Abhartach – Ireland’s Vampire

mormantul-lui-abhartach     Irish legend dubs Abhartach as an ancient ruler of a small kingdom from the 5th or 6th century.  During this time period in an area known as Glenuilin (glen of the eagle) comprised of several kingdoms with their own ruler.  This area has been well documented through history and many indications of their existence still remain in the country sides.

Abhartach was recorded as being dwarf like in nature but was revered as a powerful magician and a tyrant monarch.  Hated by his subjects, they plotted his demise.  Too fearful of his powerful magic to attempt the deed themselves they recruited a chieftain from a neighboring village named Cathrain to execute the task for them.

Happy to oblige, Cathrain quickly rose to the deed and Abhartach was murdered and buried, but not for long.  An angry Abhartach returned the next day demanding blood from each of his subjects to “sustain his vile corpse”.  Cathrain consulted with a druid priest and then returned to kill Abhartach again.  His task completed, he reburied the twice dead ruler.  Abhartach arose once, maddening with rage and demanded more blood from his subjects.  Baffled by his resurrection, Cathrain consulted with a Christian Saint instead of a druid.  The Priest told Cathrain that Abhartach was not completely dead, nor could he be killed because of his acquired powers.  Abhartach was now one of the marbh bheo (the walking dead) and would torment his people for eternity until he had been suspended.  The Priest instructed Cathrain to stab him in the heart with a sword made of Yew wood, burying him upside down and then to place thorns around his grave topping him with a large capstone.  Cathrain followed the instructions going one step further and building a leacht over the gravesite.

Today the leacht is gone but the capstone remnants of the capstone remain as a tree has grown from the thorns or the Yew hewn sword.  Around the roots of the tree grass will not grow and a ring of red soil surrounds the tree.  The ground is cursed and has changed owners many times throughout history.  Current occupants of the town will still not go near the tree after dark.

In 1997 several attempts were made to clear the land by new owners, upon every attempt to cut down the tree, the workers’ chainsaws would malfunction.  Eventually the tree surrendered and was removed from the site revealing the large stone surrounded by several smaller stones.  Several attempts were made to remove the stones resulting in the chain snapping and injuring several of the workers.  No further documentation is found.

 

 

Is the Malawi government harboring Vampires?

The people of Malawi are furious with their government as accusations mount, accusations of them colluding with and harboring Vampires.  The New York Times reported on December 24, 2002 that President Bakili Muluzi is accusing his opposition of propagating the rumors.  Malawi’s impoverished people have formed vigilante mobs and are attacking those suspected of collusion with Vampires.  One man was reported as having been stoned to death as he was suspected of aiding the Vampires just days before this article was published.  In the same week three roman catholic priests were also attacked as they were suspected to have been involved as well.

CNN reported on January, 11 2003 that Governor Eric Chiwaya, a member of the ruling United Democratic Front was stoned in the streets while the crowd chanted “vampire”.   Chiwaya reported from his hospital bed that the people suspect the government of colluding with vampires to collect human blood for international agencies, while it’s people starve in the streets.

Many of the southern villages have reported several attacks, mostly women and children.  Puncture wounds found on the victims’ arm or neck are the only remnants found at the scene.  The victims have no memory of what has happened to them and there have been no witnesses of anything more that dark figures vanishing into the mist.  The villagers have formed rotating patrols of twelve men armed with pick axes, clubs and knives.  The men patrol the villages and surrounding fields every night once the sun sets.  Attacks were being reported every few days and police refuse to investigate.

The panic has become so wide spread that fields are not being harvested, villages are not maintained and animals are not cared for.  The people are furious as the government is doing everything within their power to quiet any reports being made.  The Associated Press reported on January 23, 2003 that a radio journalist was arrested for interviewing a man that claims he was attacked.  Maganizo Mazeze was charged with broadcasting false news that could lead to public unrest.

Reports have become less frequent, but are ongoing……..

