Vlad the Impeller, Elizabeth Bathory, and Akasha are all world renowned supposedly real vampires, but on the British Isles, none are more famous than The Vampire of Croglin Grange. Old Croglin made his presence known in the 1890’s when his exploits were documented by Augustus Hare in his book STORY OF MY LIFE. Since its publishing, generations of Van Helsing hopefuls have tried to track down this mythical beast. Whether just the work of fiction or just too crafty to be found, those who have tried to hunt him down have all come up empty handed.
The vampire of Croglin Grange made his home in Cumberland, England. A historic county in North West England Cumberland sits just south of the Scottish border. The town of Croglin is a quaint picturesque village with a small post office and a single pub. It is the very definition of English village.
Our story begins in the early-1800s. Brothers Edward and Michael Cranswell were renting a home in Croglin Grange with their sister Amelia. The three immediately fell in love with the town and quickly became a part of life in Croglin. Despite being only temporary residence, they soon knew everyone in town and all the townsfolk knew them.
One night after entertaining guests, Amelia retired to her room for the night. Amelia’s room faced the church yard. Before going to bed, she made a habit of looking out her window and taking one last look at the grounds before going to sleep. That night, she saw something she had never seen before, two strange lights in the darkness that moved in sync with each other. She was quickly gripped by horror as she realized that the two lights were eyes in the night moving between the trees but never diverting their gaze from her. The eyes began to make their way towards the window. Amelia wanted to scream, but her voice was paralyzed by fear. She wanted to go to the door and run from the room but she was frozen where she stood. Then without explanation the figure turned and began making it’s way around the house.
Amelia found her courage and ran to the door. With a hand on the knob, she froze once more, this time she heard a sound- a scratching on her window. She turned around and looked back at the window. That’s when she saw it, a hideously ugly face with red eyes and sharp teeth. With face pressed against her window, she watched as it too a long nail and scratched at the wooden frame around the window. Engulfed by fear, Amelia ran back to bed and covered herself with her sheet. She soothed herself in the knowledge that the window was locked and the creature was safely on the other side.
Amelia lowered the sheet from her face as the creature continued scratched at the window. To her horror she realized that the monster was picking away at the wood behind the lock. She watched as he slowly picked away enough of the wood to make a hole big enough to stick his fiver through and unlatch the window. With the window open the beast made his way inside and slowly crept towards Amelia’s bed. Still frozen with fear and unable to speak Amelia could do nothing but watch as it made it’s way to her bed, and with a single boney finger, turned her head to the side to expose her pale slender neck. The hideous monster opened it’s mouth as it lowered down to her neck and sunk it’s sharpened teeth through her skin. At that moment, Amelia found her voice and screamed as loud as she had ever screamed in her life.
Her brothers ran into the room almost immediately. Seeing Edward and Michael standing in the doorway, the Vampire of Croglin Grange made a hasty exit out the window. As Michael tended to his sister, Edward went searching for the intruder. Edward searched for hours, but found no trace.
In shock from her encounter, Amelia insisted that the three of them leave Croglin. Although shaken by the attack, Amelia had every intention of returning and did so the following year. Once again accompanied by her brothers, Amelia rented the same home and stayed in the same room she was attacked in the previous year.
Months passed with no incident. But then one night, while she slept, Amelia was awoken by that familiar scratching sound on her window. She looked up and saw that same hideous face looking in at her and those same boney fingers scratching away at the wood behind the lock. This time Amelia was not frozen with fear. She immediately found her voice and screamed out. Her brothers quickly entered with pistols at the ready. The creature ran back into the night as the brothers gave chase. Seeing an opportunity, Michael raised his weapon and fired, hitting the vampire in the leg. Despite its injury the creature was still able to scale a wall and disappear into a family vault.
The next morning the brothers called upon the residents of Croglin to open the vault. Inside they saw that almost all of the coffins had been ripped open, the cadavers inside shredded and strewn about the vault. However, one coffin in the middle remained untouched. The brothers approached it and noticed that the lid was loose. The removed the lid and saw inside the same hideous beast they had chased the night before. It’s skin was brown and mummified and appeared far more shriveled then Amelia had remembered, but on its leg was the unmistakable bullet wound that it had received from Michael’s pistol. The villagers removed the body from the vault and set it on fire.
Amelia’s encounter with the Vampire of Croglin Grange was the first and last most extensive encounter every recorded. However, over the years’ others have reported sightings or have heard second hand of encounters with the monster. To this day tourist travel to Croglin to find the truth, however, the townsfolk there don’t say much preferring to keep their secrets hidden.