1952, November 27: Estelita Florencio, the ’Human Vampire’

On November 27, 1952, 27-year-old Estelita Florencio was arrested in Lucena, Philippines, for attacking people to eat their flesh and drink their blood.

        Florencio had attacked 80-year-old Maria Sobremisana (or Sobremisani -- sources disagree), and bitten off a portion of her arm; not surisingly, the elderly woman called for the police. Florencio then attacked a small boy who was playing in a railroad station, first smacking his head into the concrete floor, then lifting him to bite at his face and drink the blood from his wounds. A crowd had gathered by this time, which managed to overpower Florencio and hold her until the police arrived.

        According to Mayor Martin Sollesta, while the matter was still being investigated -- presumably before Florencio was taken to the jail -- Florencio swallowed the piece of flesh she had bitten off of Sobremisana and declared "it was delicious."

        Perhaps not surprisingly by that point, Florencio confessed she had strong cravings for human flesh and blood, and that she had attacked people in towns in the areas of Capiz and Iloilo because of it. The urge came periodically, but was irresistable when it struck her. It was further said that while she was incarcerated in the Roxas city jail, that she had begged so pitiously for human blood that the policeman on duty had pricked his own arm and allowed her to suck a little of his blood!

One Shot Wonder

        The above comes from an international press release from November 28, 1952, carried by United Press. Curious though the report was, nothing more was ever printed about Estelita Florencio internationally... local Philippino papers may have more of the story so, ultimately, they will need to be checked someday to see if anything more was ever reported.

        Despite this limited release, Florencio is now routinely trotted out by various authors as an example of a "human vampire" and/or a "living vampire." This, of course, ignores the cannibalistic elements of her cravings which don't match up to vampire legends very well.

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