Jack the Ripper, case solved!

Jack the Ripper was supposedly a serial killer that terrorized the streets of London from 1888-1891.  Jack was successful in leaving behind one of the most notorious and still unsolved cases in history. I proposed a completely different scenario.

In the mid 19th century, England was experiencing a large influx of immigrants from the European regions.  During this time frame reports of vampire attacks and sightings were widespread in these regions, many cases having been documented by well-known officials began to circulate.  It stands to reason that a vampire would take advantage of the opportunity to flee to another region to avoid the increasing number of vampire hunts as they organized and scoured the regions.

The streets of London were crowded with undocumented immigrants.  Cheap labor forced many men into poverty and many women into prostitution.  Jack having a “taste” for female blood would roam the streets of the Whitechapel district in search of prostitutes leaving behind quite a mess for the officials to clean up.  Outrage grew in the slums of London as the Ripper eluded capture at every corner.  Authorities having very little to go on were dumbfounded as much by Jack’s ability to escape arrest as they were over the condition of the corpses once discovered.  All victims were slashed at the throat. Many were opened abdominally, with Jack sometimes removing select organs or limbs from the victim.  Never having been caught in the act suggests to me that the victims were entranced (suggesting that jack may have been an “Elder” vampire).  The only screams that brought witnesses to the murder scenes were not of the victim but of the poor suspecting soul that stumbled upon Jack’s aftermath.

With tension building in the streets, the Metropolitan Police sought out the assistance of the Scotland Yard investigators.  Meanwhile due to the dissatisfaction of the citizens over the lack of success of authorities, a group of citizens formed the Whitechapel vigilance committee, which began to scour the streets in search of Jack.

After having free reign over London’s east end for 3 years, I propose that Jack moved on to another area to avoid capture as the murders came to an end.  It is conceivable that Jack relocated to Croglin Grange, London as the case takes place from 1896 –1900.  The Croglin Grange case was said to have proven beyond a doubt that vampires do exist as the Vampire met his demise at the end of the tale.  The description of this vampire was that of a browned and mummified creature, which would suggest that he had not fed regularly for some time.  Having had to flee Whitechapel and re-establish himself into a new terrain could explain the lack of feeding.  The cemetery that the vampire had been tracked to revealed that every coffin of the deceased had been broken into with the exception of one.  When the vampires’ coffin was opened, the mummified corpse revealed a fresh gunshot wound on its’ thigh as it had been shot as it fled from his intended victim.  The bullet was removed and the vampire was burned to death, thus the end of jack the Ripper?

Sweeney Todd

In case you are not familiar with the tale, Sweeney Todd was a “fictional” character in a book titled A string of pearls published in 1846 in London.  His “Character” was that of a mad man barber who dispatches his customers by pulling a lever on his barber’s chair.  The victim falls backward through a trap door and into the basement below where they would meet their demise, either due to the initial fall or by Todd finishing them off later with his straight razor.  In some versions of the story the throat of the victim was cut prior to the fall, and in some others.  Todd had a partner, Mr. Lovett, which helps him to dispose of the bodies by baking them into meat pies and selling them on the streets of London.  There is however controversy on whether the story was or was not fictional.  I propose that it was based on fact as there are other similar “urban legends” that existed elsewhere for example:

A Barber/Wigmaker of the Rue de la Harpe in Paris was said to have done the exact same thing in 1824 based on the first hand account of the Parisian Chief of Police.

Gilbert Paul Jordon arrested 10/23/1987 Barber/serial killer, target: Native American female prostitutes.  Born 12/12/1931 released from prison 7/7/2006.

I span the occurrences for two reasons; 1. There were too many in between and, 2. To prove a point.

