From witnessed accounts of vampire attacks to entire towns plagued by the undead, we count 5 real vampires that actually existed.
5. Auguste Delagrange
In 1912, the US state of Louisiana was gripped by fear after a bizarre spate of murders. The victims were all found dismembered in their own home but there was little to no blood present at the scene. After police efforts to catch the murderer proved futile, rumors began circulating that the culprit may actually be a vampire.
After several more bodies were discovered, the locals pleaded with Father Henry Jante, a local Catholic priest for help. Jante met with a local Voodoo priest by the name of Moses Amashan and together they decided to hunt the vampire.
The two holy men set about mapping the crimes. They discovered that the murders seemed to follow the train line, leading them to believe that the person they were looking for might be employed by the railway.
They began to monitor one particular station where they spotted a man neither had ever seen before. He was ghostly pale and appeared to have blood smeared on his clothing.
Here’s where the report gets even stranger. In an effort to learn the man’s identity, it was said that the priests hunted down and destroyed several minions who confirmed that the man, Auguste Delagrange, was indeed the head vampire they were looking for.
The next night the two men made their way to an isolated shack deep in the middle of the bayou. Delagrange was sleeping inside, presumed weak from lack of feeding. Jante took a wooden stake and drove it straight into the heart of the beast.
Jante claims that Delagrange didn’t make a sound, only opened his eyes wide and starred into the face of the priest before fading into Hell.
Auguste Delagrange was believed to have murdered more than 40 people before he was staked by the priest. Today, his skeleton can be seen on display at The Vampire Museum, located on the outskirts of the French Quarter in New Orleans. The above photo is of a small wooden box said to contain the vampire’s heart along with the wooden stake that killed him.
4. Arnold Paole
In 1726, a man named Arnold Paole was reported to have become a vampire in the small Serbian Town of Meduegna. According to reports compiled by several Austrian military doctors who were sent to investigate the case, Paole was said to have become a vampire after falling to his death from a hay wagon. The villagers said that Paole had often claimed that he had been plagued by a vampire in his former homeland but that he believed he had cured himself by eating soil from the vampire’s grave and smearing himself with its blood.
Shortly after Paole’s death, members of the village began claiming to have been attacked by him. In each case, the witnesses mysteriously died just days later. When the local military heard of what was happening they advised the villagers to open the suspected vampire’s grave and examine the corpse.
Despite being dead for 40 days, Paole’s body was still intact and his veins contained fluid blood. His hair and beard had continued to grow and their was fresh blood in his mouth and on his shirt. The villagers concluded that Paole was indeed a vampire and drove a steak into his heart. As they did so, he was said to have let out a frightful shriek, groaning and bleeding. The villagers burned the body and then steaked and burned the bodies of his four victims as well.
About five years later, another spate of mysterious deaths began to plague the area. The locals believed that the first to die, a woman named Miliza was to blame as she had once mentioned that she had eaten two sheep that had been killed by vampires. It was thought that those sheep were killed by the original vampire, Arnold Paole.
Locals began reporting that the deceased were attacking them in the middle of the night. One girl by the name of Stanoska, claimed she had been strangled in her sleep by a boy that had died 9 weeks prior. She passed away just 3 days later.
Households gathered together in the evenings. Some members standing watch while others slept. The locals complained to the military who sent an infectious disease specialist named Glaser to investigate. He found that many of the deceased showed no signs of decomposition and some even had fresh blood in their mouths. He compiled a report recommending that the authorities should pacify the population by fulfilling its request to “execute” the vampires.
Shortly after, a second commission consisting of 3 military surgeons, one of whom was doctor Johann Flückinger, as well as several other military officers were sent to investigate.
They too found that several of the older bodies had not decayed and that their chests and other organs were filled with fresh blood. The surgeons summarized their findings by stating that the bodies were indeed in ‘vampiric condition’.
The suspected vampires had their heads cut off and their bodies burned. The others were reburied in their graves.
The amazing thing about this case is that it was reported on by so many experts. The disease specialist, Glaser even sent the details of his findings to his father, also a doctor and a correspondent of a prominent Nuremberg journal. He wrote a letter to the journal detailing the case and the reports of both Glaser and Flückinger were reprinted in several articles.
Could this small Serbian town have actually been plagued by vampires? Or did all these experts somehow get their reports wrong? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
3. The Gorbals Vampire
In 1954, it was reported that a mysterious seven foot tall vampire with iron teeth was terrorizing the residents in the Gorbals district of Glasgow, Scotland. After the vampire was said to have killed 2 young boys in the area, hundreds of school children descended on the local cemetery.
Armed with knives and wooden stakes, the children searched the graveyard for the vampire. Even the police were powerless to stop the children who only left the cemetery after it began to rain heavily. They continued their search for the elusive vampire for the next two nights.
The story made headlines all around the world. Soon the whole country was in the grip of a full blown vampire panic.
Local parliamentarians believed that the source of the bizarre rumors could be traced back to a popular American comic book of the time. As a result, they championed the 1955 Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act which was eventually passed. The act, which still stands today prohibits comics that are believed to be harmful to children.
While it was never clear whether or not the children ever found the vampire, several of those who descended on the cemetery in 1954 can still recall the bizarre tale. One vampire hunter, Ronnie Sanderson said “I was there. I was in the graveyard when I was eight years old. I’ve been telling my wife about the vampire for years and she’s never believed me.”
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