Master, may I have another fly, please? I’m so hungry…..

Last week my husband and I were attending another one of our son’s football games (we won, by the way, 30 – 17… just sayin’! *happy dance*  Woohoo!!!) While sitting in the stands, my attention got distracted from a few levels down below on the bottom bleacher. I was watching my son’s game when all of a sudden this light brown, rather large moth kept fluttering around and walking back and forth as people passed it by. As focused as I was on the game, I couldn’t help but to keep looking at the bug. It was like I was oddly fascinated by it, drawn to it in a creepy way. It kind of made me feel like Renfield, but without the bug crunching appetite. *thank goodness!*

 

Notably known as “The Fly Man”, R. M. Renfield is a fictional character from the widely renowned horror Gothic novel, Dracula written by Bram Stoker in 1897. Under the care of Dr. Jack Seward and his insane asylum, mental patient Renfield falls victim to the alluring spell of the infamous Count Vlad Dracula.  “The vampire, whose abilities include control over animals such as ratsbats and spiders, comes to Renfield with an offer: if Renfield worships him, he promises to make him immortal by providing an endless supply of insects and rats, as Renfield believes that blood is the source of life.” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renfield

Anyone familiar with this iconic story knows that Renfield likes to munch on insects, like a movie-goer with a tub of popcorn. *Eeeww… sorry, I had a brief shudder moment just thinking about it.* As grotesque as it sounds, according to Stoker’s famed novel, Renfield honestly did believe it gave him immortality.

Now we all know that this is not true, but there actually is a medical condition referred to as Renfield’s Syndrome. It’s also known as Clinical Vampirism which is the obsession with drinking what? BLOOD! (Insert theatrical sound effects here…. *bum bum BUMMM!!*) That’s right! The act of people really doing this is nothing made up.

“The earliest formal presentation of clinical vampirism to appear in the psychiatric literature, with the psychoanalytic interpretation of two cases, was contributed by Richard L. Vanden Bergh and John F. Kelley in 1964.[1] As the authors point out, brief and sporadic reports of blood-drinking behaviors associated with sexual pleasure have appeared in the psychiatric literature at least since 1892 with the work of Austrian forensic psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing. Many medical publications concerning clinical vampirism can be found in the literature of forensic psychiatry, with the unusual behavior reported as one of many aspects of extraordinary violent crimes.[2][3][4]” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_vampirism

Wow! With that being said, upon doing research I discovered that those who have Renfield’s Syndrome include a variety of people. Some are happy to make public their “need to feed”, while others are extremely private about it. Even some serial killers have been known to have this blood-thirsty condition.

For example:

Richard Chase, a.k.a. “The Vampire of Sacramento” (California), killed six people in one month. He ate from their flesh and drank their blood. In December 1980, he committed suicide in his prison cell. He overdosed on the anti-depressant medication prescribed by his doctor that he had been saving up for quite some time.

Fritz Haarmann, a.k.a. “The Vampire of Hanover” (Germany), killed at least twenty-seven people. He committed many of his murders by biting through his victims’ throats. In April 1925, he was executed by guillotine. His last words? “I repent, but I do not fear death.”

Peter Kürten, a.k.a. “The Vampire of Dusseldorf” (Germany), killed at least nine people. It was reported that he drank the blood of several of his victims. In July 1931, he was executed by guillotine.

Roderrick Justin Ferrell, a sixteen year old who claimed he was Vesago, a five hundred year old vampire. He joined a group of teenagers that referred to themselves as “The Vampire Clan”. In 1998 Roderrick became the youngest person to be put on death row in the United States. He was found guilty of murdering a couple in Florida. Since his conviction, his penalty has been reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

 

And this last one….. not a serial killer, but still a very disturbing story!

 

James P. Riva, a.k.a. “The Schizophrenic Vampire”, a deranged individual who claimed that he was a seven hundred year old vampire. In April 1980, he stabbed his elderly grandmother in her heart and then shot her four times using bullets that he had painted gold. Prior to setting her house on fire in a poor attempt to cover up his heinous crime, he drank her blood. In 1981 James was sentenced to life in prison for second degree murder and arson in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

As fascinated as I am by the whole idea of vampirism that has been romanticized by the Gothic era and Bram Stoker’s amazing novel, Dracula, I would never justify any such act as the above mentioned by the twisted individuals that harbored such a horrific darkness in their hearts. What they did was completely unfathomable.

But…. Do I love a good vampire tale? Of course I do! I mean, come on…. I recently wrote a short story titled, My Phantom Traveler based on the lore. One of my all time fave films is The Lost Boys! Still love the grandpa in that movie, he cracks me up every time I see it! Him using Windex as aftershave when he went to see the old widow Johnson…. lol…. crazy stuff!

So, do vampires really exist or is it all just folklore? For those who have Renfield’s Syndrome, it’s pretty real to them……

Hmmm….. a little something to ponder while sinking one’s fangs into their next meal…. *thinking to myself as I run my tongue across my naturally pointy teeth.* (and yes, I’ve often been told that my pearly whites resemble those of the fanged creatures.)

