The Lobishomen: A Werewolf Whose Blood Can Kill You

lobishomen

The lobishomen is a type of werewolf that appears in Portuguese folklore, most prominently in the southern region of Alentejo. It’s usually described as a typical werewolf, although others have said it looks more like a small, hunchbacked monkey. Explanations for how people become lobishomen varies across the country, from being the murder victims of witchcraft to being the children of parents who had committed incest. The most common explanation, however, is that a lobishomen is born if his mother has had seven (sometimes five) sons in a row. Daughters can become lobishomen too, although they are generally called “loberia”.

The victim’s life is completely normal until he’s hit puberty. For the next seven years, every Saturday night, the adolescent child has an unstoppable urge to quit whatever he’s doing and go out into the woods. He’ll then take off his clothes, fall to the ground, and transform into an ugly and oversized animal, typically a rabbit, wolf, or donkey. Immediately, he starts to run throughout the forest, and he can’t stop until the sun’s come up. According to some variations, he runs because he’s being chased by demon dogs.

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Once the seven years are up, the victim finally becomes a lobishomen. During the daytime, he looks like any other man, but he’s very thin and has a yellowish tint to his skin. He continues to suffer an involuntary transformation every Saturday night, but now has an insatiable thirst for human blood. The curse is lifelong, although it can be broken if somebody draws blood from the lobishomen at the exact moment he is transforming. This is really dangerous, however, because humans can die if even a single drop of lobishomen blood falls on them.

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The lobishomen legend is also found in Brazil, although it’s considered more of a vampire in that country. Unlike its Portuguese cousin, the Brazilian lobishomen doesn’t kill people, and only attacks women. Women who are bitten by a lobishomen then attack children and drink their blood. The only way to keep lobishomen away is to smear a paste made of Wolf’s Bane and sweet onion around doors, windows, and graves of people believed to be lobishomen.

Sources:

https://books.google.com/books?id=4FRXwoWHxn0C&pg=PA550&dq=lobishomen&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAWoVChMIwZuOy6iaxwIVhAWSCh1k3gkY#v=onepage&q=lobishomen&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=l45FAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA78&dq=lobishomen&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CBwQ6AEwADgKahUKEwiyueqvqZrHAhVGDJIKHR12Dhk#v=onepage&q=lobishomen&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=Qy8LAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA162&dq=lobishomen&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCEQ6AEwATgUahUKEwjm6rvAqZrHAhULV5IKHUa7CBI#v=onepage&q=lobishomen&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=uQ88AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&dq=werewolf+portugal&source=bl&ots=BSuGV0ZJP9&sig=5QBV7bzNwuasTPojSHcIixAl8h4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CF8Q6AEwDmoVChMI7uaw0rCaxwIVBc6ACh1AggAj#v=onepage&q=werewolf%20portugal&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=6h17h23zo1AC&pg=PA202&dq=lobishomen&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAGoVChMIwZuOy6iaxwIVhAWSCh1k3gkY#v=onepage&q=lobishomen&f=false

The Sect of Indian Ascetics who Eat Human Flesh

Picture of Aghori man taken by Italian photographer Cristiano Ostinelli.

Picture of Aghori man taken by Italian photographer Cristiano Ostinelli.

The Aghori are a small Hindu sect that worships the god Shiva. They are, however, reviled by orthodox Hindus for their use of alcohol and their meat-eating, which includes consuming the flesh of both animals and humans. They typically go naked or thinly-covered, but they also smear their bodies with cremation ashes. Like many other Hindu holy men, they are required to renounce life and earthly pleasures, so never marry and practice celibacy, although some Aghori have been known to engage in ritual group sex with menstruating prostitutes. In addition to their practice of cannibalism, they also drink urine and eat feces, no less from bowls made of human skulls.

Somewhat less sensationally, they don’t actually kill any of the humans they eat. They usually take bodies from the Ganges, a sacred river notoriously polluted with trash, industrial waste, and the bodies of poor Hindus whose families couldn’t afford to cremate them. (Most people in India are cremated.)

