What Do You Believe?

I stumbled across this very interesting infographic today and am wondering what my paranormal friends think of it. Charting beliefs of Americans regarding the paranormal, it shows a very high percentage of persons having a paranormal experience. Yet belief in individual phenomena (for example, witches) is relatively low.

What do YOU believe in? Is the paranormal real, or imagined? Have you had a paranormal experience? Share it with us here!

Thanks to Fact of the Day!

paranormal infographic

What Do You Believe?

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Vampire Legends from Around the World

Dracula; of course. Lestat—cool. Edward Cullen… maybe.

Everyone’s heard of these Pop Culture vampires. But how about Lamias, Upírs, or Striges?

There are vampires of all varieties all around the world, pervading every culture from Romania to India, from China to South America. And believe me, some of them are so horrifying that they make your typical Hollywood vampire look like a not-particularly-threatening school bully in comparison.

Lamastu (Mesopotamia)

Legends of vampires date back to ancient Mesopotamia—the lands of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Assyrian legend speaks of a demon goddess known as the Lamastu (meaning: ‘she who erases’).

The Lamastu preyed on humans, creeping into a house at night to kill babies and drink their blood. Infant death was often attributed to the Lamastu. This legend gave rise to the Lamia and Striges in ancient Greece, which also preyed upon children.

Lamastu - Assyrian Vampire

Lamastu – Assyrian Vampire

Upír & Upiers (Balkans and Russia)

The vampires we know of today in books and films is a direct descendent of the Slavic vampire of the ninth century. Vampire lore from Eastern Europe saw vampirism as a result of birth mutations or evil dispositions; a deformed baby or person with murderous tendencies were said to become vampires. Vampires emerging from the Balkan region were referred to as the Upiers.

The Russian vampire—the Upír—has the power to mesmerize a victim with its evil eye, leading him to his death.

Penanggalan (Malaysia)

Truly horrifying to behold, the Penanggalan is a vampiric ghost of Malaysian folklore. A beautiful woman by day, the Penanggalan will detach its head at night—entrails and organs dangling beneath it—and seek out its victims (often children) to drain of blood.

A person who so much as comes into contact with the fluids dripping from its entrails will become violently ill. One can escape this loathsome creature by luring it into thorny patches, where its viscera will become entangled.

Penanggalan - Malaysian Vampire

Penanggalan – Malaysian Vampire

Chiang-Shih (China)

The Chinese hopping vampire known as the chiang-shih (or jiangshi) is said to come about if a corpse is exposed to sunlight or moonlight before burial. A person who led a dishonest life or committed suicide will also become a chiang-shih according to legend.

Wearing clothes dating back to the Quing Dynasty, it hops stiffly about with its arms out, sucking the life force from its victims. Some legends state that it has poisonous breath, cannot cross moving water, and cannot climb ladders. Cremating the corpse is the only way to destroy the chiang-shih.

Churel (India)

There are scholars who believe that vampire mythology actually began in India and then spread to Eastern Europe through the spice and silk trade routes. India has several vampiric figures, including the Rakshasa, Churel, and Vetalas.

A Churel is the vampiric spirit of a woman who died in childbirth, making her last lover in life as her first victim, followed by her male relatives. The Churel charms men with her beauty, though her demonic nature is sometimes given away by her feet which are turned backwards.

The Vetalas was a part man and part bat, possibly giving rise to the vampire’s association with bats in modern mythology.

Vetala - Indian Vampire

Vetala – Indian Vampire

Who or What are The Black Eyed Kids?

Just let us in, this won’t take long.’

What would you do if strangers appeared at your door and said this to you? Unnerving enough, but what if those strangers were children with totally black eyes and a strange air of dread about them?

The Black Eyed Kids phenomenon is happening all around the world, with incidents of these weird encounters with groups of small children (averaging 8-10 years of age) appearing at doorsteps, cars, or even out in the open, asking for help, only to vanish moments later. The most unsettling thing about these kids are their eyes – totally black, covering the iris and sclera, soulless and unblinking. But what exactly do these children want?