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Image result for renfield gifs

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“The Haunted Swamp”

Ahhhh…. The Haunted Swamp. Nefarious place or a peaceful location? I guess that’s up to the individual and their experience.

Recently, my husband and I checked out a place called Bear Creek Swamp located in Prattville, Alabama. It was nearly a three hour drive that we took early in the morning to attend our son’s football game that was scheduled to occur later that night. The reason why we left so early was because my husband and I had already researched the city of Prattville, which was founded by industrialist and architect, Daniel Pratt in 1839. We love historical places so we took the opportunity to look around!

Upon our research, we looked for areas known for paranormal activity. That’s when my husband stumbled across some online articles about Bear Creek Swamp, also referred to as “The Haunted Swamp”. What he shared with me were some pretty interesting things. We read about ghostly sightings of Confederate soldiers, Creek Indians, early settlers, and even an apparition of a woman desperately in search of her lost child that will lash out at anyone who repeats three times, “We have your baby!”

People have even made reports of seeing floating orbs and phantom car lights that chased them down the road, that’s if their vehicles didn’t stall without plausible explanation. Yep, some say that their cars have actually “died” and wouldn’t start back up while encountering the freakishly paranormal activity of The Haunted Swamp.

Also, sightings of none other…. the big, hairy beast himself, Bigfoot! His echoing howls have been heard by various people claiming the validity of this creature. Oh, and we dare not leave out the elusive, legendary Chupacabra whose sightings have been reported as well.

And as if all that wasn’t enough to make one want to become a nail biter, there’s the Creepy Doll Graveyard where 21 porcelain dolls were found on top of bamboo stakes back in November, 2014. Who or what was behind this macabre creation? Who knows? The origin of such a morbid finding has never been discovered, or revealed.

Now, in finding Bear Creek Swamp, it seemed like it took my husband and me forever before we finally found it. Of course, we used our GPS and it sent us to a bridge that crossed over Bear Creek on Alabama State Route 14. We knew that wasn’t the exact location mentioned in the articles. Keep in mind, we weren’t able to find any road signs about Bear Creek Swamp, but did that stop us from our search? No way! We were determined to see what all the hype was about with The Haunted Swamp!

We traveled down a couple of paved roads that were near the bridge, but quickly knew that we were still in the wrong spots. My husband and I were just about to give up when we passed a dirt, gravelly looking road. He said,  “Hmmm…. wonder if that was the road?” Getting tired of driving around I asked him, “Wanna go back to see?” He was like, “No, uh huh… let’s just keep going.” But when he said that, I could tell that he really did want to go back to see if that old road was the correct one. “What would you do if you were me?” I asked him. “Go back.” He said without any hesitation.

That’s when I found the nearest place to turn our car around. I’m glad we did because once we turned down the old road, we were in awe of our surroundings! We weren’t even a mile away from Alabama State Route 14 when we noticed the swamp that was on both sides of the road. It was lush and green with a beautiful serenity about it! It was a road that appeared not traveled much and had very few residences on it. The entire time we were on the road, not once did we encounter another vehicle. It was absolutely quiet there. The only sound we heard was from a small, man-made drainage culvert. Trees were all over the place, moss was abound and I couldn’t resist taking some of the beautiful moss home. (The next day I put the moss into a crystal bowl and added some tiny, white wire lights to create a stunning coffee table centerpiece. One word…. “Gorgeous!”).

While going down the road we did stop and get out of our car a couple of times. Did we experience anything ghostly or otherworldly? Did we see our beloved Bigfoot and/or  Chupacabra? Nope! Didn’t see anything, hear anything, nor smell anything of the sort. (Smell? Why would I say that?? Because Bigfoot has always been known to have a foul odor about him. Poor guy…. you’d think that with all the water around there that he would take a bath every once in a while. 😉 )

Everything that we researched basically had supernatural activity at night. We didn’t stay there until nightfall because the main reason why we were in Prattville was to attend our son’s football game, which was far more important to us. So, that’s why we visited Bear Creek Swamp during the day.

What we did experience at The Haunted Swamp was tranquility and beauty. It was like stepping back into another time as we made our way down the unpaved road. No sounds of the hustle and bustle of a nearby city, no streetlights and buildings. Only vibrant green scenery and tall trees surrounded us. The occasional breeze that blew off the water was cool to our skin, taking away the humid, August day’s heat.

I was raised as a country girl, so I found myself extremely comfortable there. It made me reminisce the times when I was growing up on the old road that I did with my best friend. Together, she and I were always finding our way down hidden trails that passersby often forgot about.

My husband found himself reminiscing as well. He loved the place, too. We will happily go back at the next given chance!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

My artwork titled, “The Haunted Swamp”.

The Haunted Forest 3

(“The Haunted Swamp” ~ Digital artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints available at Fine Art America!)

 

 

(The coffee table centerpiece that I created using the moss from “The Haunted Swamp”.)

