The Daily Pulse 10.18.04 aka Nyogtha ii

Right. As we’re getting everyone ready for the coming of NYGOTHA, I told you guys to start sending in your questions about folklore/taboo/superstitions/etc and I have two that I’m going to spend this column on. First up, comes a question from Michael Couacaud.

Hello Alex,

I am changing a story about a vampire. I did a bit of research and found this term “sanguisuga” (latin for “blood-sucker”) Do you have any more information? Also I found that one way to kill a vampire was with silver bullets (so it’s in the story) Can you tell me if this is correct? Because I don’t want to kill the vampir character using a stake or holy water. Sunlight will be my last resort.

Let’s take the last question first. Yes silver is a long time remedy for stamping out your undead problems. In fact, silver was originally a vampire weakness, NOT a Lycanthropic one. It wasn’t until the 1935 film The Werewolf of London that silver became part of the werewolf mythos. This was added to the werewolf mythos because of the old Scottish belief that if you shot a witch with a silver bullet while it was in an animalistic form, it would revert back to humanoid and die.

The reason silver is a weakness for the vampiric undead goes back to Greek and Roman times. Silver was revered in Alchemy as both a symbol of the moon (another reason while Hollywood moved it to Werewolves as well) as also a symbol of the goddess Diana. Because silver is such a pure metal, as well as it’s white and lustrous state in nature, silver was considered a bane against all form of the walking dead and evil. Even early Christianity used silver to ward off the devil and demons, stating a crucifix made out of pure silver was the proper element to fashion one out of.

Another offshoot of this belief can be found in Serbia. Here silver coins and a crucifix would be loaded into a shotgun. This projectile would slay the vampire if pierced by it, but you have to wonder how many different directions that stuff fired in.

As for “Sanguisuga,” that term actually comes from Proverbs 30:15.

sanguisugae duae sunt filiae dicentes adfer adfer tria sunt insaturabilia et quartum quod numquam dicit sufficit

It’s not a vampire per say, but a bloodsucking demon, most likely one of the Lilin. The Sanguisuga is the Aluga, which means “horse-leech” and depending oh which scholar you ask was either a ghoul, a powerful demon, or even the king of all blood sucking demons.

It might also help to give you the English version of Proverbs 30:15

The horseleach hath two daughters, [crying], Give, give. There are three [things that] are never satisfied, [yea], four [things] say not, [It is] enough:

The two daughters by the way are Cruelty and Covetousness, Creepy, eh? The three things that are never satisfied are the grave, the barren womb and the earth that is not filled with water. Add a fourth (fire) and you have the four thinfs that say it is not enough.

The term later became the catch phrase of the day for 18th Century pseudoscientific studies on vampirism and their causes. Such texts include Dissertatio de Hominibus post Mortem Sanguisuga by Johann Christopher Rohl and Johann Hertel and Dissertatio de Cadaveribus Sanguisuga by Johann Christian Stock. Both books were published in 1732 and leads one to believe if you’re name is Johann, you have a thing for vampires.

Hope that helps with both your questions Mike. And good luck with the novel!

Richard Mimms writes

I know it doesn’t deal with traditional folklore, but: What exactly was the Philidelphia Experiment? When were the strange occurences first reported? is there any factual evidence? Do people who are to lazy to Google things like “The Philidelphia Experiment” annoy you? Sorry

Well Rick, if you googled everything, I’d be out of a job. ;-) Besides 90% of the web pages out there are mainly third hand written crap and the other 10% are based off my writing and research. Might as well come to me and get your name mentioned in the column.

The Philadelphia Experiment is an urban legend/folk tale that began to surface immediately after World War II. Supposedly the US Navy teleported an entire ship and its crew from one dockyard to another.

The tale goes that during the war, the United States Navy carried out a series of Top Secret experiments using advanced technology that ranged from teleportation to time travel to items of extraterrestrial origin. Another version of the tale involves not teleporting, but that the ship and its crew traveled from one port to the other by a cloaking device which allowed invisibility.

Regardless the how or why, the boat supposedly traveled from Philadelphia to Norfolk Virginia. There is no evidence of any kind of this event taking place, but like any folktale, it had managed to persist for quite some time.

In 1956 a man named Carl Allen approached an author named Morris K Jessup. Jessup from the book The Case for the UFO the year before. Carl claimed that in 1943 the navy rendered the destroyer numbered DE173 invisible then teleported it from Philadelphia to Norfolk, and then back a few minutes later. The crew was badly affected mentally and physically and so the Navy’s experimentation in teleportation was halted. Allen has publicly admitted his story was a hoax and has retracted it several times, but many conspiracy theorists still hold it up as fact and gospel.

