Chatham Blood Shower, 1884


By A. Christopher Meekins, State Archives of North Carolina


 


Excerpt from "'Fall of Blood' in Chatham County," by F. P. Venable, published in the <i>Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society,</i> Vol. 1, p. 38-40, Chapel Hill, N.C. 1884. On February 25, 1884, Mrs. Kit Lasater, “noted for truthfulness,” was walking near her home in the New Hope township of Chatham County when she heard what she thought was a hard rain fall. Glancing up she saw only clear sky but when she glanced down she saw what appeared to be the aftermath of a “shower of pure blood.”


None of the liquid had fallen on her but it had drenched the ground and surrounding trees for some 60 feet (some accounts say yards) in circumference from the spot where she stood. Upon hearing her story, neighbors rushed to see for themselves and, when later interviewed, confirmed the story as related by Mrs. Lasater.


Samples were collected and sent to Dr. F. P. Venable, a professor at UNC, for evaluation. By mid-April he addressed the topic to the Mitchell Scientific Society. In every test performed except one, the conclusion was the same. The samples appeared to be blood. Venable could offer no explanation beyond the results of the tests, suggesting that “the subject is quite a puzzle and offers a tempting field for the theorist blessed with a vivid imagination.”


Similar cases of blood showers have been reported for centuries in various locations around the world.

References:


Venable, F. P. " 'Fall of Blood' in Chatham County."  Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, Vol. 1: 38-40. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, 1884. https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/jncas/id/999 (accessed March 3, 2015).


The Charlotte Democrat (Charlotte, N.C.), April 18, 1884, p. 3.


The Chatham Record (Pittsboro, N.C.), April 24, 1884, p. 3.


The Wilson Advance (Wilson, N.C.), May 2, 1884, p. 1.


The Charlotte Democrat (Charlotte, N.C.), April 25, 1884, p. 2.


The Greensboro Patriot (Greensboro, N.C.), April 24, 1884, p. 2.


Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, N.C.), April 23, 1884, p. 2.


Image Credit:


Venable, F. P. " 'Fall of Blood' in Chatham County."  Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, Vol. 1: 38-40. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, 1884. https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/jncas/id/999 (accessed March 3, 2015).


 


 

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Comments

Comment: 

this was a cool story

Comment: 

I loved this story

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