Saturday, October 31, 2015

Real Halloween Monsters

Monsters are real, at least in the following allegedly true stories.

Petar Blagojevich - Vampire
Petar, a farmer in the Serbian village of Kisiljevo, died mysteriously in the year 1725. That was not surprising as most deaths in the 18th century were mysterious. He was buried with church honors and the villagers went back to their peasant lives. Three nights later Petar's son was shocked to discover his father rummaging the kitchen looking for food. The son fed the father who left without speaking.
The son told the villagers. Two nights later Petar returned but his son refused to feed him without an explanation for his being, you know, not dead. Visibly enraged but still wordless, Petar left. Again, the son reported the strange events to his neighbors. One day later, Petar's son was found dead. Over the course of the next week or so seven more villagers were found dead or dying. Many reported being visited by an angry Petar who grabbed them by the throat and choked them.

Terrified villages appealed to a local magistrate named Frombald. He and a priest exhumed Petar's grave. They found a corpse in excellent condition, apparently well fed. His eyes were open and appeared alive. There was fresh blood around his mouth. Most chilling, Petar appeared to be softly breathing. Panicked, they drove a stake into his heart which caused an explosion of fresh blood to flow. They then burned the corpse to ashes.

Fritz Haarmann - Vampire of Hannover
It's post World War I Germany. In 1924, people began discovering skulls and other body parts in and around the Leine River outside Hannover. In all, over 500 bits of human detritus were found, parts of at least 22 people. Police suspected Haarmann from the beginning, not just because of the toothbrush mustache that was common to German psychopaths of the era. When they searched his apartment they found the floor and walls covered in blood.

When Haarmann confessed he said he hadn't intended to kill anyone but that in "sexual ecstasy" he would bite them in the throat ripping out the larynx. After killing them, he would dismember them, remove their organs, strip off their flesh, and decapitate them; disposing of the remains in the forest by the river. Haarmann claimed to have killed ten boys and young men a year since the end of the Great War. He was convicted of killing 24 and, in a bit of macabre irony, was executed by beheading.

Gilles Garnier - Werewolf
The 16th century was the heyday for werewolf sightings in France and Germany. In 1573, children began disappearing near Dole, France. Authorities announced an open hunting season for werewolves. Gilles was spotted with a dead child and arrested. In court he confessed that, being recently married, he had been having trouble finding enough food. One night while hunting he had been approached by a demon who offered to turn him into a werewolf to aid his hunting. He said he killed and ate four children, bringing some of the flesh home to his wife. He was burned at the stake.

Felicia Felix-Mentor - Zombie
Not the lame, modern zombie horde but an actual Haitian Voodoo zombie. Felicia died and was buried in 1907. Twenty-nine years later she returned to home. Nothing is known about what happened to her because she could only babble unintelligibly. Her laugh was coldly soulless. She died shortly after returning.

According to scholars, a bokor, Voodoo priest, can make a zombie by drugging him with tetrodotoxin, simulating death.The bokor would dig up his victim who had been awake but paralyzed during the funeral and burial. The victim would thus believe he had died and been revived as a zombie. Additional drugs to suppress inhibitions and free will keep the victim a willing slave.

Buzz Kills
Skeptics will point out that Petar Blagojevich's vampire corpse was the result of normal putrefaction. Firtz Haarmann was simply a sexual sadist psychopath. Gilles Garnier was mentally ill and his confession was directed by the interrogation tactic of the day, torture. And Felicia Felix-Mentor was not a long lost beloved family member returned but simply a totally different mentally ill woman.

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