 

 

“Spooky Random Fact: #17”

“Spooky Random Fact: #17”

Ok, everyone’s heard of Casper the Friendly Ghost, right? You know, the cute transparent guy who floats around through walls? If all the hauntings were as adorable as him, then that would be pretty amazing and all the little kiddies wouldn’t be so afraid of the things that go bump in the night.

Well, let’s take a step back and face reality here. Some hauntings can be pretty frightening and down right mind-numbing. Did you know that there are actually two known types of hauntings? Yes, intelligent and residual…

An intelligent haunting is when the spirits can interact with the living, a type of energy that DOES have consciousness. These spirits may find ways of communication much like the ways discussed in my previous blog titled, The Afterlife ~ A Corporeal’s Transition, or the spirits can often communicate through the use of a voice box; a tool that is used to collect electronic voice phenomena (EVPs)……….

The second type of haunting is known as a residual haunting. It’s more like a supernatural experience that resembles a recording of past energy. For instance, like hearing footsteps walking down an empty hallway when no one is there. It’s believed that in a location where someone has released a large amount of energy or heightened emotions were experienced and the energy attaches or “imprints” itself. As a result of the abiding energy, individuals in the future may get to experience seeing a type of “recording” of these events. Some signs of a residual haunting may be the absence of interaction from the spirit. As if the spirit doesn’t acknowledge the presence of the living person. The spirit will almost seem totally oblivious to anything that’s occurring in it’s presence.

I’ve actually encountered both. Read more at Intelligent & Residual Hauntings: What Are They?

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

“Spooky Random Fact: #16”

“Spooky Random Fact: #16”

Do you have a fear of ghosts, anything ghoulish that goes bump in the night and causes fright?

Well, if you do, then don’t worry because millions of others do, too. It’s a very common fear known as “phasmophobia”. The word “phasmos” derives from the Greek language referring to “phantom” or “supernatural being”. It’s also known as “spectrophobia”. “Spectrum” is Latin referring to a specter, or an image of a thing, or an apparition.

Symptoms of phasmobia can typically be found in most disorders that lead to anxiety. A sufferer can go through feelings of dread, rapid heartbeat, panic attacks, also nausea and severe vomiting. It’s even been reported that a person suffering from phasmosphobia can develop OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) in order to conduct rituals to negate any kind of ghostly presence.

Is there treatment for such a phobia? Read more at Phasmophobia: A Ghostly Fear

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

Hellhounds: Such Naughty Lil’ Pooches

Popularly known as “The Bearers of Death”. These mangled, black furred, dog-like beasts have existed in legends for centuries. They’re reported to be supernatural in nature and possess ghostly characteristics with a foul odor. They’re also known to terrorize their victims with their gnarling sharp teeth and razor claws. They have red glowing eyes, super strength and speed, and may even have a fiery appearance with hellish abilities.

According to European folklore, many have claimed that if a person stares into a hellhound’s eyes three or more times, or hear its terrifying howl, it could be an omen or possibly the cause of that individual’s death.

These naughty little pooches’ purpose? Often, to protect the entrances to the realms of those who have passed on, like burial grounds and cemeteries. The nefarious beasts may be responsible for other ghastly duties like protecting unearthly treasure and/or hunting the souls of the lost.

The tale of these ferocious creatures is well-known throughout Great Britain. The Isle of Man has their own version referred to as “Moddey Dhoo. Wales has their’s known as “Gwyllgi”. The “Cadejo”, according to Central American folklore, is a large black canine that haunts those who walk late into the night on country roads. 

As stated earlier, hellhounds are referred to as “The Bearers of Death”. These creatures were given this title because it was alleged that they were created by ancient demons to serve as heralds of death. Sightings have been documented all throughout history, including locations within the United States: Louisiana, Kentucky, Connecticut, Hawaii, Ohio and then even abroad in Vilseck, Germany. The hellhound known as “Black Shuck” roams the Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk coastline of England. It has been seen lurking around graveyards, dark forests and crossroads. According to Catalan myth, their version of the foreboding beast is referred to as “Dip”: The Devil’s emissary who sucks its victim’s blood.

Just a few years ago the London-Based archaeology group, DigVentures discovered the skeleton of a gigantic dog from a shallow grave less than two feet deep in the ruins of Leiston Abbey, Suffolk. According to the archaeologists, they stated that the dog’s height was more than seven feet on its rear legs and weighed around 200 pounds. The DigVentures team believes that the skeletal remains likely date back to medieval times. It is possible that the canine was a rather large hunting dog and perhaps possibly the initial spark that created the legend of “Black Shuck”.

So, makes one wonder doesn’t it? Do nefarious creatures like the demonic hellhound really exist? Or are they the product of superstitious minds who possess wild imaginations?

A little something to think about while sitting alone in a slightly dimmed room on a dark and stormy night. And don’t worry if you hear slight scratching on the window beside you. It’s probably just the wind blowing a tree limb that’s causing the noise, or…. maybe it’s not….. perhaps it’s a hellhound trying to claw its way in……… 😉 ***HOWLS!!!***

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html