“Nachtmahr” (“Night-mare”), by Johann Heinrich Füssli (1802), depicts an Alp sitting on the chest of a sleeping woman. Image: Wikipedia
The Alp of German folklore is a nefarious entity that haunts the nightmares and drains the life force of its unsuspecting victims.
What is the Alp?
In the vast realm of German folklore, the “Alp” emerges as one of the most nightmarish creatures to haunt the sleep of mortals. Also known as the “Mara” or “Nachtmahr,” the Alp is a malevolent supernatural entity that preys on unsuspecting victims during the twilight hours. Described as a shapeshifter, the Alp has the ability to instil fear and anxiety, often leaving its victims in a state of sleep paralysis.
Physically, the Alp is depicted as a humanoid creature with a haggard appearance. Standing at the height of an average adult, its thin, elongated body is adorned in tattered black clothing, blending seamlessly with the darkness of the night.
Its pale skin complements its long, unkempt hair which cascades down to its shoulders. The Alp’s face is the stuff of nightmares, featuring a menacing grin revealing razor-sharp teeth, complemented by sunken, piercing eyes that exude malevolence.
The Alp possesses the iniquitous ability to enter the dreams of its victims, exploiting their subconscious fears and deepest anxieties. Unlike other supernatural beings, the Alp does not feed on the dreams themselves but rather derives pleasure from watching its victims suffer. Once within a dream, the Alp ruthlessly torments its prey, invading their thoughts with horrifying visions and manipulating their surroundings, amplifying their worst nightmares to unbearable levels.
Yet, the most horrifying aspect of encountering an Alp lies in the paralysis it imposes on its victims. Known as “Alpdruck” or “elf pressure,” sleep paralysis induced by the Alp is exceptionally distressing. The victim awakens to find themselves trapped, unable to move, speak, or even scream for help, while an overwhelming sense of impending doom closes in on them. They often observe the Alp perched dangerously close, suffocating them with a disturbing sensation of pressure on their chest, making breathing seemingly impossible.
Strangely, the Alp always seems to be wearing a hat. The hat is called a Tarnkappe, which translates as ’cap of concealment’. The hat can still be seen even if the Alp changes its shape. If the Alp loses the hat, it will reward anyone who returns it. The Alp also has an “evil eye” that can make people sick or unlucky. If you remove or harm the evil eye, the Alp will stop wanting to harm you.
The Alp and the Hat Man
The German Alp bears a striking resemblance to the Hat Man. The Hatman is an entity that has been reported across different cultures and has gained significant attention online. This entity, as its name suggests, is usually seen wearing a hat, commonly described as a Fedora or a wide-brimmed hat. It is often described as a tall figure with red, glowing eyes, emanating an aura of malevolence.
Like the Alp, the Hatman is often seen while in a state of sleep paralysis. Recreational Benadryl users often report seeing the Hatman during their trips.
Despite their cultural differences, the German Alp and the Hatman share some similarities that can send shivers down one’s spine. Both entities have the ability to induce fear, creating an intense feeling of dread and discomfort for their victims. They often choose to manifest in the darkness of night, adding an element of helplessness and vulnerability to their encounters. Witnesses commonly report a paralyzing sensation and a sense of being watched or controlled by these entities. These shared characteristics contribute to the fear and notoriety both the Alp and the Hatman have garnered over time.
Could it be that the Hatman and the german Alp are one and the same?
How to Ward off the Alp
Extra History covers the legend of the Alp
If you want to keep the Alp away from you, there are a few simple actions you can take. First and foremost, it’s important to keep a tidy and organized sleeping area. The Alp is said to be attracted to chaos and messiness, so keeping your bedroom clean and clutter-free may help deter it.
Another way to ward off the Alp is by placing a broom or a besom beneath your pillow. According to the old wives tales, the Alp fears brooms and will stay away from them. This simple action might create a sense of protection and peace while you sleep.
Some Germans recommend with a bowl of salt, specifically rock salt, near your bed. This is because the Alp is said to have an aversion to salt and may be repelled by its presence. Placing the bowl of salt near your bedside may create a protective barrier, preventing the Alp from disturbing your sleep.
Some folklore suggests that you can avoid the Alp by sleeping on your stomach. It is believed that the creature struggles to torment those lying in this position. So, if you find yourself bothered by the Alp, try changing your sleep position to see if it makes a difference.
Have you ever had an encounter with the Alp or any other sleep paralysis demon? Tell us about it in the comments!
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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