In 1984, Hollywood released a movie called The Philadelphia Experiment where time travel was added to the story. I know, invisible, teleporting, AND being able to break the space-time continuum. That is one bad ass boat, right?

In 1990, a man named Al Bielek claimed to be office Edward Cameron who was on board DE173 and was transported from the year 1943 to the year 1984 and then back again. The trauma induced massive amnesia, which is why he took so long in coming out to back Allen’s story. Of course Al/Ed seems to have missed the fact that Allen admitted he was pulling everyone’s leg.

Adam Mattlock wrote:

Wow. This is going to be awesome. Throughout my entire life, very few things have fascinated me like ghost stories, folklore, and just about everything it appears you’ll be covering. Of course, I share your skepticism on the actual existence of things like ghosts, but I also share your thoughts that its all incredibly fun and interesting, regardless of if it’s fact or fiction. And sadly, there seems to be a decline on the coverage of these subjects (outside of the usual Halloween specials. Which leads to my opinion that Halloween should be a much longer event, but that’s not the point). At least I will have Mondays to get my fix, especially if things continue to be as good as the Abe Lincoln work was.
And I also agree on tuna: that canned shit was the first tuna I ever tasted, and I refused to touch the stuff for an entire decade before I was desperately hungry and one of my friends made tuna fish sandwiches out of tuna that didn’t suck. Now I love the stuff, as long as it doesn’t come in a can.
As for Bubble Bobble, god did I love that game. I don’t think I ever beat it, but I never beat anything (ever), so that’s not the point. I’m going to have to track down a copy.
Great work on both the review and the daily pulse thingy.

Of course, there was no question in there, but I’m more than happy to discuss next week, or maybe even a special NYOGTHA column on that Sunday. We’ll see.

Keep the questions coming, as I love answering them!


The Sega CD Turned 12 on Friday. Go see the Kliq talked about their ten favorite games for the system.

My Bubble Bobble Review that went up last week. Watch this week for King of Fighters: Maximum Impact and Shadow Hearts 2 to be reviewed. Next week it’ll be Kingdoms Under Fire and Neo Contra.

Speaking of reviews, Liquidcross reviews a game you can’t pronounce and Williams reviews Donky Konga.

Wow. A Super Hero with Aids. And it’s supposed to be a big deal. Snore. Maybe if this was 1994 instead.

John Babos reviews JSA #66, where Extant is on the cover! Holy crap! Zero Hour reference. It IS circa 1984. The Philadelphia Experiment worked!

Read Fernandez. It’ll put hair on your chest.


Eric S reviews two wrestling shows I will never ever watch

Minimates are weird looking figures. That’s all I can say.


At Pokemon Rocks America, Yeager and I loaded up on a ton of free stuff. One of those items I grabbed was a Disney Magazine. I know, I know. The House of Mouse is evil, but it contained a historical chronology of all 50 Disney films and little details about each, so the folklorist in me needed it. However, there was a nice surprise in that there was a recipe section.

See, I love a good bowl of soup. And Clam Chowder, FRESH clam chowder, is probably my favorite soup. Especially now that it’s freezing cold out here in Minnesota. Soup = your Lord and Savior. And Disney’s recipe was a big bowl of Monterey Clam Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. It sounded so divine, I thought I would share it with all of you today. This dish is served at the Pacific Wharf Cafe at Disney’s California Adventure.


5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups diced and peeled potatoes
1/2 cup each of the following (diced): onion, red pepper, green pepper, celery
2 1/4 cups clam juice
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chopped clams
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (substitute 1/2 tablespoon dried if you can’t find it fresh)
salt to taste
1 pinch white pepper
1/4 teaspoon tobasco
6 sourdough bread loaves (for the Bread bowls)

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the flour to make a roux.

2. Cook for ten minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Then set aside.

3. In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the peppers, potatoes, onions and celery over medium heat until the potatoes are barely tender. This should take ten minutes.

4. Add the clam juice and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes or until the potatoes are cooked

6. Add the heavy cream, clams, thyme, salt, pepper, tobasco and roux. Whisk well to blend in the roux.

7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Season to taste.

9. To maker the bread bowls, cut a circle out of the top of each loaf and make a 1-2 inch deep well by scooping out bread from the center. Then pour in the soup. Done!


That’s it for this week. I’ve got those two reviews going up this week, and Matt Yeager and I will be bringing you a special feature on the Pokemon Rocks America event that hit Minneapolis on Saturday! It’s another Lucard saturated week here at Inside Pulse!



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