In their corpse-eating rituals, intoxicated by alcohol and hallucinogenic drugs, an Aghori first sits on the decomposing corpse, meditates for a while, and then dedicates the meal to a deity before eating it. They believe eating dead bodies will prevent aging and give them supernatural powers, like being able to fly or control the weather. These rituals aren’t believed to be a constant thing; some sources say they are only a once in a lifetime event. Because of the sect’s obscurity and secrecy, nobody is exactly sure, although they have allowed some filming of their rituals the past 10 years.

Another picture by Cristiano Ostinelli.

Another picture by Cristiano Ostinelli.

While they were recorded as having a population of 5,580 in the Indian Census of 1901, their number is far fewer today, some sources estimating only several dozen or so members. Little is known about their historical origins, although they trace their founding to a late 18th century ascetic named Kina Ram. There are some English accounts of the Aghori in the 19th century, including an incident in 1887 in which a nude gang of angry Aghori who had been denied some goats stole a corpse from a crematorium and ate it on the spot in the city of Ujjain.

Gallery of Cristiano Ostinelli photos:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/11444748/Meet-the-flesh-eating-cannibal-Aghori-monks-of-Varanasi-India-in-pictures.html?frame=3216958

The Jackie Hernandez Haunting

Jackie Hernandez claimed to have been haunted by two different ghosts from around 1988 to 1990.

Jackie Hernandez claimed to have been haunted by two different ghosts from around 1988 to 1990.

In November 1988, Jackie Hernandez left her husband and took their 2-year-old son Jaime to live in San Pedro, California. Hernandez was pregnant, and her marriage had been a disaster. She was hoping this move would be a change for the better.

As soon as she moved in, however, a number of strange things started happening. One of her beds would repeatedly collapse without explanation. She thought she could hear voices mumbling in the attic. Her cat would run around the house, as though it were chasing the strange shadows on the walls. One day, when she and her friend were washing dishes, the kitchen walls seeped a bizarre, blood-like ooze. Another time, she watched some pencils fling out of a pencil holder by themselves.

It all got worse after her daughter Samantha was born in April 1989. She would have vivid dreams in which she was a young man being clubbed to death in San Pedro Harbor. The setting seemed to have been in the 1930s, and she would wake up after her attacker tried drowning her. One particular night, she woke up all of a sudden and had to use the bathroom. As she was getting there, she found an old man in her house. Before she could even react, the old man vanished without a word.

The case soon attracted the attention of paranormal researcher and parapsychologist Dr. Barry Taff. Taff and his team, armed with video cameras and infrared detectors, paid Hernandez’s house a visit in August. The team kept hearing sounds in the attic, “like a 200 foot pound rat running around”, according to Taff. When one of the photographers, Jeff Wheatcraft, went up to the attic to take some pictures, an invisible force violently grabbed at his camera and threw it to the ground.

The team came for a second visit in September. Wheatcraft went to investigate the attic again, but this time took another person, Gary Beihm, with him. While the two were looking around, a clothesline suddenly wrapped itself around Wheatcraft’s neck and tried hanging him from a nail in a rafter. Beihm was able to get Wheatcraft down before he was strangled to death, and he also took some of the few photographs we have of an alleged ghost attack.

One of the pictures of Jeff Wheatcraft getting attacked.

One of the pictures of Jeff Wheatcraft getting attacked.

By the fall, Hernandez left her San Pedro home and returned to live with her husband in a trailer park about 300 miles away. The paranormal activity that plagued her in San Pedro immediately stopped. After her relationship with her husband fell apart, however, strange things started happening again. When she and some neighbors were putting a TV away into her shed, the image of the old man from San Pedro manifested itself on the screen. Throughout the rest of the night, she heard something pounding from the inside of the shed.

The investigators were called in again. As soon as they got inside Hernandez’s trailer, their equipment kept inexplicably switching off. Once they started using a ouija board, the table began to shake, and everybody present felt cold chills. The board told them that it was the spirit of a young man who died in San Pedro harbor when he was 18-years-old in 1930. His murderer lived in the San Pedro house. They stopped the session when Wheatcraft was lifted up into the air and thrown against the trailer’s wall. He dropped to the floor, unconscious. When he woke up, he said that he felt something squeezing his diaphragm, and then the next thing he knew, he was thrown against the wall and passed out.

