Monday, October 22, 2012

The Vampire Beast of Bladenboro

Author:  Jonathan McCray

 Previously, the small town of Bladenboro encompassing approximately 2.2 square miles of land, was an unknown shadow of the southeastern piedmont of North Carolina.  That changed dramatically during the winter 1953-1954.  In North Carolina Ghost and Legends, it explained that a local farmer reported seeing a huge cat-like creature that mauled one of his dogs and dragged it into the woods four days after Christmas of 1953 (“The Beast of Bladenboro”).  Several other mysterious attacks followed including an attack on New Year’s Eve where two dogs were killed and another one a day later in a farm named Woodie Storms (Weaver).  After New Year’s, a young wife went on the front porch and discovered a four foot tall animal “stalking” towards her.  Frightened, she ran into the house, slammed the door and summoned her husband.  Later that night, while surveying the premises, he later found unusual paw prints in the dirt (Administrator). Local theater owner and mayor W.G. Fussell decided that the scare needed more publicity.  He reported the beast to larger, state newspapers and it caught fire.  Reports on the newspaper went public the week after Christmas 1953 saying that the monster crushed the skull and sucked the blood out of its victims.  These sensational reports soon caught headlines and the attention of hunters eager to get a shot at this beast.

“Vampire Beast of Bladenboro.” 
 
With the attacks of dogs and livestock during the winter of 1953 and into 1954, came the terror of the citizens of Bladenboro at large.  Women and children stayed inside the house while men cautiously went about their business armed with a weapon (Hoyt).  Then just as suddenly as the mysterious attacks and sighting started, they stopped.  The creature vanished without leaving a trace.
“Then in September of 2007, the mysterious attacks started up again across a much larger area.  Similar attacks on dogs and goats have been reported in North Carolina along a 200 mile track including the towns of Greensboro, Lexington, Bladenboro, and Bolivia.  The methods of attacks have been similar to those reported in 1954 (Adminstrator).”
The History Channel visited Bladenboro in 2008 for an edition of MonsterQuest.  After exhuming the remains of some of the canine victims and examining them, they concluded that the dogs died from blood lost and severe spinal trauma.  Given the nature of the evidence, they said a vampire-like animal could have not attacked the dogs of the livestock (Administrator).  People still believe that the beast is still in existence to this day, and the people of Bladenboro hold a festival every year to attract more tourists and to bring more attention to the area.  The beast has certainly brought a  tradition to the town of Bladenboro.

Works Cited:
 
Hotz, Amy. “The Beast of Bladenboro.” StarNewsOnline.com. Star News Online, 27 October 2006. Web. 16 October 2012.
Administrator.  “The MonsterQuest Search for the ‘Vampire Beast.”  The Monster Site. N.p.,
            2 February 2010. Web. 12 October 2012
“The Beast of Bladenboro.” North Carolina Ghost Stories and Legends. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 October 2012
Weaver, Jefferson. “Coverage of "beast" became real monster for Bladenboro” BoroBeast. Loren Coleman. 1 September 2006. Web. 9 October 2012.
“Vampire Beast of Bladenboro.”  Photograph. Webshots. 2008. Web. 19 October 2012

Links for further research:

You Tube website  
Contains the episode of MonsterQuest featuring the beast

Star News Online 
Contains an article written for the Beast of Bladenboro
My Reporter
http://www.myreporter.com/?p=781
 
Contains more information on the beast of Bladenboro.