating avalanche struck Rossberg, burying several villages in its wake. The aftermath of this catastrophic event was marked not only by the physical destruction but also by an increase in the number of villagers claiming to have witnessed visions of their deceased loved ones.

As these accounts multiplied, Oberlin, the steadfast clergyman, found himself grappling with a growing sense of doubt. The sheer volume of testimonies and the intensity of the experiences described by the locals led him to reconsider his earlier dismissal of the supernatural. The tragic circumstances surrounding the avalanche seemed to challenge his previously held orthodox views.

In the face of mounting evidence and the profound impact of the disaster on the community, Oberlin began to believe that the villagers were indeed be perceiving spirits of the departed.

What are Crisis Apparitions?

In most supernatural encounters, the spirits involved are usually belonging to people who have passed away. Sometimes, however, the spirit seen is belonging to someone still living. What does this mean?

One idea regarding crisis apparitions suggests that when a person dies, their soul is released from their body. This liberated soul can then move freely across space and time. The belief is that the individual’s soul might want to make a final visit to say goodbye or provide comfort to loved ones.

In some cases, crisis apparitions involve a person who is still alive. For instance, someone might hear the voice of a loved one delivering a message or warning during a vision. According to a theory, when a person is in physical pain or danger due to illness, they might unconsciously project psychic energy to their loved ones. This projection could happen without the person being aware of it, driven by the challenging situation they are facing.

This type of crisis apparition resembles visions of those who have passed away. As the energy is sent to the receiver, their brain interprets it as an image of the sender. Researchers believe that some individuals may be more sensitive to this energy, increasing their likelihood of having paranormal experiences.

Other Notable Examples of Crisis Apparitions

A woman having an out of body experience is seen by her husband who was hundreds of miles away

According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s book, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, (affiliate link) in 1863, a man named S. R. Wilmot and his sister, Eliza, sailed from England to New York. They faced a severe storm that lasted nine days. Wilmot, feeling seasick, stayed in his sleeping area for several days and nights. On the eighth night, after the storm eased, he dreamt that his wife, Mrs. Wilmot, visited him in a white nightgown, kissed and caressed him, and then left.

The next morning, William J. Tait, who shared quarters with Wilmot, mentioned seeing a lady visitor. Wilmot was surprised because Tait’s description matched exactly what he had dreamt. When asked, Eliza denied being the visitor.

Later, Mrs. Wilmot asked her husband about his dream, describing her own experience of going out during the storm, finding the ship, going to the stern, and entering the cabin. She hesitated at first when she saw Tait but eventually kissed and caressed Wilmot, just like in his dream. Mrs. Wilmot shared this vivid experience with her mother, insisting it felt too real to be just a dream and that she believed she had actually been on the ship.

A Man Sees His Wife’s Dying Sister-in-Law

“In the higher part of the door was a glass window, and I all at once, in the darkness, saw a face looking through that window. The face was very well known to me, though for the instant I did not associate it with the original, as she was 300 miles away. I instantly opened the door, found nobody there, and then searched the ivy with which the porch and house are covered. Finding nothing, and knowing it was impossible anyone could have got away. … I at once knew the face was that of a married sister-in-law of my wife’s. I told all our family of the circumstance directly I got home, and judge of our dismay when we had a letter to say she died at the very hour I saw her. Monday was the evening I saw the face, and on Wednesday, when we were at dinner, the letter came.”

W. Goodyear.

Apparitions of the Living Vol 1 p. 523

A Man Sees His Brother During a Near Death Experience

“It was either in 1874 or 1875. My brother was third mate on board one of Wigram’s large ships. I knew he was somewhere on the coast of Australia  …  I looked up, and, to my astonishment, saw my brother coming towards me from the outside door of the kitchen. … I noticed he was in his sailor uniform with a monkey jacket on, and the wet was shining on his jacket and cap. I exclaimed, ‘Miles, where have you come from?’ He answered in his natural ‘For God’s sake, don’t say I’m here.’ This was all over in a few seconds and as I jumped towards him he was gone. I was very much frightened, for I had really thought it was my brother himself; and it was only when he vanished that I realised it was only an appearance. … About three months afterwards my brother came home, and….I asked him in a casual manner if he had had any adventures, and he said, ‘I was nearly drowned at Melbourne.’ He then told me he was ashore without leave, and on returning to the ship, after midnight, he slipped off the gangway between the side of the ship and the dock. There was very little space, and if he had not been hauled up at once, he must have been drowned. He remembered thinking he was drowning, and then became unconscious. His absence without leave was not found out, so he escaped the punishment he expected. I then told him of how he had appeared to me, and I asked him the date. He was able to fix it exactly. … He had no recollection of thinking specially of me at the time, but he was much struck by the coincidence, and often referred to it. He did not like it, and often when he went away said, ‘Well, I hope I shan’t go dodging about as I did that time.”

