Uma Casa de Sangue: Pt. III
Halloween is over. Uma Casa de Sangue comes to a conclusion.
In the final installment, we discover just what happened in the house in Jardim Bizarro.
There is another side to these ghost stories, and that’s the side that stops asking “what does it mean” and starts asking “how is it possible?”
The way that we think about something like a claim of the paranormal or some other inexplicable event often precludes us being satisfied when (if) they are resolved. The mystery provides a thrilling, exciting, and startling view of the world, and the solution steals that away. This is particularly true of hoaxes, where we have been intentionally deceived.
But even when it turns out to not be paranormal or mysterious in origin, as it often does, it doesn’t mean nothing happened. The causes of inexplicable events like these can be remarkable in their own right.
Once I read about a weeping statue that was found to be a hoax. The statue’s eyes had been subtly coated in some cooking fat, so that it could sit untouched for hours and then when the room filled with worshippers eager to see a Miracle (raising the ambient temperature a couple degrees) the fat would melt, resulting in one big, fat, glistening tear rolling down the Virgin Mary’s face in front of awed witnesses. Even when the truth is a filthy lie, it can also be a stunning piece of artifice in its own right.
The Mackenzie House in Toronto was haunted by a ghost that could be heard walking up and down the stairs at night, until someone thought to check next door. The footsteps coincided perfectly with the the nighttime cleaning crew climbing and descending an adjacent iron staircase.
In a far less pleasant example, in Midwest City, Oklahoma, another bleeding wall ended up leading investigators to a recently dead body.
There’s always something to hold on to, if you look hard enough.
The house in Jardim Bizarro, fortunately, is not a malicious hoax. Unfortunately, it is kinda gross. Fair warning.
Very quick, then, like ripping off a bandaid:
From the beginning the police knew the blood’s appearance was tied to the wife’s actions somehow. They knew the blood was fresh. They assumed, even prior to DNA confirmation, that it was hers, so the investigating officer began to pay close attention to her within her home. But where could the blood have come from?
An idea. The officer and the wife examined her legs, which is where they found their solution, and it was like nothing anyone had heard of before.
On Sunday evening, likely because of her shower, the old woman unknowingly burst a large varicose vein on the side of her leg. Every time she took a step, her leg, uh, “squirted”, which is why the blood was found in the bathroom, the kitchen, and the bedroom- the places she walked after her shower. Showering again on Monday caused the vein to open up a final time. The couple’s age and poor eyesight precluded them seeing it as it happened, and by the time anyone else came to see the vein had, once more, begun to heal.
So. (I don’t know why it’s grosser when you know where the blood came from, but it absolutely is.)
Where does we go from here? The couple (and the police) have closure on a very odd experience, the media has a followup story that ties everything up neatly, and we’re left with one of the absolute strangest solutions for an apparently inexplicable phenomenon I’ve ever seen.
Have we learned something? Probably nothing profound, other than the fact that Brazil’s police is full of very rational people
And we didn’t learn anything practical, either, considering how rare this sort of event probably is. I mean, you need the right combo of a house full of near-blind old people, one of them with this particular weak vein in their leg. It’s so unlikely.
When I first was researching this essay nearly three years ago I came across an older story I hadn’t heard before, from 1114 Fountain Drive in Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Minnie and William Winston, aged 77 and 79; a story that, according to every account I can find, remains unexplained to this day.
Shortly before midnight on September 8, 1987, Minnie stepped out of the shower and found the bathroom floor dotted with blood. She woke her husband, saying, “Come look at all this red stuff coming out of the floor.”
Bloodspots, ranging in size from a dime to a silver dollar, were found on the floor and lower walls in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, basement. The police were baffled. To make a long story short, neither the Homicide Bureau nor the State Crime Lab ever identified the source of the blood.
Exciting, isn’t it? Feeling like you’ve seen this before. But before we get ahead of ourselves, the from the New York Times:
Tests showed the blood to be type O.
William and Minnie, as it happens, were type A.
And I have no explanation for that.