Vampires in Orange County

You did know there were vampires in Orange County, didn’t you? Well,… vampire bats at any rate.

Although our State and Federal governments agree that vampire bats live only in Central and South America, other sources indicate that vampire bats can be found in Southern California and Texas.

Jim Sleeper’s 3rd Orange County Almanac of Historical Oddities backs this up. Jim writes, “Several well documented cases reveal [vampire bats’] presence in O.C. In December, 1896, ‘a vampire bat of enormous size’ was killed by a farmer named Bandini on the Irvine Ranch after menacing his family several nights running with its eerie flapping and piercing cries. In September of 1908, a family on South Lemon in Anaheim reported the death of a vampire bat after a brief but desperate struggle with its cat. ‘The body measured 7-inches long, while its wings stretched 21-inches from tip to tip.’”

Sure, that was over a century ago, and there haven’t been a lot of sightings since then. But they might be coming back! Now the government – this time wearing its Centers for Disease Control hat – warns that “the range of these bats might be expanding as a result of changes in climate.”

So if you’re attacked by vampires you can blame Al Gore for inventing climate change. Or was that the Internet he invented? I can never remember which.

[The image above is an 1882 cartoon depicting the landlords of San Francisco as vampire bats. It's really the only image relating to both California and vampires bats that I could find.]