Slenderman in the 1800s

The Internet seems to be abuzz about sightings of tall, thin men, garbed in all black, for the past few years. Such a creature has been dubbed ‘Slenderman’ and is the subject of many fictional short stories known as ‘Creepypasta’. While many simply dismiss claimed encounters as kids with overactive imaginations which are fueled by the mass of stories, there are some researchers who have taken a more serious look at possible encounters. There is a common theory that Slenderman is a thought form (for information about thought forms, click the link here)

One of the most interesting parts of the Slenderman enigma is that some have connected him to various stories and creatures throughout world mythology. One only needs to do a quick search and they would find a multitude of information on mythological creatures that Slenderman is similar to.

I am including two stories, both from the late 1800s, of creatures which seem like relatives of the Slenderman. Both are courteously provided through Albert Rosales’ extensive database, he can be found here.

Location. East Moorestown, New Jersey
Date: October 1885 Time: night

There were reported sightings of an apparitional figure by trainmen and others near the East Moorestown station. On one occasion startled members of a train crew thought they had hit someone walking along the track, only to find no trace of the ostensible victim. “Ignorant to this affair, Mrs. Cassidy, an intelligent lady of Moorestown, and her sister, walked over the track at this point a few nights after. She said yesterday, ‘We were walking slowly along, and I was never thinking of ghosts. I suddenly cast my eyes to the right and cried out: ‘Oh my! Look there. What is that?, and my blood stopped in my veins and I was paralyzed with fear, for right in front of me stood a tall, thin figure, dressed in black, with a crape veil over its face. It could not have come in that door there and must have been nearly seven feet tall. My sister said, “Oh that is some widow,’ but it suddenly whirled away with a whizzing noise like pheasants make when they rise and fly away. Then my sister was frightened and we both went down town. I met my brother and told him about it. He said we were cowards, but came back with us to the place we saw the ghost. It was quite light, as the moon was just breaking, through the clouds. “When we arrived at the place my brother saw it too, and started to run after it, but it suddenly vanished. It did not seem to have any feet, and though I don’t believe in ghost, it was the queerest looking thing I ever saw.”
Tom Cassidy, Louis Certain, Tom Morany and William Budd, four incredulous citizens concluded to ferret out the mystery and bravely face the foe. Friday night, after coming from their work on the railroad, they visited the haunted spot, determined to shoot the rascal who would penetrate such a humbug on the community. Tom Cassidy described their meeting with the ghost thus: “We were walking along the road, not thinking of the thing just then, when a tall, thin form, too large to be a man, stood in front of us. It was dressed in woman’s clothes and its face was craped. It wore something on its legs that looked like gum boots and its tall form swayed to and fro, like the boughs of trees when the wind blows through them, and made a similar noise. Louis Certain yelled out, “My God what is that ghost?” Then Bill Budd drew a revolver, and he ran a square following it. He could not get nearer than ten yards to it, and when he thought he was gaining on it, it suddenly disappeared in the woods. The strangest part of the affair was that the ghost ran along the sandy road and when we afterward examined the road not a track or trace of one could be found.” William Budd said, “I am a very fast runner, but I couldn’t keep up to that thing. I don’t believe it is human, for it does not run like a man. I wanted to fire at it when it ran away from me, but the other fellows told me not to shoot, and then when I was going to draw the infernal thing disappeared. I never did believe in ghosts but that is one.” One man said: “John Dargan’s horse saw it on the road, near Gillingham’s house, on Thursday night, and frightened at it. People say they cannot get a horse in Gilligham’s stable on account of it. Their house is empty and some think it stays there.” Isaac said he saw it come out of Gillingham’s yard and it looked like a man seven feet tall. He passed it and it disappeared, but he was certain it was not a human being.The ghost has been seen at various times by different people along the track, and all bear testimony to its great size, its somber appearance and the whizzing noise it makes as it sails along. Large crowds have congregated to see the mystery, but it generally appears when only three or four are present. Some of the citizens say that just two years ago a similar apparition clothed in white was seen at the same place. It manifested itself to a great many in the community and some think it but a reappearance of the old ghost, clothed in black.

