Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dragons-Classic Dragons (Western Cultures)

Name: Dragon
Grouping: Cryptid, Mythology
First reported: early as the 1800's, maybe even earlier than that
Country: World Wide
Status: Unknown

We all know what a dragon is. We see countless pictures of this beast on the covers of fantasy novels. The typical artwork shows an animal with a body that roughly resembles something between an exotic lizard and a dinosaur, with scales, claws, four legs and often leathery wings. The winged varieties thus generally have six limbs. The body is typically thicker than the tail, not thin and serpentine like Asian dragons. The head is vaguely horse-shaped, with large eyes and a long snout. Often, this creature breathes fire.

What you might not know is that there are actually reports of dragon sightings in Europe and America. Often the stories are told as first-hand, and they date from all eras of history, even some from quite recently. For example, there is the 92-foot flying dragon that was reportedly killed by Arizona ranchers in 1890.

The dragons described in legends from North America and Europe are similar enough to fantasy-novel dragons that we can still recognize them as dragons, but there are some substantial differences. For one thing, there are dozens of different varieties. Folklore dragons rarely have four legs and wings like the standard fantasy dragon. Some folklore dragons have wings in place of front legs, so that they have only four limbs altogether.

A few of these beasts are landbound and wingless. Some of these landbound dragons have four legs, while others have only two, generally located towards the head end. The English "worms" are not only landbound, but are rather snake-like and resemble the classic dragons of Asia. There are many reports of European dragons which seem like sea serpents that have crawled up onto the land, sometimes complete with paddle-legs.

Classic European dragons from folklore frequently resemble huge alligators or huge snakes in some way, and it is also quite common for them to have one or more characteristics resembling some non-reptilian animal, such as a sheep's head. Classic European dragons often have supernatural powers and are sometimes thought to be demons or minions of the devil. They often breathe fire and/or exude poison (especially having poisonous blood, but sometimes also giving off poisonous fumes from the mouth or from the body in general). Folklore dragons are often thought to be responsible for extreme weather events, causing hail, lightning and intense storms.

North America and South America also have their dragons, which often resemble the classic European varieties more than the classic Asian varieties. For example, there is the gowrow of Ozark lore from Missouri, a twenty-foot-long reptile with big tusks, and the piasa, a scaled flying beast with horns.

The name in cryptozoology that is currently most associated with the search for dragons is probably Richard Freeman, author of a dragon book published by the Centre for Fortean Zoology. Very few scientists stand with him. Modern cryptozoologists are not very interested in dragons. For one thing, even though modern reports exist, these reports seem to be much less common than they were in the old days. In addition, there is a big problem with organization and terminology. It is clear that dragon legends, even if you limit yourself to western cultures, describe at least a dozen different creatures. Therefore, the proper scientific method demands that we separate the different kinds and study each variety by itself.

This means that cryptozoologists end up studying dragons under different names. Some reports are classified as possible surviving dinosaurs, some as giant alligators or big snakes, some as sea serpents who are briefly traveling over land, and some as pterosaurs or possible giant bats.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jersey Devil

Name: The Jersey Devil
Grouping: Cryptid
Sub grouping: Hominid
First reported: 1800s
Country: United States
Region: Pine Barrens (New Jersey)
Habitat: Pinelands
Status: Folk Lore

