Croglin Grange Vampire

The Croglin Grange Vampire incident is a bizarre event that took place in Cumberland, a place that is now part of Cumbria.  What happened that time was recorded by Dr. Augustus Hare; he is a clergy who lived in Devonshire.  The accounts can be found in Memorials of a Quiet Life, published in 1871.  Though there are credible claims included in the document, some of them cannot be historically verified.  For example there are no records about a place called Croglin Grange; the closest thing would be the Croglin Low Hall.

Hare who is also the author of a bunch of European textbooks, claimed that he also had an encounter with the ghost once.  Hare live in a Rectory at Devonshire, he said that he witnessed an old woman sitting in an armchair, which was impossible since he was not aware of such woman who lived near or in the rectory.  He shrugged it off and the old woman immediately vanished.  But that wasn’t the last time he had an encounter with the old lady. She saw the same old lady on the passage and he ran towards her, but like before she quickly vanished into thin air.  He made a third encounter with the old lady which bothered him.  He wrote a letter to his sister to get some information about two spinsters.  Hare will be shocked on the news that the ghost was the spinsters’ mother.

Suddenly Hare became interested in ghost, just like the Croglin Grange vampire that was relayed to him by a man named Capt. Fisher.  Hare documented the story of Captain Fisher, but the accounts may have already been compromised and exaggerated.  Here is the full account:

