The Vampires’ Crypt: Erie PA.

vampires crypt2         Meander down a modest tree lined path and through the Erie cemetery and you will see countless dated headstones and crypts.  The cemetery was founded in 1851 and is host to some of the areas’ most elite industrialists from the city’s past.  Amongst a number of mausoleums that are burrowed into the ridge is one that is known as the Vampires’ Crypt.

The crypt is not donned with elaborate features, in fact it is generic in nature but did not begin that way.  Above the darkened marble slab that blocks the entrance, hovers a lintel where a name was once inscribed but since has been deliberately chiseled away leaving only an insignia of flora in the form of a “V”.

The mausoleum is owned by Gertrude Brown, but there is no one by that name that lies within the dank enclosure.  The first body interred within was GW Goodrich who died November 14, 1884 but several others would soon join him, three of which had been exhumed from a nearby non-denominational cemetery and moved into the crypt.  Cemetery records show that over time there have been 7 individuals interred within the marble vault; some records include names and date of passing, but the records are incomplete, sketchy at best.  Thanks to geneological research performed by Jibril Ammon, we know that the majority of these occupants bore the last name of Goodrich, Gertrude Brown being one of the last heirs that outlived most of her family as most of the past inhabitants died young between 1870 and 1880.  With some inkling of who most of the inhabitants have been, there are two that remain un-named with no records.

The legend that surrounds the crypt also does not identify the occupant in question but states that within the vault lies the undead body of a true vampire.  It is said that the man had journeyed to Romania and upon his return to Erie, died shortly after of consumption; it was only a short time after his burial that strange and horrifying events began to occur.

Dead bodies were soon being discovered in the suburbs that surround the cemetery; Each of them possessed puncture wound on their necks and their bodies were drained of blood.  It was the maintenance man that lived on the grounds which discovered the evil creatures’ secret, in response the crypt was burned, the doors chained and the name above the opening violently removed for all time, but this is not where the legend ends.

Legends are persistent and we as mortals are curious!  Many attempts have been made to enter the crypt throughout the past decades, one successful attempt was made some time in the 1930’s by a young man that was determined to see who slumbered within the vault.   Armed with a chisel and crowbar the young man was able to enter the tomb, though the act took him most of the night, just before dawn he opened the tomb to find a a putrid stench to welcome him.  After composing himself of the foul odor, he entered the tomb to discover a rotten wooden coffin that scantly enclosed a dessicated corpse.  In order to have proof that he did indeed enter the tomb, the youth snatched a ring from it’s withered finger and fled the scene before the sun rose.  Immediately the boy ran to his best friends’ home, eager to share his conquest while providing proof of his mission having been completed.  The boy swore his friend to secrecy and then returned home to rest.  The second young man could not wait to share the story with his other friends and after school he and a group of other young men trekked to the first youths home in order to see the ring that he had claimed from the blood thirsty beast.  Upon their arrival they were met at his door by his Mother who explained that her son was asleep, but the boys insisted on speaking with him.  When she went to his room to tell him that he had visitors, she found her son dead.  His eyes stared blankly back at her, his mouth frozen in a horrified yet silent scream and his ring finger had been ripped from his hand.

After the event had been investigated, the crypt was again sealed and chains were placed on the opening to ensure that what evil lie within would remain, at least until the next, soon to follow attempt to enter the grave.

Several stories have arisen from the curious which have tampered with the crypt, one such is more recent than the first.

A group of teenagers organized a party outside of the crypt, after the story had been shared with the group one young man mocked the legend and climbed upon the marble vault in defiance of the creature that resided within.  Something happened while the boy was perched upon the roof, as it was dark, the remainder of the group could not see him but all of them heard his shriek before he tumbled to the ground.  Later that evening the boy was admitted into a local hospital.  Upon the boy waking, he immediately began to scream, alerting the nearby nurses that something was terribly wrong.  Before the nurses could reach his nearby room, the boy had climbed out onto the window ledge and leaped to his death to the pavement below, leaving both the hospital staff and his friends baffled over what had been so horrible that he would have jumped from the window to escape.

There are several other tales that have arisen concerning the Vampires’ Crypt deeming it as an icon worthy of visiting if you find yourself in the area!