There are many possible origins of the Jersey Devil legend. The earliest legends date back to Native American folklore. The Lenni Lenape tribes called the area around Pine Barrens "Popuessing," meaning "place of the dragon." Swedish explorers later named it "Drake Kill", "drake" being a Swedish word for dragon, and "kill" meaning channel or arm of the sea (river, stream, etc.).
The most accepted origin of the story as far as New Jersians are concerned started with Mother Leeds and is as follows:
"It was said that Mother Leeds had 12 children and after given birth to her 12th child, she said if she had another, it would be the devil. In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night. Gathered around her were her friends. Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the devil himself. The child was born normal, but then changed form. It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a horses head, bat wings and a forked tail. It growled and screamed, then killed the midwife before flying up the chimney. It circled the villages and headed toward the pines. In 1740 a clergy exorcised the devil for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890."
"Mother Leeds" has been identified by some as Deborah Leeds, who was the wife of Japhet Leeds. This identification may have gained credence from the fact that Japhet Leeds named twelve children in the will he wrote in 1736, which is compatible with the legend of the Jersey Devil being the thirteenth child born by Mother Leeds.
Some skeptics believe the Jersey Devil to be nothing more than a creative manifestation of the English settlers. The aptly named Pine Barrens were shunned by most early settlers as a desolate, threatening place. Being relatively isolated, the barrens were a natural refuge for those wanting to remain hidden, including religious dissenters, loyalists, fugitives and military deserters in colonial times. Such individuals formed solitary groups and were pejoratively called "pineys", some of whom became notorious bandits known as "pine robbers". Pineys were further demonized after two early twentieth century eugenics studies depicted them as congenital idiots and criminals. It is easy to imagine early tales of terrible monsters arising from a combination of sightings of genuine animals such as bears, the activities of pineys, and fear of the barrens.
Outdoorsman and author Tom Brown Jr spent several seasons living in the wilderness of the Pine Barrens. He recounts occasions when terrified hikers mistook him for the Jersey Devil, after he covered his whole body with mud to repel mosquitoes.
Not surprisingly, the Jersey Devil legend is fueled by the various testimonials from reputable eyewitnesses who have reported to have encountered the creature, from precolonial times to the present day, as there are still reported sightings within the New Jersey area.
Many contemporary theorists believe that the Jersey Devil could possibly be a very rare, unclassified species which instinctually fears and attempts to avoid humans. Such elements that support this theory include the overall similarities of the creature's appearance (horselike head, long neck and tail, leathery wings, cloven hooves, blood-curdling scream), with the only variables being the height and color. Another factor that supports the cryptozoological theory is the fact that it is more likely that a species could endure over a span of several hundred years, rather than the existence of a single creature living for over 500 years.
Some people think the Sandhill Crane (which has a 7 feet wingspan) is the basis of the Jersey Devil stories.
The physical descriptions of the Jersey Devil appear to be mostly consistent with a species of pterosaur such as a dimorphodon.


Name: Kraken, colossal squid, colossal squid
Grouping: Water Monster
First reported: Fishermen and sailors
Country: All over the world, but more specifically off the coasts of Norway and Iceland
Habitat: Ocean
Status: Unconfirmed

Kraken is the definite article form of krake, a Scandinavian word designating an unhealthy animal, or something twisted. In modern German, Krake (plural and declined singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary Kraken (Terrell, 1999). Kraken are legendary sea monsters of gargantuan size, said to have dwelt off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the beasts have made them common ocean-dwelling monsters in various fictional works. The legend may actually have originated from sightings of real giant squid that are estimated to grow to 43 feet in length, including the tentacles. These creatures normally live at great depths, but have been sighted at the surface and reportedly have "attacked" ships.

From ancient times, sailors have reported seeing a huge sea monster with many tentacles, called the kraken. Sailors knew about the octupus and squid, real ocean animals that had tentacles. However, the kraken was considered to be a different species because it was much, much bigger. Sometimes it was thought to be a giant octopus, sometimes it was thought to be a giant squid. Much of the time, it was simply a big sea monster called the kraken.

During the early part of the scientific era, the kraken was considered just as likely to exist as sea serpents. In other words, it was laughed at. Serious scientists steered clear of the kraken question, refusing to study it even when presented with beached kraken carcasses. Then there came a time when everything changed. Several kraken carcasses were beached within a short time of each other, and there was such an uproar that the reluctant scientists were forced to pay attention.

The kraken was declared a real species. It was named the giant squid. The giant squid remains one of the most elusive large animals in the world. For many years, scientists tried to observe the giant squid in its habitat, but failed. Many people claimed to have seen giant squids, but they were mostly fishermen and sailors, the same people who are not believed when they report sea serpents. Every live sighting was unconfirmed and in each case the witness was not a scientist. Scientists spent millions of dollars on expeditions, but could not obtain video footage of a live squid. Everything that was known about giant squids was based on dead bodies. All expeditions into deep water in search of the natural habitat of giant squids had proved fruitless. The giant squid still had much in common with mythical creatures and true cryptids (Cryptid is a term used in the study of cryptozoology to refer to a creature whose existence has been suggested but not demonstrated scientifically.), even though the scientific community no longer had any doubt that giant squids exist.

