The Hopkinsville Hobgoblins on Film, Part Two (and the Vampire Connections)

They inspired E.T. and GREMLINS, and even partially inspired POLTERGEIST. But the little “goblins” that allegedly attacked a farmhouse in rural Arkansas in 1955 would be depicted again on film, and in a manner far more faithful to the actual incident. They inspired the movie CRITTERS.

Okay, lose the alien bounty hunters. (Which I wish they had. The movie I wanted to see was far less silly/stupid than CRITTERS, and a large part of the silly/stupid quotient was provided by the alien bounty hunters with mullets.) Lose the “escapees from a prison colony” angle. What you have left is a pretty accurate depiction of the Kelly-Hopkinsville incident as it allegedly really happened—with the exception that the creatures in the movie were given a voracious appetite for human flesh that the Hopkinsville Goblins did not display. Which brings us to the vampire angles.

The Critters are purely carnivorous, but you can’t tear into and consume living victims without swallowing a lot of blood. If the blood in particular provides any benefit to the Critters it is never addressed in any of the movies. It could be they just have voracious, insatiable appetites. The other most infamous trait common to vampires, photosensitivity, is one shared not by the Critters but by the Gremlins. It’s never explained in the movie why it is that the Gremlins cannot survive in sunlight, no more than there was ever a single, concrete reason that vampires cannot. (Other than that it made for a needed plot device in NOSFERATU.) The Hopkinsville Hobgoblins attacked at night, ceasing their assault just half an hour before sunrise. They were never seen during the day. But we don’t know if that was because they couldn’t come out in the daylight, or if it just worked out that way.

By TheCheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless. Denn die totden reiten schnell!

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