My thought pattern came from a conversation between my husband and I about the true meaning of the Barber’s Pole.  Let me fill you in, The Barber’s pole dates back to the 8th century in Europe.  In the Middle Ages the barber not only groomed his clients, but he was a surgeon as well.  Often performing another service, blood letting, the process of draining excess blood from a sick person to help them recover.  This is where the symbol was derived.  The patient would wrap his hand around a pole and squeeze until his veins would dilate the barber would then slit the patients wrist and the blood would flow down the pole and into a catch basin below.

Now, with the understanding of the Barber’s Pole symbolism, and countless records of murderous barbers throughout history and from every continent, I ask you:  What better place for a Vampire to have hidden in plain view for centuries?

Inherited traits of the Vampire

trait     Vampires, though undead, age and mature in a way much like mortals.  A human child is born, he learns how to sit, crawl, walk then run.  Just as the human child must learn how to function with their new found abilities, a new vampire must learn to adapt to their new life as an immortal.

A vampire from age 0 – 20:  A “New One” as referred to in the Adrian Triology, the vampire gains only the basic characteristics such as fangs, claws, night vision, enhanced speed, hearing and smell.  By the time the “New One” has mastered his newly found skills, he will develop new ones.

A vampire from age 20 -50:  A vampire in this age range is comparable to the toddler stage in the human race.  The human in his toddler stage has mastering speech and mobility, strengthening both mentally and physically.  The vampire is acquiring enhanced strength, stamina and agility along with the ability to hypnotize.

A vampire age 50 – 100 years:  At this stage the vampire is in his adolescence he is still mastering the skills from his “toddler” stage but he is also acquiring telepathic abilities and the requirement of feeding is not as frequent as it had been in the past 50 years.

A vampire age 100 – 250 is considered an adult.  Once again the vampire finds that he must feed less frequently and now by now has acquired the ability if flight.

Age 250 – 1000 years is considered middle aged.  The vampire will experience enhancements both physically and mentally, again with the ability to go longer between feedings.  The middle aged vampire can be exposed to a limited amount of sunlight and recover fully.

A vampire that is 1000 years old of more is considered an Ancient or “Elder”, also reference so in the “Adrian Trilogy”.  As a vampire ages 250+ years they continue to enhance both physically and mentally.  Their other abilities are mastered and their tolerance to exposure of sunlight will continue to strengthen.  An “Elder” vampire can go as long as several weeks without feeding.

 

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The bonding of blood

imagesCAVEN7GF  Drinking the blood of a Vampire has an entrancing effect.  For a human it creates a strong bond on the Vampire’s part, the effect is different for both parties.  For the human it will result in an overwhelming affection towards the vampire, but the results are not permanent.  For the bond to remain intact, the human must consume the vampire’s blood regularly, but best no drink from another as the initiating vampire will know and the act will infuriate him.  For a Vampire to share his blood with a human is considered a gift and for the human to drink from another is an insult to the Vampire.  The bond to the human for the Vampire is quite different.  The Vampire that has allowed a human to drink from him sees the human as “his”.  The bond will allow for him to know what the human is thinking at all times, allowing for him to protect them if endangered.  All Vampire blood is potent but the more elder the Vampire, the more potent his blood.

A Vampire that shares his blood with another Vampire is a rare find indeed.  The result of this bonding is different than when introduced to a human.  When a Vampire allows for his blood to be shared the receiver will inherit some of their knowledge and experiences.  The more often this occurs, the more knowledge and experiences are shared, thus as vampires see each others as competitors it is a rare act indeed for one to feed upon the other.  Upon this occasion it would signify a great trust between two immortals.

Different from the rest is the initial feeding during the process of being turned.  The new Vampire will inherit a strong bond with his maker, he will receive new abilities common to all turnings as well as an “affectionate” bond with his maker.  The maker will have the ability to summon and command the new vampire but as his maker he typically has only the best intentions for his “offspring” when having done so.  In the beginning the bond is stronger as the new vampire will require much guidance, but as the vampire ages the bond will weaken but will never go away.