In September of 2004, that finally changed. Japanese scientists attracted a giant squid with a baited line, and automatic cameras took more than 500 photographs of the giant squid before it ripped itself free, leaving an 18-foot length of tentacle still attached to the bait.

There is still doubt about just how big giant squids get. Both eyewitness sightings and sucker scars on sperm whales seem to indicate that there are squids much bigger than any dead body we currently have. Most scientists refuse to believe that squids that huge could exist. Is there more than one species of giant squid out there, with one of them being really, really huge? Are the giant squids that have been netted near the surface or that have washed up on beaches the smaller ones?

Skepticism towards the idea of truly huge squids has weakened recently. Now, scientists think that the Antarctic species of squid called Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni actually grows much bigger than the giant squid. They don't have proof of this yet, as the only complete specimens of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni have been juveniles, but the size of these babies suggests that really big adults are out there. In recognition of this, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni has recently been given the common name of "colossal squid."

The Cryptid Zoo

El Chupacabra

When looking up info on the Chupacabra, it reminded me of a news report I saw on t.v. when I was 10. I can't remember were, but there was a report about the Chupacabra in the U.S. and how a farmer found some of his livestock dead. Then the news went into this thing were they had to do a short history on the Chupacabra and how some people think it's a vampire (there are cases were people compare the Chupacabra to a vampire or say the Chupacabra is a vampire). I distinctly remember being glued to the t.v. when this was on... as well as having one more reason to be afraid of the dark.
Name: Chupacabra
Grouping: Cryptid, Extraterrestrial
First reported: March 1995
Last sighted: 2008
Country: Puerto Rico
United States
Region: Central and North America
Status: Unconfirmed

El Chupacabra - Means "the goat sucker" in Spanish. Named because of the way it sucked all the blood from Puerto Rican goats, the Chupacabra has been leaving fear in its tracks for many years now. First spotted in Puerto Rico in 1994, the Chupacabra has since migrated off the island and has recently been spotted in many locations including South America as well as the US. Although it was named because of its choice of goat-blood as a meal, the Chupacabra has reportedly attacked and devoured the blood of a wide variety of animals including dogs and sheep. As far as we know, there have yet to be any human fatalities. Due to the distinct technique the strange animal has of killing its prey, it is very easy to tell if the Chupacabra was involved in an animals death. Animals are found with puncture wounds in their neck and most of their blood removed. Often, the victim's organs have disappeared even though the only wound is a small hole in the animal's neck. Reports of laser-like cuts on the victim's ears are also common. Although some people say they have seen the Chupacabra's tracks, in many cases there are no signs of blood or tracks around the dead animals.

It is hard to describe the appearance of El Chupacabra because sightings greatly differ. Most say it is either gray or green. Some say it has a large lizard-like tongue, others say it has wings.A bipedal creature (one that stands upright like a human), the Chupacabra has had many sightings where its height was reported to be anywhere from 3 and 6 feet tall. Some say it walks, some say it flies, and some say it has a kangaroo hop.

Like the descriptions of El Chupacabras' appearance, people's ideas of its origin widely vary. Many say it's a new species, or a relative to the panther. More eccentric scholars say it is a dinosaur or an alien. Another theory is that there is a portal to another dimension that stretches from Puerto Rico across to South America.

Here's a few videos I found on the Chupacabra:

Hey it's a movie!!! A really, really, really, bad movie. Like a had to force myself to finish watching the movie trailer bad movie.

And here's the second really, really, bad movie.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Vampires II

Psychotic vampire- A psychotic vampire is a person who has a sociopath mental illness that leads him (an exclusive male trait) to behave like a vampire, and sometimes to actually self-identify as one. In most cases, this identification is with folkloric/fictional vampires such as Dracula, Anne Rice's characters or the vampires in role-playing games. But more usually, psychotic vampires are simply obsessed with blood and will commit brutal crimes without remorse in order to see, taste, and feel it. Some may also take on the travesty-go of vampyre lifestylers by wearing capes, sleeping in coffins, filling their homes with skulls, bones, and souvenirs stolen from cemeteries through they should not be confused with true lifestylers. *See Richard Trenton Chase

