|Beast of Bladenboro|
|Average height||3 ft. long|
|Habitat||Bladenboro, North Carolina|
|Behind the Scenes|
In 1954, the Beast of Bladenboro received national attention for several mysterious animal killings, mostly of dogs and livestock, in the area. The animals had broken jaws and had been drained of blood in a fashion not unlike the supposed attacks of Chupacabras.
Bladenboro is a small community surrounded by pine forests and swamps at the southeastern edge of the North Carolina piedmont. It was also the setting for the greatest monster flap North Carolina has ever seen.
On December 29, 1953 a local farmer reported a large, cat-like creature had attacked one of his dogs and dragged it into the underbrush. On New Year's Eve two more dog carcasses, reportedly completely drained of blood, were found. The next day, two more dogs were attacked. Residents reported seeing an animal "Like a bear or a panther" that was "three feet long, twenty inches high, with a long tail and a cat's face."
Police Chief Roy Fores organized a hunt for the beast in the swamps, but came up empty handed. It was when Mayor W.G. Fussell called the papers that things really took off. Fussell, who also owned the local theater, was later quoted in a 1958 edition of the Carolina Farmer magazine as saying "A little publicity never hurt a small town." Bladenboro certainly got its publicity.
Hitting the papers in the slow news week after Christmas, the Vampire Beast of Bladenboro gained an unusually large amount of attention. Hunters from as far way as Tennessee descended on the small town to see if they could get a shot at the beast. Newspapers from Arizona to New York ran coverage of the hunt for the creature. The town was engulfed in chaos, with men with guns walking through the forest shooting at anything that moved.
Deciding that things were getting too dangerous, Mayor Fussell and Chief Fores called an end to the hunt, taking an unusually large bobcat that had been killed by one of the hunters and running it up a flagpole in the center of town. They posted a sign underneath stating "This is the Beast of Bladenboro." After a week or so, things settled back to normal.
In 2008, the History Channel television series Monster Quest performed an analysis concerning these attacks, which were beginning to happen again, and concluded that the attacker might have been a cougar.