Apparitions of the Living, Vol 2, p. 141

Billie Holiday Sees Her Mother at the Time She Died

Billie Holiday wrote in her memoir of a strange incident occurring at the time of her mother’s death. Her mom was very young when she had her, and they were close. In the middle of the book, Billie talks about a strange moment in a hotel room with her boyfriend after a show:

“I don’t believe in ghosts, but something weird happened that night… We were just sitting there when suddenly I felt my mother behind me, touching my shoulders. And I knew she was dead. I told Joe, ‘Mom just left, and she’s dead.’

‘You’re crazy,’ he said. ‘You must be losing it.’

‘Listen to me,’ I said, ‘you better be good to me because you’re all I’ve got now.’

Her mom wasn’t sick, and she was only 38, so nobody expected her to die. The next day, people acted strangely around Billie. She went up to the road manager and “told him Mama was dead and what time she died the night before…He blew his top, raised hell with everybody backstage. He swore somebody must have told me. But nobody had told me nothing.” The crew knew about Billie’s Mom but didn’t want her to know as it might impact her performance.

Knock Once for Yes Podcast covers the topic of Crisis Apparitions

Have you ever had a crisis apparition experience? Tell us about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this article you might also be interested in the phenomenon of paranormal apathy or twin telepathy.

Interested in Talking to Spirits? Try one of our paranormal communication apps!

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MacKenzie Family Omens




The MacKenzie family received various omens to warn them of death that was about to occur in the family.

In the early 1900s, the MacKenzie family line in Scotland experienced several different paranormal omens, warning them about deaths that would soon occur in the family.

These stories have been gathered from 1934 book “Family Ghosts and Ghostly Phenomena,” by Elliott O’Donnell.

The Prophecy of the Face

One evening, young Sylvia MacKenzie was alone in her small house, sitting in the living room. She heard a tapping sound at a window facing a small garden. When she looked, she saw a strange face with a long, narrow nose and no nose at all. The eyes were very pale, set at an angle, and far apart. The face seemed to be looking at her in a menacing way. As Sylvia stared, scared and unable to move, the face slowly disappeared. When her parents came home, she told them about the scary vision. They were really upset because, as they explained, their family believed this ghostly face showed up only when something bad was about to happen.

The next day, Sylvia’s brother Robert, who was in the Canadian forces during World War I (between 1914-1918), was killed on the Western front.

Miss MacKenzie and the Ghostly Arm

One morning, another, unamed member of the Mackenzie family went upstairs to get something from her bedroom. While leaving, she heard something fall behind her. When she turned around, she saw an old-fashioned silver candlestick on the floor next to the chest of drawers. Curious, she went to pick it up and noticed a “beautifully round” arm, from the elbow up, coming out of the wall beside the drawers. The skin was very white, and the hand had long, slender fingers and filbert nails, like a woman’s hand. As she watched, the arm slowly faded away and disappeared.

After it was gone, she remembered her family’s stories about a phantom omen—a strange hand seen only by family members that predicted death and misfortune. She worried that her vision foretold her mother’s death, who was very sick at that time. Fortunately, her mother recovered fully. A few days later, the family received news that a cousin had died tragically. It made the young woman wonder if her vision had predicted this sad event.

Mr MacKenzie and the Cold hand

One night, Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie were at a cinema in Glasgow. While watching the movie, Mr. MacKenzie suddenly felt a cold hand touch his cheek. Annoyed, he thought it was the people around him playing a prank. A little later, he felt the cold hand on the back of his own hand and got really scared. He knew his family believed in a ghostly hand that showed up before someone’s death. Unable to enjoy the movie, they left right away.

When they tried to sleep that night, Mr. MacKenzie felt someone moving in the room. He lit the gas to check, but the room was empty, and the door was locked. As he went back to bed, the cold hand touched his forehead. He grabbed the arm, describing it as soft and slender, and felt it up to the elbow where it suddenly disappeared. The next day, they got a telegram telling them that one of Mr. MacKenzie’s sisters had died during the night.

Here is another gripping ghost story recounted by Scotish author Elliot O’Donnell

Have you had any similar experiences with in your family? Tell us about it in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in other omen phenomena such as Our Lady of Fatima or Katherine Hobbs predicting her own death

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