Human Living Vampires (HLV's)- are individuals who, while they firmly assert that they are essentially human beings, and to all external appearances are exactly that, nevertheless have pronounced vampiric characteristics having a need, compulsion, or involuntary tendency to "feed" upon some substance or some kind of energy produced by other living things, primarily other people. HLV's fall into two main classes: sanguinarians who experience blood-lust or blood-craving, and "psychic vampires" or "psi-vampires". Boundaries among categories can be hazy and overlap considerably, and there is no rule that says a bona fide HLV might not also be interested in lifestyle vamping or be a blood fetishist. Within these two larger categories, there are several subdivisions among self-defined HLV's. There are also a number of different "theories" proposed by HLV's to explain their own origin, or the cause(s) of their conditions. Human Living Vampires are human beings who are born, grow up, age, and fully expect to die at the end of a conventional lifespan. No HLV claims to be immortal, invincible, or possessed of supernatural abilities.

However, many members of these groups believe themselves to have some form of sensory amplification or extrasensory perception, such as:

-Improved night-vision, sometimes to the point of being able to see without even moonlight
-Stinging of the skin when exposed to sunlight
-An ability to sense other vampires
-Broader range of senses
-Prescience, or the capacity to instinctively predict the immediate future
-Perception of auras

Although some report enhanced strength, stamina, resistance to disease, and so forth, in no case do these traits exceed the limits of human norms. They are prone to any illness or injury that afflicts human beings. They can and do have children. They have normal nutritional requirements (although some HLV's report unusual food cravings, allergies or aversions) and in all other ways are bound by natural law.

Both blood-drinking and psi-draining HLVs use the term "feed" to refer to what they actually do. Representatives of both groups have made strong statements to the effect that "feeding" (on blood or "energy") is what makes a Human Living Vampire what it is, and that other identifying "traits" or characteristics (if any) are of little or no importance.

"Feeding" appears to be a given not an option; an HLV must feed, feels a compulsion to do so, in the case of psychic vampires may do so involuntarily, and yet nobody seems to understand why. This desire to feed also identified as the Thirst, Hunger or the Need, bears strong parallels with drug addiction. Pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, and sometimes even body temperature, increase in anticipation of the act of feeding. Blood-craving HLV's assert that only the communion of taking blood from a consenting human donor, sometimes during sex, is truly satisfying to them. The "need" that HLV's experience is for a fix, not a meal. The chief concern for most HLV's seems to be how to "feed" more efficiently, how to find "donors", how to guarantee a regular supply of the needed substance, and so forth--very similar to drug addicts.

"Secondary symptoms" of vampirism (that are not directly related to an HLV's craving for blood and/or energy) include sensitivity to sunlight, a tendency to be awake and alert at night but lethargic during the day, migraine headaches as a common malady.

Here's a video clip of National Geographic episode on vampires:


Name: Vampire
Grouping: Undead
First reported: In folklore
Country: All over the world
Status: Unconfirmed

A vampire is a mythical or folkloric creatures who overcomes death by sucking the blood from living humans. The most common variation of this myth portrays the vampire as a dead person that rises from the grave at night to seek his or her. Vampires are also popular in film makers movies. The vampire came from Bram Stokers's novel "Dracula." People have added a number of variations to the vampire (e.g., the ability to fly,like the vampire bat, a lust for beautiful women as victims who then become vampires upon being bitten, fear holy cross, garlic or garlic item, holy water, and death by sunlight or by a special stake driven through the heart. Vampires are believed to be base off of  Vlad the Impaler and Elizabeth Bathory.

A commonly accepted definition of the European (or Slavic) vampire is a dead body which continues to live in the grave, which it leaves, however, by night, for the purpose of sucking blood of the living, whereby it is nourished and preserved in good condition, instead of becoming decomposed like other dead bodies.

Vampires are also a popular in books. What seems to be common about vampire myths is their connection with the fear of death and/or there desire for immortality. The ritual drinking of blood to overcome death has been practiced by many peoples. The Aztecs and other Native Americans, for example, ate the hearts and drank the blood of captives in ritual ceremonies, most likely to satisfy the appetite of their gods and gain for themselves fertility and immortality. Also typical were the rites of Dionysus and Mithras, where the drinking of animal blood was required in the quest for immortality. Even today, some Christians believe that their priests perform a magical transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ to be eaten and drunk in the quest to join God in eternal life.