 

Author Lyn Gibson's, "To Be His Soulmate"

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The Richmond Vampire

richmondvampire    There’s a vampire legend that arose from the rubble of a catastrophic historical event that occurred in Richmod Virginia.

October 2 1925 is a day that will live in infamy, the collapse of a railway tunnel near Church Hill has spawned a gory urban legend that endures to this day.

The railway tunnel had been previously closed but was re-opened by the Chesopeake and Ohio Railroad in an attempt to widen as the economy had demanded additional venues of moving freight.  Over 200 men died within the collapse, the train is still entombed within the rubble of the tunnel though it is said that only the conductor was exhumed, the remainder of the bodies were never found or recovered by rescue teams.

The details of what happened after the collapse are a bit chaotic, just as I’m sure the scene would have been.  At this time Richmond was a small town, the loss of 200 men would prove devastating.  Witnesses from the ghastly scene reported that a creature emerged from the remains.  The “creature” was in the form of a man; his face was badly disfigured, he had jagged teeth and flesh hung freely from his body.  The creature fled the scene and was said to have entered a tomb in the nearby Hollywood Cemetery that bore the name of William Waltham Pool who had died in 1922.  Some reports state that the creature had been known as Benjamin F. Mosby who was reportedly taken to Grace hospital where he would later succumb to his injuries.  Rescue workers that were on scene tell a different version of the story.

Having no equipment at their disposal, the rescuers dug into the tunnel with their bare hands.  One such group of workers dug into the western-most mouth of the tunnel.  They stumbled through the darkness to discover the form of a man crouched over one of the few recovered victims.   Obviously not one of the railway workers as his face and clothing were clean and he appeared unscathed with the exception of the blood that ran from his mouth.  The man stood and looked towards the rescue team as he wiped the blood from his face; the men were terrified as they saw that the man had fangs protruding from his mouth.  In a panic the creature sped past the rescue workers who in turn gave chase.  It is said that this is the creature that fled into the tomb of William Pool.  The team, reaching the entrance to the tomb directly behind the creature found that the door that the vampire had disappeared through had been locked.  The men made several attempts to break through the door but to no avail.  A plea to the cemetery management to open the tomb was denied on the spot.  The team had lost all hope of capturing the so titled “Richmond Vampire”.

The tomb had become quite the attraction, so many attempts had been made to enter the tomb that additional locks and security measures were called for.  In 2005 an interesting story was published in an online interview with Mr. Donald Toney, longtime grounds foreman of the Hollywood Cemetery.   Toney reported that the tomb is still frequented by vampire enthusiasts from abroad but that the tomb had never been breached by intruders.  Toney went further to say that upon occasion he had discovered broken wine glasses within the tomb, though the locks had not been tampered with.

 

Author Lyn Gibson's, "To Be His Soulmate"

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Vampire tactics used by U.S. Military

soldiers      It’s a fact, though a little known one, that “Vampire Tactics” were used by the

U.S. military during the times of war.  The offensive was master-minded by

Major General   Edward Lansdale during the Cold War and again later during the

Vietnam War.

Lansdale would prove to be one of the most highly respected and notorious CIA

operative in both conflicts.

Lansdales’ unique combination of genius and borderline insanity reached it’s peak while leading operations against Communist

Guerrillas in the Philippines after having been made aware of the legend of the Aswang.  The Aswang had the ability to blend into

the general population without being discovered, having immunity to sunlight made them impossible to detect.

Lansdale devised his plot once a Communist unit overtook a virtually impregnable position atop a hill in Luzon.  The offensive

was initiated when Lansdale disguised some of his men and sent them into the Communist ranks to spread rumors that the Aswang

had been awakened and were attacking villagers and soldiers alike.  Once the rumor had penetrated the war-hardened Communist

ranks, Lansdale began to organize actual Vampire attacks to further convince the enemy that they were being hunted by the blood-

thirsty creatures.

