Saturday, October 30, 2010


   Almost every culture in the world has its own vampire legend, and some date back thousands of years.  Today, we are most familiar with Count Dracula and other folklore from Eastern Europe.  Do you want to learn more?  Here is a list of 13 juicy trivia facts to get your blood pumping with Halloween just about a day away.

  1.  Was the first vampire a woman?  The oldest known vampire legends come from Babylonian and Sumerian mythology.  Female demons called the Lilu were said to hunt women and children at night, and drink their blood.
  2. Vlad III Tepes, also known as Vlad Dracul, was known for his incredible cruelty, he was alleged to have killed up to 30,000 people at one time!  His blood thirsty reputation inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula.
  3. The National Retail Federation listed "Vampire" as the second most popular adult Halloween costume in 2005.  Vampires were the sixteenth most popular children's costume for the same year.
  4. While modern pop culture usually portrays vampires as sensual and romantic, other countries don't see them that way, the Ghanan Asasabonsam vampire has iron teeth and hooks for feet-which they use to  drop from treetops onto unsuspecting victims.
  5. Some believe that Cain was the first vampire, cursed by God for slaying his brother, Abel.  This theory is frequently found in popular films and games.
  6. In 1992, Francis Ford Coppola's "Dracula" movie won seven awards, including three Oscars.
  7. Stakes, fire and sunlight aren't the only ways to kill a vampire.  Other cultures recommend beheading a vampire, boiling it in vinegar, pounding a nail through its navel, or scattering birdseed on its tomb.
  8. In Latin American folklore, El Chupacabras is a supernatural creature that drinks the blood of animals-usually chickens and goats.
  9. According to popular tradition, vampires can shape-shift into wolves, bats, or clouds of mist. (sometimes they can even change into a blood orange also!)
  10. In March 2007, self-proclaimed vampire hunters entered the tomb of Siobodan Milosevic and staked his body through the heart.
  11. The medical conditions porphyria,  has been blamed for may reports of vampirism, its victims develop pale skin, sensitivity to sunlight, receding gums which make their teeth appear larger, and sever anemia-the cure for which, in ages past, might have included drinking animals' blood.
  12. In the 17th Century, Countess Bathory of Hungary was said to bathe in human blood in order to preserve her beauty.  Some even accused her of vampirism.
  13. Vampire bats were named after vampires, not vice-versa.


   The term ghost is widely used to refer to any paranormal activity that occurs in the home, but it is really a misnomer.  Ghosts or the spirits of those who have passed on may cause a paranormal disturbance in your home, but they are not the only cause of a haunting.  To determine the type of haunting, an understanding of different types of entities is necessary.

  • Residual Ghosts-Residual ghosts are probably the most common type of haunting.  It is believed that when a traumatic or emotionally charged event occurs in the lives of the living that it can be imprinted on the environment.  Certain geological features like the presence of water, limestone and other stone features seem to hold images of past events.  The residual ghost is seen performing the same tasks, walking the same path or singing the same song at regular intervals.  The characteristic person searching for a lost love or walking passively through the area they inhabited when alive is almost certainly a residual ghost.  They repeat the same pattern whether you are present or not.  You can't interact with a residual ghost because it is not aware of your presence.  In fact the residual ghost is not really present at all and is simply an image of a past event.

  • Intelligent Spirits-Intelligent spirits, sometimes referred to as earthbound spirits, can interact with you.  No one knows for sure why the spirit of some people remain on earth, but paranormal investigators and researchers believed that the person has unfinished business to complete or is unaware that he has died.  In some cases it appears the spirit lingers simply because it chooses not to pass on to the next realm.  Intelligent ghost may attempt to communicate with you by making sounds or moving objects.  It may appear as an apparition that resembles the human form or appear as a mist.  This ghost may react to your activities or respond to requests.  Direct questioning during an EVP session may elicit direct responses.

  • Inhuman Spirits-Inhuman spirits are not the spirit of someone who has passed away.  These spirits were never human and may be referred to by some as evil spirits or demons.  The goal of negative inhuman spirits appears to be to break the will of the individual in order to possess them.  These spirits may manifest in a semi-human form, often half man and half beast.  A horrific stench may accompany a haunting by an inhuman spirit.  Angry growls emanating from the walls or appearing to come from all directions may be audible at all hours of the day or night.  These spirits reportedly have great power and can hurl people and heavy objects across the room and have even been reported to cause occupants of the home to levitate.

  • Poltergeists-Poltergeists earn their name from the German for noisy ghost, but most paranormal investigators agree that a poltergeist really is not a ghost at all.  The theory is that a person, usually an adolescent female, subconsciously causes objects to move, creates loud bangs and crashes with no known cause and other physical disturbances due to repressed rage or emotional upheaval.  The telltale sign of poltergeist activity is that it begins with a sudden onset and generally disappears just as suddenly.  It should be noted that not all poltergeist activity centers around an adolescent girl and that this theory has never been proven by scientific evidence.

  • Shadow People-Shadow people are shadowy figures that resemble a human.  These beings often appear in corners or in dark hallways, but may be seen peering in doors or standing by the bed.  The characteristic sign of a shadow person is fedora or top hat and what appears to be a dark cape.  Shadow people have been reported across cultures by those who have no knowledge of prior descriptions, yet the descriptions remain largely the same.  No one knows for sure what shadow people are but some believe they may be either alien or creatures from another dimension.  Although shadow people appear to be harmless, extreme fear and a feeling of overwhelming dread often accompany a sighting.

   If you experience paranormal activity in your home and don't know what to do, the first step is to determine the type of haunting you are experiencing.  Once you know whether you are dealing with the spirit of someone who has died or some other entity, you will be better able to make decisions about what action to take ( if you haven't had the life scared out of you!).