THE TALE OF THE CROGLIN VAMPIRE
The story of the Croglin vampire is quite well known across Cumbria and it has been part of the regions folklore since about 1650 which was the period at the end of the English Civil War.
Croglin Low Hall in Cumbria was owned by the Fisher family who apparently decided to rent out their farm and move to the south of the country. The new tenants were the Cranswell family. One hot summer’s night the sister of the two Cranswell farmers had opened her window wide to let in some air. She saw two lights in the trees that separated the garden from the nearby graveyard.
A dark shape moved closer and closer to the house but the lady could not run from the room because the door was close to the window and she would have to move nearer to the dark object to open it. The shape started to move around the outside of the house instead of coming to her window.
She was so afraid that she rushed to close the window and get out of the door to the room. Then she heard scratching at the window and saw long boney fingers picking at the window panes and one pane had come loose. The hand reached inside to open the window.
The vampire flew into the room, grabbed her by the throat and bit her neck. She screamed and her brothers came rushing to her aid. As the men broke through the locked door, the creature flew out through the open window. One of them went after the vampire but lost it in the darkness.
The family left Croglin and Cumbria for a few months to allow the woman to get over her shock. It was she who suggested, after a few months, that perhaps it was time to return to Croglin and tend the farm. She slept in the same room with shutters closed and her brothers always carried loaded pistols.
All was well for some months, then the sister heard the scratching sound again. She managed to light her candle and saw that the shutters were open and a brown leathery face stared at her the skinny fingers scratched at the glass. She screamed and by the time her brothers came, it had gone. They gave chase and the vampire was shot in the leg but it still managed to run away.
In the morning they got their neighbours together and went in search of the monster. The tenants at Croglin High Hall had been visited by the same creature and the young daughter had bite marks on her neck.
They searched the graveyard and found a vault that was rumoured to contain vampires. All the coffins were open except one. They lifted the lid to see the same shrivelled figure that the brothers had seen running away and it had a pistol ball embedded in its leg. The coffin and its vampire was burned.