Vampire

Date of Discovery

Vampires date back to prehistory and were significantly lacking in physical documentation until the “Scriptures of Delphi,” were discovered during the second half of the 19th century. Having been written somewhere around 450BC, it predated any other known documentation of vampires. These creatures didn’t actually appear by name until 1047 in a more modern Russia.

Name

The Vampire as we know the legend today has had many names over the years, such as the original name it was known by, Upir, which was discovered in the document from 1047 which referred to a Russian prince as an Upir Lichy, which translates into, “wicked vampire.”

Alternative names for the vampire (French) are derivations from the original form, Upir, as vampyre (Archaic), vampir (German), vàmpīr (Serbo-Croatian), *ǫpyrь (Proto-Slavic), upýrʹ (Russian), and upiór (Polish).

Descendants of the original vampire lore are known as bhêmpayar (Bengali), vaimpír (Irish), vanpaia/banpaia (Japanese), vhĕmpāyar (Marathi), wɛm-paai (Thai), bhampair (Scottish-Gaelic), vampiri (Swahili), and fampir (Welsh) just to name a few–all of the terms that are used to describe the vampire are related etymologically.

There are many creatures that resemble the vampire in nature but are not directly related to the original demon.

Physical Description

Due to the wide variety of characterizations of vampires, but they are often portrayed as sharp-fanged humanoid creatures–they are typically said to have pale skin and range in physical appearance from grotesque to preternaturally beautiful depending on the source of the folklore.

Origin

Having originated during prehistoric times, it’s difficult to know just how they came into being. Although not always documented as the first official legend of vampires the “Scriptures of Delphi,” were found in the archaeological sites of Delphi, said to be written by the infamous Oracle of Delphi. The scriptures have within, there is a section known as the “Vampire Bible,” which is, of course, used as a colloquial term. The “Vampire Bible,” speaks about the first vampire, Ambrogio.

The first, more modern document that is known to enter vampires into legend in the new age as Upir, appeared a significant amount of time after the Scriptures of Delphi were written and subsequently lost to time.

The first known document that has entered them into legend is clear that the vampire existed well before the word for it did. In 1190, “De Nagis Crialium,” was written by Walter Map and accounts for vampire-like beings in England. Just six years later and William of Newburgh’s, “Chronicles,” accounted for several more stories of vampire-like revenants which also occurred in England. As far as is known, this was the last time they were written about until the 1400s, after Vlad Tepes, son of Vlad Dracul was born. Vlad Dracul or, “Vlad the Dragon,” was the father of the man that the world came to know as Vlad the Impaler–the original Dracula.

Mythology and Lore

Blood and flesh consuming revenants or demons can be found in nearly every culture worldwide; these creatures were incredibly well documented in each of these cultures. Before they were known as vampires, they were considered demons or spirits, and are often still comparable to demons in modern pop-culture. In the millennia that the legends of vampires have existed, there are only a handful that have truly captured attention worldwide. Most of these originate from the 1700s and particularly Transylvania –where there were reports of vampires that came from evil beings, suicide victims, witches, a malevolent spirit inhabiting a corpse, or being bitten by another vampire. This actually caused mass hysteria in many regions and was followed by believed vampires being publically executed.

Tales like Ambrogio, Dracula, Nosferatu, and more have led to the evolution of the vampire legend and turned these creatures into one of the most popular and well-known figures in horror culture.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Due to the immensely popular nature of the vampire, these modern media references are but a raindrop in the ocean of what can be found in literature, movies, and television series.

Books

Movies

Television Series



Is there anything we missed about vampires? Let us know in the comments section below!

Van Gilder Hotel, Seward, AK

Date of Establishment & Haunting

This hotel was built in 1916; the alleged haunting, however, took place after the death of Fannie Guthry-Baehm between 1947 and 1950.

Name & Location

Location

The Van Gilder Hotel in downtown Seward, Alaska

Apparitions

Fannie Guthry-Baehm is said to be one of the resident ghosts that call the Van Gilder Hotel; she is one of many except she’s the only one that people have identified.

Physical Description

Location

A three-story reinforced concrete building with a full basement, on the exterior it is a white and maroon, unassumingly elegant building that is ripe with old Alaskan history.


“The first two floors contain twelve office suites with hot and cold running water and lavatories in every suite. The hall partitions and doors are of non-transparent glass. The third floor is being fitted up for lodge purposes and will be second to none in Alaska.

All exterior doors and windows are to contain wired plate glass. The windows are the celebrated Whitney windows and the building will be heated by an “Ideal” down draft boiler 3750 feet capacity, with a Honeywell automatic temperature regulator. The radiators are of the “Peerless” screw nipper type.

On the whole the building is one of the finest in Alaska. It is one of three fine concrete buildings which have just been completed but it is the largest of the three. Mr. Van Gilder deserves a tremendous lot of credit for giving a building like this to Seward. He came in a stranger and seeing that Seward must grow he set to work unostentatiously to erect The Office Block. It is an enforced concrete building eighty-four by thirty-four feet in dimension. On the first and second floors it has twenty-seven rooms. The basement is large enough to house the whole plant of the Gateway and on the third story, in addition to all the rest, are splendid lodge rooms.

At present there are 31 rooms available for rental. Six more rooms make up the manager’s apartment and lobby. The basement contains seven rooms and two bathrooms.”

News Account: Description of the building when it was opened in 1916


Apparitions

Van Gilder Hotel
Van Gilder Hotel

There is a lone unidentifiable man is said to appear only as wisps and orbs, but there have also been sightings of two men wearing bowler hats standing behind the front desk, as well as three children running from room to room giggling when there were no guests in the hotel.

Fannie Guthry-Baehm

Fannie is described as a young woman who has long blonde hair and wears a blue dress.

