The Vampire of Croglin Grange
I’ve got quite the tale for you today Dear Readers, a supposedly true case of vampirism! The Vampire of Croglin Grange is one of the most extraordinary and famous cases of undead attack, mainly due to its conceivable circumstances and its original appearance in the memoirs of Augustus Hare (The Story of My Life, 1896) told to him by a Captain Fisher. Some believed that the story was true, while others thought it was pure folly – but I’ll let you decide for yourselves.
Croglin Grange was an old family estate owned by the Fisher family and located in Cumberland, England. After moving to Thorncombe, the Fishers rented out the one-story house to two brothers and a sister. The sibling loved their new home and even became quite popular in the town – all was well. Then one summer evening everything changed, the sister, having retired for the night, could not sleep due to the heat. So she decided to stay up and watch the beautiful night. Suddenly, she saw in the distance two glowing lights moving among the trees between the lawn of the house and the churchyard. The two lights, she noticed, came from a horrific creature that began walking from the yard to the house. Seized by uncontrollable fear, she could do nothing more than watch as it walked around the house. When the creature appeared to have turned, “she jumped out of bed and rushed to the door, but as she was unlocking it, she heard scratch, scratch, scratch upon the window and saw a hideous brown face with flaming eyes glaring at her.” Hiding helplessly in bed, she watched as the creature clawed its way into her room, grabbed her hair and sank its teeth into her neck.
Finally able to scream, she called out to her brothers, who arrived just as the vampire fled. It was pursued by one of the brothers until it disappeared in the churchyard. While her bite wound was healing, the family doctor recommended a trip to Switzerland. Not long after, the sister dismissed the event, thinking it was nothing more than an escaped lunatic and decided she wanted to go back home to the Grange. Everything was back to normal and the siblings had many happy months back home, until one March evening when the sister heard the same frightful scratching noise at her window. Looking out the top windowpane (as the bottom was now always shuttered) she saw the same horrible face and burning eyes. This time she screamed right away and her well-armed brothers charged out the front door, shooting at the creature as it ran away. Confident that they had hit it in the leg, the brothers made their way to the vaults of Croglin Grange, finding all but one coffin damaged. Inside the coffin was a disgusting brown and mummified monster, its leg injured by a pistol. The brothers then burned the vampire.
Hare’s account of the Croglin Grange story has been attacked by many critics who said that it was pure fantasy. While no place called Croglin Grange has ever been located, the spot where the story is said to take place is probably the very real Croglin Low Hall.
So what do you think? True or false?
Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).