Fisher may sound a very plebeian name, but this family isof very ancient lineage, and for many hundreds of yearsthey have possessed a very curious place in Cumberland,which bears the weird name of Croglin Grange. The greatcharacteristic of the house is that never at any period of itsvery long existence has it been more than one story high,but it has a terrace from which large grounds sweep awaytowards the church in the hollow, and a fine distant view.When, in lapse of years, the Fishers outgrew CroglinGrange in family and fortune, they were wise enough notto destroy the long-standing characteristic of the place byadding another story to the house, but they went away tothe south, to reside at Thorncombe near Guildford, andthey let Croglin Grange.They were extremely fortunate in their tenants, twobrothers and a sister. They heard their praises from allquarters. To their poorer neighbors they were all that ismost kind and beneficent, and their neighbors of a higherclass spoke of them as a most welcome addition to the littlesociety of the neighbourhood. On their parts the tenantswere greatly delighted with their new residence. Thearrangement of the house, which would have been a trialto many, was not so to them. In every respect CroglinGrange was exactly suited to them.The winter was spent most happily by the new inmatesof Croglin Grange, who shared in all the little social pleasuresof the district, and made themselves very popular. Inthe following summer, there was one day which was dreadfully,annihilatingly hot. The brothers lay under the treeswith their books, for it was too hot for any active occupation.The sister sat in the verandah and worked, or tried towork, for, in the intense sultriness of that summer day,work was next to impossible. They dined early, and afterdinner they still sat out in the verandah, enjoying the coolair which came with evening, and they watched the sunset, and the moon rise over the belt of trees which separatedthe grounds from the churchyard, seeing it mount theheavens till the whole lawn was bathed in silver light,across which the long shadows from the shrubbery fell as ifembossed, so vivid and distinct were they.When they separated for the night, all retiring to theirrooms on the ground-floor (for, as I said, there was noupstairs in that house), the sister felt that the heat wasstill so great that she could not sleep, and having fastenedher window, she did not close the shutters—in that veryquiet place it was not necessary—and, propped againstthe pillows, she still watched the wonderful, the marvelousbeauty of that summer night.Gradually she became aware of two lights, two lightswhich flickered in and out in the belt of trees which separatedthe lawn from the churchyard, and as her gazebecame fixed upon them, she saw them emerge, fixed in adark substance, a definite ghastly something, which seemedevery moment to become nearer, increasing in size andsubstance as it approached. Every now and then it was lostfor a moment in the long shadows which stretched acrossthe lawn from the trees, and then it emerged larger thanever, and still coming on—on. As she watched it, the mostuncontrollable horror seized her. She longed to get away,but the door was close to the window and the door waslocked on the inside, and while she was unlocking it shemust be for an instant nearer to it. She longed to scream,but her voice seemed paralyzed, her tongue glued to theroof of her mouth.Suddenly—she could never explain why afterwards—the terrible object seemed to turn to one side, seemed tobe going round the house, not to be coming to her at all,and immediately she jumped out of bed and rushed to thedoor, but as she was unlocking it she heard scratch,scratch, scratch upon the window, and saw a hideousbrown face with flaming eyes glaring in at her. She rushedback to the bed, but the creature continued to scratch,scratch, scratch upon the window. She felt a sort of mentalcomfort in the knowledge that the window was securely fastened on the inside. Suddenly the scratchingsound ceased, and a kind of pecking sound took its place.Then, in her agony, she became aware that the creaturewas unpicking the lead! The noise continued, and a diamondpane of glass fell into the room. Then a long bonyfinger of the creature came in and turned the handle ofthe window, and the window opened, and the creaturecame in; and it came across the room, and her terror wasso great that she could not scream, and it came up to thebed, and it twisted its long, bony fingers into her hair, andit dragged her head over the side of the bed and—it bither violently in the throat.As it bit her, her voice was released, and she screamedwith all her might and main. Her brothers rushed out oftheir rooms, but the door was locked on the inside. Amoment was lost while they got a poker and broke itopen. Then the creature had already escaped through thewindow, and the sister, bleeding violently from a woundin the throat, was lying unconscious over the side of thebed. One brother pursued the creature, which fled beforehim through the moonlight with gigantic strides, andeventually seemed to disappear over the wall into thechurchyard. Then he rejoined his brother by his sister’sbedside. She was dreadfully hurt, and her wound was avery definite one, but she was of strong disposition, noteither given to romance or superstition, and when shecame to herself she said, “What has happened is mostextraordinary and I am very much hurt. It seems inexplicable,but of course there is an explanation, and wemust wait for it. It will turn out that a lunatic has escapedfrom some asylum and found his way here.” The woundhealed, but the doctor who was sent for to her would notbelieve she could bear so terrible a shock so easily, andinsisted that she must have change, mental and physical;so her brothers took her to Switzerland.Being a sensible girl, when she went abroad, she threwherself at once into the interests of the country she was in.She dried plants, she made sketches, she went up mountains,and, as autumn came on, she was the person whourged that they should return to Croglin Grange. “We havetaken it,” she said, “for seven years, and we have only beenthere one; and we shall always find it difficult to let a housewhich is only one story high, so we had better return there;lunatics do not escape every day.” As she urged it, herbrothers wished nothing better, and the family returned toCumberland. From there being no upstairs in the house, itwas impossible to make any great change in their arrangements.The sister occupied the same room, but it is unnecessaryto say she always closed her shutters, which,however, as in many old houses, always left one top paneof the window uncovered. The brothers moved, and occupieda room together exactly opposite that of their sister,and they always kept loaded pistols in their room.The winter passed most peacefully and happily. In thefollowing March, the sister was suddenly awakened by asound she remembered only too well—scratch, scratch,scratch upon the window, and, looking up, she saw, climbed to the topmost pane of the window, the samehideous brown shrivelled face, with glaring eyes, lookingin at her. This time she screamed as loud as she could. Herbrothers rushed out of their room with pistols, and out thefront door. The creature was already scudding away acrossthe lawn. One of the brothers fired and hit it in the leg, butstill with the other leg it continued to make way, scrambledover the wall into the churchyard, and seemed to disappearinto a vault which belonged to a family long extinct.The next day the brothers summoned all the tenantsof Croglin Grange, and in their presence the vault wasopened. A horrible scene revealed itself. The vault wasfull of coffins; they had been broken open, and their contents,horribly mangled and distorted, were scattered overthe floor. One coffin alone remained intact. Of that the lidhad been lifted, but still lay loose upon the coffin. Theyraised it, and there, brown, withered, shrivelled, mummified,but quite entire, was the same hideous figure whichhad looked in at the windows of Croglin Grange,with the marks of a recent pistol-shot in the leg; and they did theonly thing that can lay a vampire—they burnt it.

The story is still popular up to this day, The Croglin Low Hall is still visible, and the churchyard which was mentioned is about one mile away though there is no longer a tomb.


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