Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Stuff: The Victorian vampire blood cult of Kansas City. True story, swear to God.

Yesterday, out of random curiosity, I went poking through the digital archives of the old Brooklyn Eagle - the paper Walt Whitman used to work for - to see if I could find early reviews of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I did find an early and very laudatory review of Stoker's vampire novel, but I also stumbled across this bizarre story of a "vampire cult" near Kansas City in the late 19th Century. Here's the story from the January 27th, 1890 edition of the Brooklyn Eagle, scanned directly from the archives:

The same story appeared a few days later in the Dallas Weekly Times Herald under the more colorful headline: "Nest of Bloodsuckers. The Horrible Orgies of a New Sect at Kansas City." That's how you do journalism, Screamers and Screamettes!

Other than these two appearances, I can't find any other evidence of the cult. There are online records of a Wrinkle family in the Kansas City area at the time of the story, the patriarch of which was named "John H." However, there's no record that he had two sons or that he suffered from and most likely died of tuberculosis ("consumption").


Sasquatchan said...

True crime ? Drinking the blood of children ? Geeze.. Sounds like a cliched insult for a cult/spin-off you don't agree with.. "Yeah, well, they drink the blood of children!"

zoe said...

what a great find! it makes me want to live in a library basement!

it also reminds me of the blood libel bit, in prague? where the jewish community was accused of "needing" the blood of christian children to bake their special bread?

here's some horror fan fodder:

Chase said...

hmmm... I wonder if he really was a vampire. If he was, I could understand why he had no record of two children. But of similar age... unlikely.

nicoleshe said...

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