After digging through old newspapers, Hernandez identified the ouija board spirit as the ghost of a young seaman named Herman Hendrickson. Hendrickson’s body was found floating in San Pedro Harbor on March 25, 1930. As for the ghost of the old man, Hernandez thought that it was John Damon, the man who built the San Pedro home. She has said that a ball of light appeared to her while she was in San Pedro in the spring of 1990. The ball led her to a cemetery, where it hovered around one of the graves before vanishing. The name on the grave’s stone marker? John Damon.

The ghosts have since stopped harassing Jackie Hernandez. Taff believes, due to the emotional problems that Hernandez was going through during the time of the haunting, that she had become a poltergeist agent. The attacks against Jeff Wheatcraft were the result of Hernandez’s attraction toward another member of the investigation team, Barry Conrad. Wheatcraft was always with Conrad, which Hernandez felt was impeding her efforts to get closer to him. Taff theorizes that this provoked Hernandez to unknowingly release RSPK (Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis) energy in an attempt to get rid of Wheatcraft.

Because of the alleged attacks and accompanying photographs, I consider this one of the most interesting cases I’ve ever heard. As the harsh skeptic that I am, however, I can’t say that I believe it. Firstly, Herman Hendrickson, one of the accused ghosts, was 28-years-old when he died, not 18-years-old like the ouija board said. Furthermore, Hendrickson wasn’t murdered. Authorities ruled his death an accident, as a result of him slipping off the docks and drowning. And the pictures, as incredible as they are, could still easily be faked. There is video footage of the aftermath, with Wheatcraft calmly emerging from the attic with a cord around his neck, available on Youtube (enhanced with spooky music):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeMJqYQiAKk

Frankly, seeing how untroubled everybody seems in the video, I’m not convinced.

Sources:

http://barrytaff.net/2012/06/hazardous-hauntings-the-enemy-within/

http://articles.latimes.com/1993-03-23/news/vw-14352_1_jackie-hernandez

The Inokashira Park Dismemberment Incident

Inokashira Park

Inokashira Park

Today we’ll be talking about one of Japan’s many incidents of “barabara satsujin” (scattered murder) , a method of killing so seemingly popular in the country that it has its very own page on the Japanese Wikipedia.

On April 23, 1994, a cleaning staff member of Tokyo’s Inokashira Park found a garbage bag in the park’s trash can. She thought the bag contained raw fish, but when her colleagues opened it to see what was inside, they found a human ankle. The police were called in, and the bag was found to contain a total of 24 pieces of human flesh, including two feet, two hands, and a shoulder. At an autopsy conducted at Kyorin University Hospital, the cause of death was deemed unknown. The parts had been completely drained of blood, and to make the case even weirder, each piece was cut exactly to the length of 20 centimeters (about 7.8 inches). Although a third of the body was never found, including the head, the pieces were identified three days later as belonging to a 35-year-old architect named Seiichi Kawamura.

Kawamura lived less than a mile from the park, and was last seen on April 21st. He ate dinner with his family that evening, and afterward went out to karaoke with an old coworker. He left his friend around 11 PM, but never returned home. His family reported him missing the next day.

Despite police questioning some 37,000 people, the case has never been solved. There were reports of two suspicious men walking in the park and carrying a plastic bag around 4 am on the day Kawamura’s body was discovered, but they have never been identified. Other witnesses said that they heard the sound of a car colliding with something in the very early hours of the 22nd. It’s been suggested that Kawamura was struck by a car, and that his killers cut him up to get rid of the body. One popular rumor even claimed that Kawamura had been a member of a religious cult, and was brutally murdered after trying to leave it.

Whether the murder was the attempt to hide a tragic accident, or the work of a deranged surgeon, perhaps we’ll never know. Prior to 2010, Japan had a statue of limitations on murder for fifteen years. Unfortunately, the case missed the country’s abolition of the limitation by only a year.

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Sources:

http://fumibako.com/kowai/story/case/27.html

http://yabusaka.moo.jp/inokasirabarabara.htm