The psychology of a new born Vampire

newbornContrary to common belief, Vampires do not adjust to their “birth”  immediately.  The “new born” Vampire will retain traces of  his mortal characteristics, for a short time.  The newly immortal will still hurt, love, hate, laugh and cry just as  humans, but those pesky mortal emotions do fade!  The new vampire. or “new one” as addressed in the “Adrian Trilogy” is aware of his transformation immediately, as the birth unveils things unknown and unseen by the human eye.   He will need several weeks to adjust to his new found knowledge and abilities, years are required before the Vampire will notice human emotions have all but diminished.  Most petty emotions are the first that begin to fade, emotions such as greed and jealousy are beneath the immortal.  The strongest of emotions such as love, anger, and rage may never fade, in fact, they possible intensify.  This is often a dilemma for the immortal as the emotion of love and/or the respect for the living can often conflict with the desire to feed.

Feeding is a necessary trait of all vampires, nearly an involuntary reflex as it can take many years for the new vampire to bridle his lust for blood.  For this reason, many new vampires withdraw from society quickly, most will turn to others of their kind for support and guidance, to find none.  The mature vampire is not sympathetic to others and view the new vampire as unworthy and a threat to their exposure.  Thus, if a new vampire does not have a maker that is willing to mentor him, he will find the world a very lonely place until he has come to terms with his new nature.

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Vampires…..

christian1        The word “Vampire” was not found in the English language until 1734, in a   book  titled “Travels of Three English Gentlemen”.  One of the most quoted paragraphs of the book is as follows:

‘The Vampyres, which come out of the graves in the night-time, rush upon people sleeping in their beds, suck out all their blood, and destroy them. They attack men, women, and children; sparing neither age nor sex. The people, attacked by them, complain of suffocation, and a great interception of spirits; after which, they soon expire. Some of them, being asked, at the point of death, what is the matter with them? say they suffer in the manner just related from people lately dead, or rather the spectres of those people; upon which, their bodies (from the description given of them, by the sick person,) being dug out of the graves, appear in all parts, as the nostrils, cheeks, breast, mouth, &c. turgid and full of blood. Their countenances are fresh and ruddy; and their nails, as well as hair, very much grown. And, though they have been much longer dead than many other bodies, which are perfectly putrified, notthe least mark of corruption is visible upon them. Those who are destroyed by them, after their death, become Vampyres; so that, to prevent so spreading an evil, it is found requisite to drive a stake through the dead body, from whence, on this occasion, the blood flows as if the person was alive. Sometimes the body is dug out of the grave, and burnt to ashes; upon which, all disturbances cease. The Hungarians call these spectre Pamgri, and the Servians, Vampyres; but the etymon or reason of these names is not known.’

In other cultures  the word can be traced back to 1047 A.D.  It can be found in a manuscript of the book of Psalms where a priest writes of a man whose name meant “Wicked Vampire”.  Predating the name “Vampire” Ancient Greeks, Pomans and Mesopotamians recorded blood sucking demons in texts before Christ walked the Earth.   These precursors of the modern day Vampire are depicted as creatures and spirits.  The modern day Vampire originates almost exclusively from the 18th century South-Eastern Europe, when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published.  The common belief was that the Vampire was a reanimated corpse that sucked the blood from their victims either from their neck or stomach. Voltaire wrote:

“These vampires were corpses, who went out of their graves at night to suck the blood of the living, either at their throats or stomachs, after which they returned to their cemeteries. The persons so sucked waned, grew pale, and fell into consumption; while the sucking corpses grew fat, got rosy, and enjoyed an excellent appetite. It was in Poland, Hungary, Silesia, Moravia, Austria, and Lorraine, that the dead made this good cheer.”

By the 19th century the Vampire had evolved into a more “mortal” appearance, only revealing the beast within when provoked.  Though not as attractive as the modern day vampire, They retained their youth through feeding on their victims.  The 19th century vampire fed indiscriminately having no concern of seducing their prey.

