You will probably think I am pulling your legs, but I am asking you in all seriousness to let me know whether you have had any experience of vampires. Personally, I believe they do exist.
I met two people once in Winchester, and was convinced that they were vampires. I remembered having been told in the Balkans, where everybody believes in vampires, that garlic is a very potent antidote.
So I procured a clove of garlic from the waiter at the Sporting Club, and the two vampires bothered me no more. Yet, I always wondered about the longevity of its potency——
But I digress; here is a story about a vampire which I have just had related to me by a close friend. I will tell it as though it happened to myself, for that will save time.
I knew a vampire at Crondall in Hampshire between the years 1902 and 1905. She was married and had four children. She was fantastically beautiful. By that I mean that there was something extraordinary, almost supernatural, about her beauty. To begin with, her face was as white as this sheet of paper before I began to write on it, so white as to be almost terrifying. And yet she was not in the least terrifying when you came to know her. On the contrary, she was fascinating. Her eyes, her hair, her mouth redeemed the excessive pallor of her skin. I do not know which was the most tempting – the fiery red hair which illuminated her skull, the huge pathetic devouring eyes, or her sunset-red lips. Continue reading →
“The creature came in; crossing the room, crawling in such a terrible way, and her terror was so great that her voice was lost to fear, and it came up to the bed, and it curled and twisted its spindly fingers in her hair, and it pulled her head over the side of the bed, and——”
I have studied all manner of ghost and demon in my quest to better understand this realm betwixt Heaven and Hell but there is little in this study that has proved more intriguing — and downright flesh-creeping — than that of the Croglin vampire. On a dark autumnal day such as this, having struggled against sheets of rain and the swirl of stray leaves in the lonely path across the cemetery, my mind creeps towards that of a real churchyard horror, set upon the Lancashire moorlands.
It happened in the last century. Croglin Low Hall was a low, one-storeyed house on a slope looking down its gardens and cross a small park to the churchyard two hundred yards away. Along the front of the house ran a wooden verandah, like an African stoep. Two brothers and a sister took the house for the summer. I will not give their names as they may still be alive.
One night the girl noticed a pinpoint of light moving in the blackness of the churchyard trees. It flickered to and fro as though someone with a small lantern was walking among the graves. She watched it, wondering idly why anyone should be there so late.
Suddenly the light bobbed up in the air, descended again and moved towards her. Whoever was carrying it had jumped the churchyard wall and was approaching the house. A black misshapen form showed in the moonlight — a hunched form which shambled over the grass.
Stark horror seized her, and she leaped out of bed to bar the windows. They were diamond-paned and heavily leaded. Then she got back into bed. It was in the garden now, coming up the path to the house, a deformed semi-human shape with long trailing arms. An ape, she guessed, escaped from the circus which had visited the village a few days before. Continue reading →