Side note(a more thorough investigation on vampires and how people believe in and/or are vampires):
Vampyre Lifestylers or "Vampyres" (as opposed to "Vampires") are individuals who are attracted to the contemporary vampire lore and who seek to emulate it by dressing in exotic vampire-like costumery, decorating their homes in dark Victorian (or funeral parlor) gloom, assuming prosthetic fangs and colored contact lenses. It is partly outgrown but distinct from the Gothic subculture.

The Vampire subculture* (or Vampyre Scene) like other system of beliefs consists of people who have committed themselves to an ideology, maintain ethical tenets within a hierarchical system, participate in rituals specific to their clans and in which aesthetics holds a significant, often magical place of significance within the group; aesthetic being broadly defined as symbolism, style, language, religion, art, presentation of self, appearance, and other cultural expressions.

* From a sociological perspective, when a group of people participate in a shared aesthetic in which identity and status are organized around a style that is distinguishable from the dominant culture it is referred to as a subculture.

The vampire subculture is largely a social creation within Western popular culture, seemingly drawing from the rich recent history of popular culture related to cult symbolism, horror films, the fiction of Anne Rice, and the styles of Victorian England. The Vampire subculture seems to exist in opposition to the Judeo-Christian principles of mainstream Western Society. Vampyres pride themselves on practicing the antithesis of Christian ethics and this is apparent in the sexual and violent activities that permeate their interactions and rituals. Many people are introduced to the Vampyre scene through the role-playing game "Vampire: the Masquerade," others through the erotic nature of the lifestyle and many more through popular literature such as Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. The subculture is typically delineated by a particular style of dress, referred to as "garb" and decor that combines elements of the Victorian, Punk, Glam, and Gothic fashions with styles featured in vampire films and fiction.

The general lay-out including but not limited to a very pale complexion, a wardrobe made up predominantly of dark clothing, a Victorian, or Renaissance fashion style of dress and hairs, black or blood-red lipstick, macabre silver jewelry, assortment of fetish, corset, bondage, sunglasses, long and sharp fingernails fangs, FX contacts, and a generally melancholy or lugubrious air to go with it. Preferred colors are usually red, black, and purple. Music is dominated by Gothic; other genres include Industrial, Death Metal, Classical, Techno and a variety of other forms. Some of the more popular Vampyre bands include Inkubus Sukkubus, Type O Negative, Nosferatu and Malkador. Wine is the drink of choice and some members will also drink absinthe although it is illegal in the United States and most European countries.

Vampyres frequently attend Fetish Scene and Body Scene Clubs, which involve public sadomasochistic activities. It is at the numerous "Scene" clubs where the worlds of body mutilation, piercing, performance art, blood rituals, tattooing, and all forms of bondage and violent sexual activity converge. Lifestylers often form alternative extended families and social structures modeled on the "covens", “sires” or "clans" of vampire fiction and role-playing games. Many also utilize lingo and terminology taken from vampire fiction and RPGs. Some are real vampires in the sense of craving blood, while others are blood fetishists, and still others are just drawn to the "Vampyre aesthetic". The subculture is most apparent in North America and Europe, and to a lesser extent in certain parts of South America and Asia. There are active groups, dedicated bars and night-clubs in New York, London, Paris, Montreal, Tokyo and Melbourne.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Name: Fairy
AKA: Fay
Wee Folk
Good Folk
Fair Folk
Grouping: Mythological creature
First reported: In folklore
Country: All over the world
Habitat: March
Status: Unconfirmed

Fairies are a mythological beings or legendary creatures. But often decribe as being unearthly or preternatural
Fairies are generally described as humanoid form; being able to perform magic or possess magical powers. But they also can be creatures as well. Fairies are generally small winged creatures or people. They are also known to possess long life. The word "fairy" comes from the word "fae"- medieval western european folklore and romance stories. Their specific origin in folklores is not truly clear. Due to some seeing fairies as a spirit or angel; not a living being. As well as some see them as demoted angels or demons. Many stories about fairies revolve around their viciousness; and about how certain things can be used to protect oneself from a fairy. Fairies can be both friendly or evil natured; using their powers to either help other creatures or punish them for misdeeds or just for fun.