Source: Jerome Clark IUR summer 2003

And here is another report, in which multiple creatures are seen:

Location. Fredrikstad, Norway
Date: late June 1881 Time: late evening

The witness lived in a house close to an old church in Fredrikstad and worked in western Fredrikstad and would return home in the evening; it was often quite late before returning home, as it was a long way to walk. Then one evening a few days after midsummer, he was sitting together with his wife next to the window eating a meal when they suddenly saw several completely black human-looking creatures standing outside the church gate, on the road that went past the church wall. He thought these figures were strange-looking and his wife thought the same, but thought no further on the matter at the time, as the road was usually well travelled by both driving and walking people. But their attention was attracted by these creature’s strange movements and appearance. They were all of equal height and very thin, a long smock hid their feet. They had small heads without any head-dress or gear and their arms were held straight forward on all of them which made it look like they had only one arm. They seemed to play and dance with each other, going back and forth, ‘compared to the movements of the northern lights on a winter’s light’. Stunned he asked his wife what kind of strange people were these, but she didn’t answer she just stared. Suddenly and in an instant they all disappeared at the same time appearing to walk directly into the church wall, the witness estimated that there must have been 10 to 12 figures. A few moments’ later three more appeared again on the road, making the same movements as the first ones, and disappeared on the same spot on the wall, and they never saw them again. It had been rather light outside and it happened relatively close to the witnesses so they were convinced that it had not been a trick of the light or confusion. The incident lasted about 10 minutes.

Source: Ole Jonny Braenne in Magonia exchange list, quoting “Spokelser” (Ghosts) 1913, pages 10-11

So what do you think? Tell me in the comments!

Interview With Albert Rosales

Albert Rosales is a long-time researcher of various paranormal phenomena, specifically humanoid encounters. He has cataloged literally thousands of encounters with human-like creatures. His task is a very daunting one and I highly respect him for his work.
1. What originally inspired you to research the paranormal? How long have you been doing such?
My own personal experiences, which I am including in a word file here, and I have been doing this since a young man back in the 70’s
2. You have cataloged tons of data regarding humanoid encounters, what made you want to take on such a big task?
Somebody has to do it? like they say..
3. In your classification of the reports, you center the organization on possible connections with UFOs. Why do you center the structure of reports you collect on UFOs?
Is not always the case, but indeed most humanoid reports are connected to UFO activity, as many appear to be the occupants of such craft.
4. Do you feel that there is a connection between UFOs and humanoids?
Like I stated before, not in EVERY case, definitely not.  A lot of humanoids appear or are encountered without any UFO present
5. What do you think some of these reports may be?
What they might be?  I have been doing this for years and I am still not sure about that one, extraterrestrial activity, other dimensions intermingling with ours?
6. Of all the cases you have investigated, what is, in your opinion, the most significant and why?
Personally I have investigated many local cases, but I have not investigated the majority of the cases in the summaries, other investigators have. Is impossible to say which case is the most important
7. Do you have any advice for anyone who may be starting within the subject of the unusual and unexplained?
My advice is, don’t think that you are going to solve this mystery in a month, a year or 10 years, you won’t, just record and catalog all cases.
Mr. Rosales’ extensive files and incredible work can be found at this website-

The UFO-Bigfoot Connection

There seems to be two different types of Bigfoot researcher. The first, and most common, is the researcher who feels that the creature is a physical animal. The second, widely considered to be among the “fringe”, are those who feel that Bigfoot is something less physical, something potentially spectral or alien. This post is about the second group. Those who feel this way are definitely the minority, often ridiculed or ignored. They are often dismissed along with the data they present.

Probably the best known researcher into this idea is Stan Gordon. I actually interviewed Stan earlier this year, the interview is here, on my blog. Stan has been researching the unusual and paranormal for over 50 years. One of the best pieces of evidence that supports Stan’s case is his documentation of the Bigfoot-UFO Pennsylvania Wave of 1973 and 1974.