Lansdale painstakingly organized ambushes that mirrored the handy-work of the Aswang.   When enemy patrols were in the area,

Lansdale’s men would snatch the last man in formation, place two puncture wounds in his neck then hang him by his heels in order

to completely drain the body of blood.  The corpse would then be placed back on the trail used by enemy patrols in order to be

discovered on their return.  Though the tactics seemed far fetched, they proved quite effective.  The hill in Luzon was abandoned

soon after it’s occupation due to Lansdales strategy and the fierce legend of the Aswang.

 

Author Lyn Gibson's, "To Be His Soulmate"

 

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Vlad Tepes

sideshow__vlad_the_impaler_by_monk_art-d3jgc44    Everyone knows about Vlad Tepes aka: Vlad the Impaler, but there is more to his legacy than just a reputation of finding pleasure in torturing and killing…..

Romanian folklore claims that the nights that Vlad and his older brother Mircea III were born, the holy statues in the city bled from their eyes and mouths.  Perhaps a warning of things to come?  Who knows!  Though the reign of the Dracul Dynasty is found to be horrific to most, to the people of Romania, Vlad Tepes was a Savior.

Upon his death it was said that rumors of an “undead” Vlad Tepes began to circulate immediately.  Staff that worked and resided within the Castle Bran and the Bran Estates reported having seen Vlad walking around and near the properties at night.  After many years of continued aggravation of Vlad’s family insisting that he was dead, Vlad’s oldest son Mihnea, set out to put and end to it! Sometime between 1508-1510 Mihnea returned to the monastery in Snagov where his father’s remains were buried.  When he reached the monastery the Bucharest priests forbid him to open the grave, thus fueling the legend further.  The rumor amongst the Romanian people is that the Tepes family placed animal bones into the grave to give the appearance that Vlad was indeed dead.  To this day claims of having seen Vlad on the estate and castle grounds are quite common.

The suspicion of the undead amongst the Dracul Dynasty did not end with Vlad.  Though few of his successors were actually able to rule, many of them gained respected positions.  One of the more popular grandsons of Vlad, nicknamed Prince General the Violent was noted for his horrific tactics in battle.  He was married three times but had no offspring.  Prince Violent was said to have been killed in battle sometime in 1506 but no recordation has ever been found.

Another well respected heir of Vlad, known as Prince Craftuious the Wise, earned his title from many thwarted attempts to overthrow his Uncle Vlad from the throne.  Wounded badly by Vlad upon his final attempt to seize the throne, Prince Craftuious and his wife  and child disappeared.  It is unknown if Vlad banished them from Romania or if they fled, however no records exist of them after, death or otherwise.  Fearing for his throne, Vlad had sent all of his male heirs to live in Moldavia, an allied country.  The only three allowed to remain were his first son Mihnea, Vlad Dracul, his second son and their cousin Colviez (Prince Violent).

The last of the Dracul Dynasty to reign was Captain Radu the Bad Copelanvia is believed to have died shortly after taking the throne, but no record is found.  He was succeeded by his son Vladisov Carsoni the blood thirsty.  As made apparent by their earned names, most of the Dracul descendants were known to be vicious and blood thirsty, with the exception of the wives.  Six of the women that married into the family had committed suicide, to include the third wife of Vlad Tepes himself.

Vlad Tepes was the only member of his family that was praised as a ruler, the remainder were seen as evil men.  The Dracul’s were successful in escaping having their deaths properly recorded adding  fuel to the undead fire so to speak.  Vlad and his heirs were suspected to be concealed on the Castle and estate grounds for many generations.  Missing persons in the area and the carcasses of animals having been drained of their blood on or near the Bran grounds were evident of the their revelry in the eyes of the Romanians.  In an attempt to end these rumors, Prince Constatin Serban had all known graves of the Dracul descendant opened in April of 1654.  The results of his findings have never been made public.

Today in modern Romania, the tales are still circulating.  Visitors are warned to stay clear of the Bran and Vania forests lest they fall victim to one of the Dracul undead.  Though this is all quite speculative, (wink wink) The decision made by the Romanian Government to condemn the Bran estates due to plagued soil only gave new life to the rumors.  Perhaps it was an error in judgement that the Government stated the cause of the contamination to be due to the massive amounts of bones found on the property and surrounding area?

