The legend was well known throughout Germany in 16th century. The tale originates when a shoemaker committed suicide for reasons unknown on September 20, 1591. The family was shocked by his actions and as suicides brought shame to the entire family in these times, the family took desperate measures to cover up the fact that the shoemaker has sliced his own throat. The family told friends and family that the man had died from a stroke and took special measures to avoid visitations. An old woman was hired to work on the corpse in order to hide the shameful scars of his actions. Upon her success the priest and other family members were then allowed to view the corpse. Three days later he was given a proper funeral and burial.
Not long after his burial, rumors of his demise began to fill the streets. The family was fearful that the rumors would reach the ears of the city council which would surely have the body exhumed and reburied on unhallowed ground. With every confrontation the family would swear that the man had injured himself during the course of the stroke, and that’s where the scar on his neck had been derived from.
Though the family continued to deny the true cause of the shoemakers demise, reports began to circulate that the man had been seen on several occasions. Reports of attacks begin to arise, Men and women alike would report that they had been attacked by the shoemaker and would show visible wounds where the assailant had restrained them while he fed on them. Finally after reports began to accumulate for 8 months, the city council ordered the body of the shoemaker be exhumed.
On April 18, 1592 the body was dug up. When the coffin was opened; city officials made note of no decay. The body was not stiff, there was no obscene odor, in fact the body was quite plump though the self inflicted wound on his neck remained and in fact was gaping and red with fresh blood. The body remained unburied for quite some time and was guarded around the clock for the townspeople to quench their curiosity. Curiously, the attacks had not stopped. It was then decided that the corpse would be buried under the gallows. This only made the attacks intensify.
On May 7th the shoemakers’ body was exhumed again. This time the city council had his head, heart, arms and legs removed and burned. The ashes were them gathered, put into a burlap sack and thrown into the river. At this point the attacks were ended, at least until his wife died shortly after his demise.
Reports of attacks began to circulate once more. The wife was immediately exhumed and met with the same fate as her husband.
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.
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 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?
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?