The wave, like every mass of sightings, started slowly with some “normal” sightings, and the slowly build up into containing some of the most unusual encounters ever documented. You can find a complete documentation of the story in Stan’s book Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook. I won’t go over the entire story of the wave but I will briefly describe my favorite encounter.

The encounter took place on October 25, 1973 near Uniontown, PA. Around 9 at night, the witness and his wife saw a very large, red, glowing sphere in the sky, as they were driving home. When they reached their house, they found their family members watching the light. The witness decided to go to a neighbors to try and get a better look. He and two neighbors investigated further by heading to where the object had landed. The object was found in the middle of a field, now green and dome-shaped. As the three men are looking at the dome, two large, hairy ape-like figures are seen walking along the field’s fence. The beings then climb over the fence and start heading toward the dome. The witnesses start to fire with the guns they brought with them, but the creatures appeared unharmed. As soon and the gunfire began the dome disappears before their eyes. The beings began to walk away the other way. Later, the witnesses claimed they were sure that they hit the creatures with the gunfire.

The report above is only one of hundreds of related incidents. What do you guys think? Do you think that there might be a connection? Or is this all just a bunch of baloney? Tell me in the comments.


Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook by Stan Gordon

Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America by Loren Coleman

The Unidentified by Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman

Creatures of the Outer Edge by Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman


The Mothman, a huge black, birdlike thing that has been sighted around the world often. The Mothman is best known for its constant appearance around a small West Virginian town known as Point Pleasant. This lasted from November 1966 to December 1967.

The first encounter in Point Pleasant happened on November 15, 1966. Two couples, Steve & Mary Mallette and Roger & Linda Scarberry, were driving around a local abandoned munitions dump, dubbed the “TNT Area” by locals and was turned into a lover’s lane of sorts by local young couples. As they drove around, the group spotted two large, red eyes staring at them from a distance. They then noticed that the eyes were attached to a large, grey creature that Roger described as “shaped like a man, but bigger. Maybe six or seven feet tall. And it had big wings on its back.” They said it seemed to be waddling toward the door to the weapons plant, which was 10 feet or so away from the creature. They then drove as fast as they could away, but before they made it far, they saw either the same creature, or a different one but looked similar, was following the car and was keeping up with them. Mary also reported the creature making a sound similar to a “record played at high speed or the squeak of a mouse.”

The most popular idea as to the origin of the Mothman is that it’s extraterrestrial in origin. This idea was based off of the wealth of UFO sightings that accompanied the Mothman on its visit to Point Pleasant. Another popular idea was proposed by cryptozoologist Mark A. Hall. Hall suggested that the Mothman was a giant species of owl, unknown to science. He cleverly dubbed this owl as Bighoot. The creature has also been explained as a misidentification of the sand-hill crane, a six foot bird with a reddish head, a long neck, and scrawny body. Researchers have often shown witnesses pictures of the crane and none of the witnesses said that they could have mistaken the crane as the creature.


Encounters With Flying Humanoids by Ken Gerhard

The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel

Strange Creatures from Space and Time by John Keel


Fairies. The word seems to conjure up images of little winged females, often dressed in leaves. This image was popularized by Shakespeare, the 16th century poet and playwright. Fairies, in their folkloristic image, are much more interesting. The world of fairies is surprisingly complex and difficult to comprehend, but, in general terms, fairies are nature spirits.

The term fairy comes from the Latin word, fata, meaning fate. There are many different names and different spellings for fairies as well; fay, fey, fae, sidhe (pronounced shee), and elf. Fairies are sometimes claimed that they are only a European phenomenon, but actually, they are worldwide. The best known fairies are mostly from Ireland and Scotland, which gave rise to that misconception.

The Celts believed that fairies were nature spirits which were connected to a specific place or element of the world, (such as earth, forests, fire). Like many folkloric beliefs, fairies were Christianized in the Middle Ages. During this time, they went from mischievous nature spirits to being fallen angels cast down from heaven. It is thought that many superstitions were born from stories of pranks fairies had played on unsuspecting humans. Fairies were, and still are, used by various pagan beliefs to perform magic and carry rituals.