Black Eyed Kids
‘Let me in, it won’t take long…’

A Typical Encounter

Paranormal researcher David Weatherly reports many such encounters in his book, Black Eyed Children. One such incident occurred in Dallas, Texas, where a gentleman came home, placed his hand on the door handle and suddenly a child appeared out of nowhere by the steps. Startled, the man looked at the boy, noting the child’s pale skin and solid black eyes. ‘Is it food time?’ the boy asked. The man was stunned. The boy repeated his question, ‘Is it food time?’.

Glancing inside, he saw that his three-year-old Pitbull was charging at the front door. This was the most fearsome of guard animals, having bit rattlesnakes in half on many an occasion. Upon seeing the black eyed child, the dog skidded to a stop. Wining, tail between its legs, the Pitbull shot under the bed and stayed there for days, refusing to come out. The man slipped inside and locked the door. The child peered through the glass of the door and continued tapping. Eventually, the child vanished.

Black Eyed Kids

Black Eyed Kids dress in drab clothes, and often travel in threes

The Gruesome Details

Reports of encounters with Black-Eyed Kids have been coming in to paranormal researchers since the late 1990s, and are on the increase. A typical encounter begins with a continual knocking at a resident’s door. The home owner opens the door to see a trio of young children standing on the doorstep who are not in anyway known in the neighborhood and who are dressed in nondescript clothing – like what Amish kids might wear. Other times they wear modern clothes like jeans and hoodies, though drab brown or gray, as if trying not to be noticed. The clothes may be ill-fitting, as though they don’t quite know how to dress. There are no signs of phones, iPods, or other gadgets. The skin of the children is pasty, almost artificial looking. The eyes are totally black. Body movements are very minimal, and have been described as ‘awkward’ or ‘stiff’.

‘Please, can we come in?’ they typically ask. ‘We just want to use your phone. This won’t take long. We’re just kids.’ The voices are droning, mechanical – repeating these entreaties over and over again: ‘Please, let us in. This won’t take long.’

These encounters usually happen in the evening, just when the sun is going down.

One thing most encounters have in common is that these children want to be allowed inside or want you to follow them.

Black Eyed Kids
Black Eyed Kids are known for their totally black eyes and odd demeanor

Sinister Implications

But what does it all mean? Researchers such as David Weatherly and Dave Schrader agree that there does seem to be a sinister agenda. Although very few reports have trickled where people have let these strange kids inside, no real harm has yet come to anyone who has come face to face with these entitie – yet – though victims have been left in a permanently anxious state.

So what is going on? Are these demon in the guise of children? Alien hybrids? Or just children playing pranks? The way these children seem to appear and disappear seems to preclude the latter.

Case in point:

Host of Darkness Radio, Dave Schrader, was contacted in 2011 by an elderly woman from Minnesota with details of a particularly frightening encounter. One night in the middle of summer, at about 10pm, after it had been raining non-stop for several days, she and her husband heard what sounded to be children laughing and playing outside in their front yard. The woman got a very uncomfortable feeling and wondered who would let their kids out at this time of night. Looking outside, she didn’t see any children.

After retiring to bed, the woman woke at 2am to find a trio of young children standing at her bedside. They had pale skin and totally black eyes. She quickly squeezed her eyes shut and took a deep breath, expecting that the children would be gone once she opened them again – a dream. But they were still there.

Just as the woman opened her mouth to scream, the child in the middle of the trio put a finger to his lips and said, ‘Shhhh, we just want to look at you.’

The woman screamed, awaking her husband. Flicking on the lights, the woman looked around the bedroom… but the children were gone.

Whatever the implications of this growing phenomenon, we can be sure of one thing – it will not be giving up all of its secrets anytime soon. And just with ghosts, alien abductions, and bigfoot encounters, the run-ins with Black Eyed Kids will soon become a part of the paranormal lexicon.