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Documentation of Vampires in ancient text

19625_Persian-_Ancient_Texts    One of the earliest forms of recorded evidence of the Vampire was found on a tablet at Ur dating back to 2000 b.c.e.  The Sumarian epic poem mentions Lilith. Lilith’s name appears in Gilgamesh and the Huluppu-Tree. So, who is Lilith?

    Some scholars claim that Lilith was the original mate to Adam.  Though the book of Genesis does not mention her by name, there are several indications, if read carefully that suggest that Eve was indeed not the first female created by God.  It is argued that because of her acts, Lilith was removed from the Bible.

It is said that The first man and woman were formed from the dust of the Earth by the hands of God, however within the same book of Genesis, It is contradicted by stating that Eve was formed from one of Adams ribs.

There are several other references to Lilith throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible that suggest further details of  her legacy though not mentioning her by name.  So what became of Lilith?  Many ancient writings suggest that Lilith saw herself as an equal to Adam, who was not of the same opinion.  Because she refused to serve Adam, she was banished from the Garden of Eden.  Lilith would found a new home by the Red Sea where she would later encounter those angel that had been cast down from Heaven.  Lilith was said to have bred with the fallen angels, resulting in the birth of enlightened beings with knowledge of the heavens and the earth as well as a thirst for blood, this race came to be known as the Nephillim; From this, she would claim the title “Queen of Darkness”.

Other respected ancient texts that mention the vampire are the Aggadah which refers to texts in the classical Rabbine literature of Judaism dating 1500-1200 A.D.

The writer Homer, in the 8th century relayed:  The undead are too insubstantial to be heard by the living and cannot communicate with them without drinking blood first.

Documents from the 12th century Inquisition refer to a group of institutions within the judicial system of the Roman Church which detailed several occurrences of encounters with vampires.

William of Newburgh – wrote in the 1190s, “It would not be easy to believe that the corpses of the dead should sally (I know not by what agency) from their graves, and should wander about to the terror or destruction of the living, and again return to the tomb, which of its own accord spontaneously opened to receive them, did not frequent examples, occurring in our own times, suffice to establish this fact, to the truth of which there is abundant testimony”.   Stories of revenants were very personal, always about a specific individual who had recently died.

Leo Allatius (also known as Leone Allacci) seventeenth-century Greek vampirologist, was possibly the first modern author to write a book on vampires.

After completing his studies, he returned to Chios as the assistant to the Roman Catholic Bishop Marco Giustiniani.  He later moved back to Italy to study medicine and rhetoric, and worked for many years at the Vatican library.

In 1645 he completed De Graecorum hodie quirundam opinationibus,in which he discussed many of the beliefs common to the people of Greece.  Allatius covered the Greek vampire traditions in great detail.  He described the Vrykolakas, the undecomposed corpse that has been taken over by a demon and noted the regulations of the Greek Church for the discernment and disposal of a Vrykolakas.  He then noted his own belief in the existence of vampires, which had occasionally been reported on Chios.

The list goes on and on, some of the most respected writings throughout history document encounters with the children of the night. Stay tuned to the blog, as we closer examine these, and other historic writings that document the existence of the Vampire.

 

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The Louisiana Fifollet

imagesCATC07ZE     Louisiana natives know well the Fifollet or Feu-follet is derived from the French Incubus/Succubus (Vampiric Demons known to feed on their victims while they slept, often having intercourse with their victims as they fed.)  Some legends state that the Fifollet  is the soul of an unbaptized child.  His appearance is ghostlike and he is said to hover above the warm swamp waters in the form of a glowing orb during dormant periods.

The Fifollet is said to be a soul that God has sent to do his penance, some legends state that the Fifollet  is the soul of an unbaptized child.   This Vampire is known to be a mischievous imp like creature that finds pleasure in tormenting the living.  His prey of choice, a young child.  Similar to the Succubus and Incubus, the Fifollet prefer to feed on their prey as they sleep.

Though many of their acts are menial and harmless, do not discount the Fifollet who is as vengeful and vicious as he is mischievous.

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The Loogaroo – A Caribbean Vampire Legend

The Loogaroo – A Caribbean Vampire Legend.

via The Loogaroo – A Caribbean Vampire Legend.

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