There are many types of fairies from all around the world. Leprechauns are probably the best known, they are small shoemakers who are often suspected of having gold hidden. Pixies are tiny female creatures with butterfly wings, the common image of the fairy. Goblins and hobgoblins are known as dark fairies, meaning they operate at night, they are ugly, cruel and stupid creatures.

There are some who theorize that fairies may be connected with modern day encounters with UFOs and “extraterrestrials”. The idea was first born in the book Passage to Magonia by Jacques Vallee, a well known ufologist and computer scientist. There are three common arguments for their connection. First, descriptions of fairies and aliens are very similar in behavior and appearance. Second, lights in the sky in ancient times meant fairies were abound, while lights in the sky now mean UFOs are abound. Third, and finally, both fairies and aliens “abduct” humans in order to study them, and those who are abducted seem to “lose time” (they had a quicker perception of time than what actually transpired).


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Unexplained by Jerome Clark

The Unidentified by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark

Mothman Festival

On September 19th & 20th, I attended the 14th annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. In this post, I was planning on going over some of the events and what the festival is.

The Mothman Festival was started 14 years ago by Jeff Wamsley, the curator of the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant. The idea of the festival is to celebrate the creature known as the Mothman, which is a superstar within cryptozoology.

Mothman was giant, dark, birdlike creature, about seven feet tall, and had huge, glowing red eyes. It was sighted in Point Pleasant from November of 1966 to December 1967. It is probably best known through the Richard Gere movie, Mothman Prophecies, based on the John Keel book by the same name.

The 14th Mothman Festival was a very worthwhile trip. The festival appears to be a mix of your average town festival with games, vendors, attractions, etcetera, and a paranormal conference. There were a variety of recognizable faces and names around and about the festival, such as Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Stan Gordon, Joedy Cook, Ken Gerhard, and Lyle Blackburn. There was also a large number of lectures being given by some of the authors and researchers. The topics of the lectures varies wildly, from Mothman comic-books to the afterlife to lizard-men to, of course, the Mothman.

The Festival was not the only attraction of interest in Point Pleasant, there was also an Ohio River Museum, the Mothman Museum, monuments for the Battle of Point Pleasant and the Silver Bridge, and a statue of the Mothman.

The festival has something for everyone–the paranormal, books, food, games, and even the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. I had a good time and am definitely going back next year.

Interview with Stan Gordon

Stan Gordon is a seasoned ufologist and cryptozoologist who has worked in the field since 1965. He has three books, The Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot CasebookReally Mysterious Pennsylvania, and Astonishing Encounters: Pennsylvania’s Unknown Creatures. He is widely considered to be the foremost authority on paranormal phenomena in Pennsylvania as well as the Kecksburg UFO crash. I met Stan over Labor Day weekend where he agreed to this interview, and again at the recent Mothman Festival, which I will be posting a summary and review of as my next post.

  1. What originally inspired you to research the paranormal? How long have you been doing this?

>I was a curious youngster who had an interest in science and electronics at an early age.  By coincidence my birthday is around Halloween. In 1959, on my 10th birthday, my parents gave me an AM radio as a gift. That evening as I tuned across the radio dial, some radio shows were discussing strange events such as ghosts and flying saucers. I listened to the discussions, and while intrigued I was also skeptical of some of what I was hearing. I wanted to learn more and began many trips to the Greensburg library to read what books they had on these topics. I continued my interest and research making scrap books from news stories that appeared on these subjects.  I was 16 years old in December of 1965, when a major UFO incident occurred in a rural community called Kecksburg, about 12 miles away from where I lived.

That night as the news was breaking from around the Pittsburgh area of the UFO incident, I began to take down notes. The next day as the story appeared in local newspapers, I began to call people in the area where the incident occurred to try to obtain more details. This year will mark 50 years of my investigation into the case.