Origin

Location

A well-known historic building in Seward, Alaska–the Van Gilder Hotel was initially built as an office building, then underwent the conversion to apartments, and finally a hotel. Between being built 1916 and 1921, the building originally played host to the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodge on the third floor, but after the two lodges constructed their own buildings, the third floor got turned into a ballroom. Once the building made the transition to a hotel, the third floor became the space for hotel guests.

In the last hundred years, the building hasn’t changed much from the time it was built to now, save for some upgrades to keep the building up to code through the years. Changes to the interior were cosmetic, but they only aid in keeping one of the oldest hotels in Alaska feeling authentic to its origins.

Apparitions

There are apparently several reported apparitions that call the Van Gilder Hotel home, but only one is known by name. The rest have been seen, but are unidentifiable.

Fannie Guthry-Baehm

According to local lore, in 1947 a woman named Fannie Guthry-Baehm was said to be shot in the head by her husband; the stories told around town were that her husband was a violent drunk and shot her in a whiskey-fueled rage. Although even some of the locals are not exactly sure about when she was killed–but they know it was between 1947 and 1950, but according to sources, it is more often believed to have been 1947. The details of the room in which she died are also unclear, some sources say room 201, while others say it was room 202 or 209, however, former staff of the hotel insist it was actually room 202.

An eyewitness account suggested in 2001 that at exactly 1:21 am they were awakened to the whole building shaking and windows squeaking right before they heard someone running up the stairs, followed directly by someone running down the stairs. When the customer asked the staff if there had been an earthquake, but was told that there hadn’t been–that what the customer had actually experienced was the ghost of Fannie Guthry-Baehm reliving her murder.

Mythology and Lore

Apparitions

The spirits of the Van Gilder Hotel don’t appear as often in sources that allude to their existence as Fannie, but accounts from the housekeeping staff make it clear that there are a plethora of ghosts who spend their afterlife within the walls of this historic hotel.

Fannie Guthry-Baehm

The book was written by Jonathan Faulkner The Ghost of Fannie Guthry-Baehm (2010) and set the murder as a mystery piece and at face value poses as a tale woven with historical facts. There is one passage in the book that gives what is alleged to be an eyewitness account.

At about 12:30, just after midnight early on the morning of the 13th of July, the room was beginning to get dark, as it was summer in Alaska. As I rolled over, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what I perceived as a woman in a dressing gown with long light-colored hair. I could not tell if it was blond or gray, but my sense was the woman was not old and gray. She appeared tired as she moved from the corner of the bed ‘through’ the dresser and to the door. She paused and went ‘through’ the door and out of the room.

The Ghost of Fannie Guthry-Baehm (2010)

According to housekeeping staff, Fannie has a tendency to sit on freshly made beds and leave a butt print, she’s also known to move cleaning supplies, tools, as well as opening and closing doors and windows. Many people have reported seeing her while they were sitting in chairs in the hallways, as well as people who have woken up to find Fannie sitting at the foot of their bed.

Modern Pop-Culture References

There is some controversy about the validity of the only known publication made about Fannie Guthry-Baehm’s murder–although we’re waiting to hear back from the family, we’re under the impression that the book falsely represented many of the details about the life and death of Fannie.

Books & Literature



Is there anything we missed about the Van Gilder Hotel, Seward, AK? Let us know in the comments section below!

Vèvè

Date of Discovery

Vèvè came into being around the same time as voodoo was established in Haiti sometime during the 18th century, however, the predecessors to these symbols existed long before voodoo evolved in the Americas.

Name

Vèvè is also known as veve, and vevè.

Physical Description

Vèvès are traditionally complex line-art style symbols (when pictured), but when used in a ritual they are drawn in sands or other powders.

Origin

The tradition of creating vèvè has quite a long tradition that originates from the ancient kingdom of Dahomey–a region that is now southern Benin. Using palm oil, the practitioner would draw specific geometric figures, including frequent use of rectangles and squares, upon the ground. The ritual drawing of vèvè can also be attested as a typical practice in Central Africa and within the Taino and Arawak peoples of Haiti, all of which converged within the African slave population that was forcibly brought to Haiti.

Mythology and Lore

In Haitian Vodou, the vèvè are symbols that represent the loa, or lwa. They are ritually drawn upon the floor with some type of powder, typically cornmeal, wheat flour, bark, red brick powder, or gunpowder. In Haitian Vodou specifically, cornmeal and wood-ash mixtures are generally preferred. The substance used to draw the vèvè depends upon the loa being called or honored, as well as the ritual which is being performed. Alternatively, vèvès can also be drawn, printed, or painted and used in artwork, jewelry, banners, or other wall-hangings.

Whether simple or elaborate, these ritualistic symbols are still drawn upon the floor of the temple or ritual grounds. Instead of palm oil, they are drawn with cornmeal or ashes with a great deal of precision by an Oungan or Manbo.

These symbols are an integral part of Voodoo rituals, within the concept of their use they are used to bring the loa to the earthly plane to assist the practitioner in their ritual goal. Each of these loa has its own symbol to represent them in order to establish a personal connection to the spirit in question.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature

Movies

Puzzle Box Horror Presents – Anna

https://puzzleboxhorror.com/anna-chapter-two-finding-the-bokor/






Follow Alaskan born Anna as she wades through the mysteries and perils of the paranormal and supernatural forces that are at work in the world.

In this installment, Anna has caught wind of a sinister voodoo cult that has been potentially bringing the dead back to life. What will she find when she visits the Big Easy to get to the truth of what’s behind this unbelievable rumor.


Read Articles Relating to Vèvè

Learn about vèvès and how they relate to the religion from which they came, you’ll be surprised at what you find out!



Is there anything we missed about vèvès? Let us know in the comments section below!