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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Neil Arnold’s Weird Tales: The Vampire Dwarf Of Essex

I have known Neil for fifteen years now, since he was a mod schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippy who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years; we are just both a tad older....


I have several contacts within the paranormal world and one of these is the lurvly Sally McConnell. She told me recently about her encounter with the ‘vampire dwarf’ when she was 15 years old; a truly chilling critter if ever there was one:

“It was a November evening (4:30) in 1982. I was alone in the house (at Rainham, in Essex) and I went up to the loft extension at the top of the house to my brother's bedroom. I was looking for a record and had my back to the bannisters when I heard a rustle movement at the bannisters ( you could see the back bedroom as the stairs turned the corner). I looked around; had a feeling something was watching me!

The small creature was hooked by his claws (peering over the bannister), looking at me; the mouth was very threatening and he was hissing at me but the eyes were distant and had no feeling to them; they were black as black! I could see the skull through the thin transparent skin; his cheeks were sunken and he had no visible hair. I froze, my heart tightened and I turned away. I felt so sick and with that ran like hell down the stairs. I had to pass where he was but didn’t look to see if he was still there.

I put every light on in the house until all the family came home from work, which was about 6:00 pm. I had the music on really loud so if he was there I couldn’t hear him scurrying about! Two days later my brother, who had originally laughed at me with the rest of the family, wanted me to tell him the story again. It was just us alone in the house, it was a Saturday and as I was telling him we jumped like mad when a brass plate that was positioned on a ledge up the stairs was thrown (or fell?) down into the hall. We searched the house (reluctantly) but found nothing; phew!! Nothing has been seen since in that house and my parents still live there.”

Sally kindly sketched me the creature. It’s appearance resembled the head vampire in the movie Salems Lot and also
Nosferatu.

1 comment:

Andrew D. Gable said...

Humm. Quite interesting. I'd be quite freaked as well if I saw Mini-Me Mr. Barlow on the stairs! I find the connection with apparent poltergeist phenomena interesting.