That UFO incident still remains unsolved. I have been out in the field conducting first hand investigations in the UFO phenomena and many other areas of what would be described as paranormal. In the nearly 56 years that I have been conducting this research, I have still never seen a UFO or crossed paths with Bigfoot. The thousands of witnesses I have interviewed and the physical evidence that I have seen has convinced me, however, that there remain many mysteries in this world for which we have no answers.

  1. Of all the cases you have investigated, what is, in your opinion, the most significant and why?

>This is a tough question to answer as there are multitudes of UFO and Cryptid cases that I have investigated that are significant.  The case that stands out was an incident that occurred during the major UFO-Bigfoot wave of 1973. It is very involved and well documented, so I am just giving you a brief summary.  On the evening of October 25, 1973, I received a call from a state trooper from the Uniontown barracks in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He had returned from investigating a strange incident on a farm and felt that I should send a research team to that area immediately.

About 9 PM that evening, a number of local residents observed a barn sized red sphere hovering about 100 feet in sky and dropping towards the ground. Three people went up to the pasture to investigate. They were shocked to see about 250 feet away that the object was on the ground or hovering just above it. The object now looked to be a bright white dome shape about 100 feet or more in diameter. It illuminated the area and made a loud whining sound. About 75 feet away from the observers was a barbed wire fence. Along that fence were two huge hair covered creatures with very long arms walking in their direction.

As one man fired ammunition at the beasts with a 30.06 rifle, the object suddenly just vanished, and the creatures being hit with ammo just kept walking back towards the direction from which they came with no apparent effect. The state trooper who arrived within the hour to investigate, said the area where the object had been was glowing and the farm animals would not go near it. When my team arrived during the early morning hours to investigate, some strange events took place in that area. I explain the entire case in detail in my “Silent Invasion” book. It was the case that clearly indicated that the Bigfoot and UFO phenomena is much more complex than any of us were aware of.

  1. Are your files and research  concentrated simply to Pennsylvania, or have they branched out further?

>While I am interested in similar cases from surrounding states and what takes place elsewhere, my focus has been to document what has been taking place in Pennsylvania. The Keystone state has a long history of mysterious happenings, and these strange encounters continue to take place each year. This year has been very active with UFO, cryptid and other anomalistic incidents.

  1. Your second book, The Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook, focuses on a wave of sightings during the seventies where Bigfoot and UFO sightings seemed to be connected, do you have any theories as to what the connection might be based on the various encounters? Do you feel that all Bigfoot sightings are connected to UFOs?

>The “Silent Invasion” book details the many mysterious events that took place from 1973 into 1974 across Pennsylvania. I began investigating Bigfoot encounters in the late 1960s. I had always felt that the initial information we had indicated that these creatures seemed to be some type of unknown animal. During the wave of the early 1970s, residents were calling the police and my research team reporting many very strange events. Some patterns of the phenomena began to emerge from widespread locations.

Observers would report a UFO sighting in a certain area and within a short time, a Bigfoot encounter would take place there as well. Sometimes it would be the reverse, with a Bigfoot sighting taking place, then a UFO encounter would occur. Then there were cases where a UFO and Bigfoot were seen together at the same time and location.

Most UFO sightings historically reported have no association with a Bigfoot encounter. And most Bigfoot incidents aren’t associated with UFO activity. Such cases of Bigfoot with UFOs  have been reported not just from Pennsylvania, but from throughout the country and other parts of the world. As I have mentioned many times in my writings, I don’t have the answers if there is a direct connection between the two phenomena. The more you look into the UFO and cryptid fields, the more it is apparent that we are dealing with a very strange, and complex phenomena.

I am not suggesting that Bigfoot is an Alien life form and that it is an occupant of a spacecraft from another world. We don’t know for sure what UFOs really are. While many sightings are explainable, some remain unexplained. There are many theories for these objects including extraterrestrial spacecraft, time and interdimensional travelers, even unknown natural phenomena. I don’t have the answers, but I keep an open mind to all possibilities.

