2. Undead Dinner Guest
First published in 1746, the Treatise on the Apparitions of Spirits and on Vampires or Revenants of Hungary was and extensive investigation into the paranormal written by Benedictine monk, Antoine Augustin Calmet. The book covered all manner of the supernatural from angels, demons and ghosts to witchcraft and sorcery. The work analyzed accounts of the various topics from mythology and folklore as well as the Bible and historically documented accounts. It was divided into three tomes, the second of which contained 63 chapters, all dedicated to vampires and the undead.
One documented account was that of a soldier who, in 1730, was lodging at a peasant’s house in Hungary. The soldier claimed that he was sitting with the homeowner and his family for dinner when a man that he did not know entered the house and sat down. The soldier noticed that the home owner appeared to be fearful of the unknown dinner guest.
The next morning, the home owner was discovered dead. The family told the soldier that the strange man that sat at the table the night before was actually the father of the home owner who had been dead for more than 10 years.
The soldier informed his regiment and the army began to investigate.
The captain of the infantry, along with several officers and a surgeon interviewed members of the man’s family along with other residents of the village. The accounts matched those of the soldier and the father’s corpse was exhumed. They found that the father, although dead for more than 10 years still had the blood-flow of a living man. The captain ordered his head to be cut off and his remains re-buried in the tomb.
Some time later, the same captain received information that another man who had been dead for more than 30 years, returned to his family’s home on three separate occasions.
Each time he was said to have sucked the blood of one of the members of the house. Firstly, his brother, then son and finally a servant. All three men were reported to have died immediately after being attacked.
Once again, the man was suspected of being a vampire and his corpse was exhumed. Just like the previous case, the man’s body was found to have a living blood-flow despite the fact that he had been dead for more than 30 years. The captain ordered a large nail to be driven through the man’s temple and his corpse placed back into the grave.
1. The Highgate Vampire
This photo taken sometime between the late 1960’s and early 1970’s was captured in the Highgate Cemetery, London. The dark, robed figure in the center of the image is believed by many to be a ‘king vampire of the undead’, said to have been a Romanian nobleman bought to London by his devoted followers.
In 1970, sightings of the vampire grew. On Friday 13th, March, two men, Seán Manchester and David Farrant vowed to find and destroy the evil creature. The media reported the story and within 2 hours a mob of hunters from all over London began swarming over the locked gates of the cemetery to confront the beast.
Manchester claimed that he lead a group to one particular catacomb where they managed to climb inside through a hole in the roof. He said that they opened several coffins and placed garlic and holy water inside.
Some months later, the charred and headless corpse of a woman was found near the catacomb that Manchester said he had entered. Farrant was arrested soon after in the churchyard next to Highgate Cemetery carrying a crucifix and a wooden stake.
Shortly after Farrant was arrested, Manchester and his group returned to the cemetery. This time they forced open the doors to another family vault where they believed the coffin of the vampire had been moved to. Just as Manchester was about to stake the body inside, he was persuaded to leave the vault by several members of the group.
3 years later, Manchester claimed he again encountered the same corpse. This time is was in the cellar of an abandoned house in the Highgate area. Believing that it had to be the vampire he was searching for, he staked and burned the body.
While mysterious sightings are still reported at the Highgate Cemetery to this day, no one knows for sure if the ‘king vampire of the undead’ still lurks within the grounds.
Was this cemetery actually home to a real vampire? Was the beast destroyed or could it still lie waiting in a sinister slumber, soon to awake and take its next victim?