The blood sucking demon from ancient folklore has sparked imaginations of many. Some have translated those imaginations into motion pictures. No matter how thrilled or scared we get by watching those movies, somewhere deep down we know that vampires aren’t real or, are they? We will never know until of course we encounter one in real life. Nonetheless, we still kinda like vampires and are pretty much thrilled to learn about stories and folklores. So, if you are intrigued by such stories, here is one for you – The Vampire of Croglin Grange.
Some people believe the story to be true but some of the skeptics have gone out of their way to prove that it was no more than a well-thought hoax. Whether the Croglin Grange Vampire was real or was just a tinfoil, we will leave that for you to decide. Of course we will give you the story and the research done by skeptics about its authenticity but that’s all we will do.
In the annals of vampire lore, the story of Croglin Grange Vampire is one of the most famous stories. It first appeared in Augustus Hare’s book ‘In My Solitary Life’. As per Hare’s account, the legend took place in England’s Cumberland somewhere between 1875 and 1876 and the exact location was Croglin Grange which was a single-story stone building and family estate that was for centuries, owned by Fisher family.
The Fisher family decided to move into a larger property and rented out the Croglin Grange. For the entire winter, the property sat empty and it was only during the spring that the Cranswell moved in. The Cranswell family consisted only of three siblings – two brothers and a sister. The siblings loved their new home. They settled down, socialized in the village and soon became popular.
It was only a matter of time when the spring slipped into summer and on one particularly dreadfully hot day something happened. After eating an early dinner and enjoying some fresh air on the veranda, the three siblings retired to their own rooms. The sister whose name was Amelia moved into her room, fastened the window but decided to leave the shutters open. Unable to sleep because of the terrible heat, she started watching outside the window, enjoying the mesmerizing view of the silvery moonlight bathing the lawn. Beyond the lawn was a line of trees that separated the churchyard.
Gazing out of the window in admiration, Amelia’s eyes suddenly caught glimpses of two flickering lights that were moving in and out in the dark shade of the tree belt. Amelia’s gaze got fixed on the lights as she saw the lights emerging out of the tree line. The lights, as she saw, were fixed on a dark object. She kept watching in dismay and horror just to notice that as the lights drew closer, the object on which they were fixed kept growing bigger and bigger. She was frozen by an inexplicable horror. Somehow she managed to jump out of the bed and ran towards the door.
While attempting to unlock the closed doors, she heard scratching sound on the window. She turned around to see and to her horror, noticed a hideous creature with a terribly ugly face and glaring eyes scratching on the window with its bony fingers. Suddenly the scratching sound stopped and a pecking sound replaced it. Amelia knew immediately that the creature was attempting to pick the lead. Within moments, the glass pane of the window fell off and Amelia noticed the hideous hand of the creature coming in and unlocking the window. She was frozen with horror. She wanted to scream but her voice ditched her. All she could do was to see the creature crawling in and before she even understood what happened, the creature was standing next to her and sank its teeth in her neck.
It was the agonizing bite of the creature that freed her voice and she screamed. Her scream alerted the brothers who managed to break in to her room but by the time they got in, the creature had escaped. One of Amelia’s brothers chased the monster but failed to catch up as it disappeared over the wall and into the churchyard using gigantic leaps.
Back in the house, Amelia was unconscious with profuse bleeding but when she came back to her sense, she said that it might have been an escaped lunatic from an asylum. She said so because she was not much of a superstitious girl. As she gradually recovered from the wound, the three siblings left for Switzerland. It was Amelia who later wanted to get back to Croglin Grange and she said to her brothers that lunatics don’t really escape from asylums every single day. The siblings returned and spent the winter peacefully. Next year March, Amelia was in her bed when she heard the same scratching sound. She immediately recognized the sound and looked at the window only to notice the same shriveled hideous face. This time Amelia screamed at the top of her voice. Her brothers came in with loaded pistols. Her screaming had already sent the creature scudding away through the lawn but one of her brothers aimed at the creature and shot. The shot wounded one of its legs but it still managed to slip away over the wall and appeared to disappear in a vault. The vault belonged to family that was erased from existence long ago. [GARD align=”right”] Amelia’s brothers did not take any action that night but the following day, they went to the vault along with other tenants of the estate. They found several coffins at the vault, all of which broken and contents scattered all over except for one coffin. This single coffin was intact but its lid was open and laying lose on it. They removed the lid to find a hideous brown body lying in there with a fresh bullet wound on its leg. They burned the body to kill the vampire!
The Story Challenged by Charles G. Harper
Charles G. Harper wasn’t really convinced by the story of Hare which was written in 1896. In 1924 Harper challenged the story and visited Cumberland to uncover the truth. He did some research and found that there was no such estate known as Croglin Grange. He did find Croglin Low Hall and Croglin High Hall. He found that none of the buildings were anywhere close the what was described in Hare’s book. He did further research and eventually found that it was Croglin Low Hall that Hare referred to but no church existed nearby for many years.
Harper’s findings were challenged
Harper’s findings were later challenged by F. Clive Ross during 1930s. He too visited Cumberland, interviewed local people and concluded that Croglin Low Hall was Croglin Grange. Well, that was no different from Harper’s findings but Ross claimed that the chapel did exist and the foundation stones of the church existed. Most interesting of Ross’ findings was a witness named Mrs. Parkin. This lady lived in Ainstable and claimed to know one of the descendants of Fisher. The person she knew was born in 1860s and had heard of the vampire story from his grandfather and grandmother. Mrs. Parkin also revealed to Ross that according to the deeds of Croglin Low Hall, till 1720 it was known by the name Croglin Grange.
According to Hare’s account, the vampire legend took place in Croglin Grange between 1875 and 1876 but Croglin Grange was renamed back in 1720. So, that was a blunder. The legend, if at all true, should have taken place between late 1600s and early 1700s and not after that.
From the evidences gathered, there is absolutely no way anyone can claim the story to be true but Fisher family did exist and so did Croglin Grange. Was it just a mistake made by Augustus Hare or was the story nothing but pure hoax? Decide for yourself.