  1. You seem to, in your books, focus on cryptozoology and ufology, what are your thoughts, if you have any, on some other paranormal subjects, such as ghosts, poltergeists, psychic abilities, fairies, the Bermuda Triangle, werewolves, or  witchcraft?

>During many years of research I had an interest in all types of anomalistic events including most of the topics you have mentioned.  In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was involved with cases of alleged haunted houses and ghosts. I interviewed many people who claimed to have ESP experiences. I have looked into many types of strange creature and mysterious being encounters including claims of fairies and werewolves, and discussed in my new book, “Astonishing Encounters: Pennsylvania’s Unknown Creatures.”

  1. Do you have any advice for anyone who may be starting within the subject of the unusual and unexplained?

>Don’t believe everything that you read and see on the internet. Keep an open mind when researching such cases, but be objective and look for sources that might explain what took place. Associate with trained research professionals such as scientists and engineers, and utilize their expertise when evaluating mysterious claims.

All three of Stan’s books are highly recommended. He can be found at,


Pop culture seems to be endlessly fascinated with the “big three” of horror, werewolves, vampires, and zombies. I am doing a three-post series which will go over the occult roots of each and the modern day encounters with the various creatures of darkness. For my final post in the series, I am examining zombies.

Everyone is familiar with zombies, the undead terrors that have limped their way into becoming a pop culture sensation. They seem to be everywhere–television, comics, movies, books. It seems that nearly everyone has become obsessed with the living dead. Many people associate the word “zombie” with a rotting corpse which, for one reason or another, has risen from the grave in search of human flesh to consume. The modern idea of the zombie is not the same being as the ancient idea of the zombie.

The zombie originates from the religion of Vodun, more commonly known as voodoo. A zombies, in the Vodun concept, is a corpse given life by a sorcerer, known as a bokor. The zombie the is a slave to the bokor, having no will of its own. Some who have investigated this have come to the conclusion that these “zombies” are simply people who were poisoned and as a result were severely brain damaged and are then used as slaves.

The idea of a zombie, as we now think of it, is closer to the Arabic idea of a ghoul. Ghouls were considered to be the dead, risen from the dead with a hunger for human flesh. They are said to dwell in graveyards and ruins, and prey on those who travel near their dwelling. Ghouls are also similar to ancient concepts of vampires and the djinn.

There are similar creatures throughout the world, the most notable is the Chiang-Shih. Also known as the ‘hopping corpse,’ the Chiang-Shih is a reanimated body of a person whose soul did not leave after death. They are known as the hopping corpse because they cannot walk properly, therefore they must move in a hopping fashion. The Chiang-Shih only begin unable to walk, their body is said to go through a process of transformation after reanimation, their hair turns white and their skin turns a glowing green. Once this transformation is complete, they gain super strength, the ability to fly, and are able to shapeshift into a wolf.

Zombies are a complicated and diverse subject, what are your thoughts on it? Tell me in the comments.


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Paranormal by Nathan Robert Brown

The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

A Brief Guide to the Supernatural by Dr. Leo Ruickbie

The Directory of Possibilities edited by Colin WIlson

The Mammoth Encyclopedia of the Unsolved by Colin and Damon Wilson


Pop culture seems to be endlessly fascinated with the “big three” of horror, werewolves, vampires, and zombies. I am doing a three-post series which will go over the occult roots of each and the modern day encounters with the various creatures of darkness. My second post will be on vampires.

Often the word vampire conjures images of pale, aristocratic men, with bright red lips, slick black hair and shiny white teeth with two long fangs. In modern pop culture, vampires have lately been portrayed as tortured anti-heroes that secretly want to be loved. In mythology and folklore, true vampires are spirits or demons that inhabit the bodies of the dead and use them to consume blood of the living, and they don’t want to be loved. Vampires originate from Europe but there are blood-craving creatures in nearly every culture on Earth.

