None of us should believe in "real" vampires of the kind portrayed by Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee in decades-old movies. You know: black cloaks, wooden stakes, and Eastern European accents. And let's not forget a hot vampiress or two. Such movies are, however, great fun to watch. Then, there's one of my favorites: Salem's Lot (the 1979 TV miniseries, not the 2004 completely crap one). There's also The Strain, Daybreakers, and 30 Days of Night. They, alongside hundreds of vampire-themed novels and movies, are all good fun to read and watch. And that's all they should be viewed as. That said, however (you knew there was a "however" coming...) there are some aspects of the paranormal and of conspiracy-theorizing that have a few vampire-like aspects attached to them. And, that's the theme of today's article. I'll begin with the Black Eyed Children - who surfaced in the late 1990s and who have yet to go away. As their name suggests, they are noted (if that's the right word to use) for their completely black eyes. So the legend goes, the BEC will not enter your home unless you invite them - which is a classic part of vampire lore. Ben Radford notes: "Some traditions hold that vampires cannot enter a home unless formally invited in. This may have been an early form of the modern 'stranger danger' warnings to children, a scary reminder against inviting unknown people into the house." There is, however, another angle to this: of the very few cases in which the BEC are successfully invited into the home, the witnesses describe being drained of energy. Not of blood, but close enough. For some.
Then, there's the matter of anemia and the world of the paranormal. Joseph McCabe, a Franciscan monk, who died in 1955, knew a great deal about all of this. He spent years poring over ancient texts and doing his utmost to understand the nature of the creatures that so terrified those who lived in Mesopotamia, and particularly so the Sumerians. McCabe had a particular interest in a pair of highly dangerous demons called Lilu and Lilitu who dwelled in the region. He was clearly aware of how illness was a side-effect of a supernatural encounter. He said, in The Story of Religious Controversy: "Did a maid show the symptoms of anemia? Obviously Lilu or Lilitu had been busy at night with her body." McCabe went on to list literally dozens of cases he had on file of people who had nighttime encounters with supernatural entities and who, shortly thereafter, began to exhibit signs of anemia. Sometimes acute anemia, but in incredibly quick time. For some, this all strongly suggests that certain paranormal things were depleting the people McCabe referred to in significantly dangerous fashion.
When it comes to the issue of paranormal activity on the island of Puerto Rico, there’s no doubt that the legendary Chupacabra leads the pack. Twenty years before the Chupacabra surfaced, however, there was yet another monster roaming the island. It became known as the Moca Vampire – on account of the municipality in which the creature lurked and hunted. The mystery and controversy began in early 1975. Witnesses described seeing a large, winged monster, which would swoop down on farm animals, killing them instantly and drinking their blood. Imagine something that was part-pterodactyl, part-giant bird, and part-Mothman, and that will give you an idea of the nature of the beast, which fed on not just small animals like chickens and geese, but even on cows and pigs. It always emitted an ear-splitting shriek as it dive-bombed the unfortunate animals, and killed them with one swipe of its sharp claws. For two terrifying weeks, the Moca Vampire had the people of the area living in fear – and none can blame them for that. Then, mysteriously, the monster was gone and the attacks were over. The creature was never seen again – unless, of course, you subscribe to the theory that the Chupacabra and the Moca Vampire are actually one and the same, but with different names, which is admittedly not impossible. One final thing: the beast was called the Moca Vampire for a particular reason: it was reputed to drain farm animals of blood. The legend still persists. I know that from my many and varied trips to Puerto Rico.
Now, there's the matter of one particular conspiracy-based angle to all of this. That of cattle mutilations. Since at least 1967, reports have surfaced throughout the United States of animals – but, chiefly, cattle – slaughtered in bizarre fashion. Organs are taken and significant amounts of blood are found to be missing. In some cases, the limbs of the cattle are broken, suggesting they have been dropped to the ground from a significant height. Evidence of extreme heat, to slice into the skin of the animals, has been found at mutilation sites. Eyes are removed, tongues are sliced off, and, typically, the sexual organs are gone. Sometimes, significant amounts of blood are rumored to be missing. My view is that this has nothing to do with the activities of vampires. Or of aliens or "satanic cults." I strongly suspect clandestine, government-based checks of the U.S. cattle herd - for dangerous and deadly emerging viruses and biological warfare - are at the heart of the matter. And the whole thing has been hidden by a UFO-themed legend.
So, what does all of this mean? Real vampires? Let's take a look. While the Black Eyed Children phenomenon has a distinct urban legend-type aspect attached it, there are enough credible witnesses out there to suggest the mystery is all too real. But, even the BEC don't literally drain people of blood. Admittedly, though, the angles of "energy draining" and of having to be invited inside are intriguing. So, this phenomenon goes in my "maybe" category. As for the Moca Vampire of Puerto Rico, things are much easier to explain. Time and again when I was on Puerto Rico (and in 2004 and 2004 particularly) I heard of farm animals drained of blood by the Chupacabra. The fact is, though, what appears to be a draining of blood is actually nothing of the sort. It is an example of what happens when something dies: the blood sinks to the lower levels of the body. The result: a mistaken belief that large amounts of blood has been removed. The same goes for the Chupacabra that appeared on Puerto Rico twenty years after the Moca Vampire.
As for Joseph McCabe, well, the are a number of reasons why a person can become anemic. They include: ulcers, gastritis, cancer, bulimia and anorexia. In other words, we don't have to explain cases of anemia to the attacks of vampires in the dead of night. What all of this demonstrates is that literal vampirism - of the kind we all know from movies, etc. - has not been proved to be a full-blown reality. Yet...