Today’s vampire has evolved to a sophisticated and beautiful creature, violent only when provoked.  The modern era Vampire has found a more open minded society where he is accepted and respected for what he is and represents.

 

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Some personal experiences of William of Newburgh

William of Newburgh wrote of many encounters with Revenants, What we now know as the vampire.  As a well respected historian of the 12th century Newburgh was often sent for to investigate paranormal activities.  One of his accounts of the undead happened in the English county of Buckinghamshire.  The tale is of a women’s recently deceased husband returning from the grave and laying on top of her at night, crushing her with his weight.  He continued to bother the woman for several nights until she had her brothers sit with her one night to ward him off.  The man then began to terrorize the other family members and neighbors for quite some time.  It wasn’t until countless complaints to the clergy the bishop Hugh of Lincoln, who would later be sainted by the church of England, sent a written absolution to be placed on the dead man’s corpse that the villagers would find peace.

Another account that was recorded by Newburgh was of that of a bishop that worked for a noblewoman near Melrose Abbey in Scotland.  The bishop preferred to spend his time on horseback, hunting with the hounds and ignored all of his religious duties during his life.  Shortly after the cleric’s death, he began appearing at Melrose Abbey but his attempts to enter were thwarted by the sanctity of the grounds.  Soon he would begin to appear in the chambers of the Noblewoman terrorizing her for many nights.  The horrified Noblewoman sought out the help of a high ranking monk to put an end to the corpse’s nightly terrors.  The monk stood gaurd over the grave until the corpse rose the next evening.  The corpse attacked the monk as he rose, the monk retaliated with a few swings of and axe.  The defeated corpse returned to his grave which opened up to receive him and then close around him.  The following day a group of monks returned to the grave to exhume the body and burn it.  When they recovered the body, they noticed with horror the slash marks of the axe and a growing pool of blood in the casket.

and so says William of Newburgh!

The Alnwick Castle Vampire

The Alnwick Castle was first mentioned in history books in the year 1096 but it’s vampire troubles did not begin until the 1200′s.  A prominent priest contacted William of Newburgh about the case of the Alnwick Vampire that plagued his Diocese.  If you will recall William of Newburgh investigated reports of vampires in the 1200′s and compiled a journal of his experiences and accounts.

Legend states that a vampire lived beneath the castle where he terrorized it’s inhabitants as well as surrounding villages for over 70 years.  The story begins as such:  There was an unnamed man from Yorkshire who lived a disreputable life, filled with crime, sin and ill repute.  The man was wanted by authorities but he hid within the Alnwick Castle where he had allies, enabling for him to maintain his lifestyle.  The man having resided within the castle for quite some time moved up the ranks and became a Lord, marrying a woman that also resided within the castle.  It was the perfect marriage.  Rumors began to circulate about his wife’s indiscretions.  One evening the man climbed onto the roof above his chambers and peered into the window below to see his wife in bed with another man.  Furious with the scene, the man faltered and fell through the roof injuring himself fatally.  As he lay dying the priest arrived for him to have his final confession but the man refused, uttering curses towards his wife he refused to repent his sins before he died.  The man was laid to rest in the church cemetery, but to no avail.  It was not long after the man returned from the grave and began to attack the surrounding villages leaving a trail of victims with slashed throats and gaping wrists.  The population began to dwindle, between the attacks of the vampire, plague and the remaining fleeing for fear of their lives, the town was nearly emptied.  One Palm Sunday the local priest assembled a group of devout residents and some prominent citizens who went to the cemetery where the man was buried to put an end to this vampire’s grip of terror.

The grave was dug up and the body exhumed.  When the coffin was open the corpse was found to appear fresh and preserved yet was bloated with fresh blood.  The corpse was beheaded and dragged out of town where it was burned then the ashes were reinterred into holy ground to prevent his return.  Up until this day, he has not returned.