Contrary to popular belief, vampires did not live in giant castles above a town of people terrified being attacked, vampires actually remained in the graves of the deceased and rose at night to shamble around and attack weary travelers. Vampires do not have a weakness to Christian religious symbols or holy water, these ideas were created by the Catholic church to strengthen belief in the church and make it appear that they could protect you from anything. Garlic is also useless against vampires, this idea was created through the idea that certain demons could be repelled using garlic. Vampires actually resembled modern ideas of zombies more than what we think of when we imagine a vampire, shambling, lifeless, unintelligent creatures whose only purpose is to consume blood. Vampires are, as commonly thought, killed by a stake to the heart or by burning the body. It is disputed whether or not sunlight actually kills them or not.

The modern image is obviously derived from the Count Dracula from Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula. The ideas of the various vampiric powers, super strength, flight, super speed, shapeshifting into animals, super hearing, etc. all come from the book. Although the common image of vampires comes from Dracula, there have been changes as time goes on. The most glaring example of this is the vampires from the book and movie series Twilight, they appear to sparkle when in sunlight.

Probably the most interesting aspect of modern vampires is the vampire subculture. There are groups, primarily around the United States but in other countries as well, where people identify with the idea of the vampire. They dress as vampires, some of them drink blood because they believe that it is vital to their well being, and some even perform rituals that they claim make them immortal. The media has wildly misrepresented the people who are involved, they do not take blood from others unless the person specifically donates it to them. They do not, for the most part, truly believe they are vampires. Other than those who drink blood, some involved are what are termed as psychic vampires. Psychic vampires apparently drain the life energies from other people, many unknowingly. Psychic vampires seem to take up the majority of the subculture.


The Vampire Book by J. Gordon Melton

Vampires in Their Own Words by Michelle Belanger

The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits by Rosemary Ellen Guiley


Pop culture seems to be endlessly fascinated with the “big three” of horror, werewolves, vampires, and zombies. I am starting a three-post series which will go over the occult roots of each and the modern day encounters with the various creatures of darkness. I’m starting with werewolves.

Werewolves, the man-wolf creatures of the night, said to terrorize townspeople and consume children and sheep. Werewolves are considered to be a strictly European notion, but most cultures around the world have some concept of people transforming into animals, in the Southern United States it’s the skinwalkers, in Japan, the kitsune, and in Mesoamerica, the nagual. Stories of these shapeshifting creatures are abundant, and many continue today.

The official term for shapeshifting into a wolf is lycanthropy. Many attribute legend of werewolves to people who had the mental disorder known as Clinical Lycanthropy, a form of psychosis in which one believes themselves to be a wolf or half-wolf.

Probably the best known tale of a werewolf are the stories of the Beast of Gevaudan. Gevaudan was the name for a mountainous region in the southern part of 18th century France. The Beast showed up in June of 1764 and terrorized the small town for three years. It killed women, children, livestock–anything it could. Eventually, nearly all of France had heard of the beast, and the king sent soldiers down to kill the creature. The soldiers succeeded in killing the beast and tried to bring it back to the king but because of decay and stench they buried it in an unknown location. Many speculate that the creature was just a hyena or an oversized wolf, but there are some who still call it a werewolf.

There is an abundance of modern werewolf sightings, not just in Europe, but in America as well. Researcher Linda S. Godfrey is the recognized expert on modern werewolf sightings and has a nearly complete list of modern American encounters. She has noticed, like many cryptids, there seems to be a correlation between sighting locations and the locations of both sacred sites and military bases. Godfrey speculated that this could be because the man-wolves are protection spirits from Native American mythology. Godfrey prefers to call these creatures Dogmen or Upright-Candids, because some encounters seem to attribute a more dog-like appearance to the creatures than wolf-like. Many researchers also feel that the Dogmen are most supernatural than natural, due to the nature of many encounters. Nearly everyone agrees, though, that werewolves aren’t truly men transforming into wolves.


Real Wolfmen by Linda S. Godfrey

Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology by Michael Newton

Encyclopedia of Occultism by Lewis Spence

American Monsters by Linda S. Godfrey