The Invisible Fangs

From Frank Edward's book - Stranger than Science.

Time after time, something sank its fangs into the screaming girl, even while police held her. But what it was, nobody knew. And nobody knows.

The night of May 10th, 1951 had been warm and quiet in Manila, until police brought that hysterical girl into headquarters. The chief medical examiner slammed his hat on his head and snorted. "Nonsense!" he huffed. "Nonsense! You get me out of bed in the middle of the night to look at a girl who has epileptic fits!"

The Mayor of Manila said nothing. He looked in bewilderment from the irate doctor to the screaming girl. There were the welts on her arm, the teeth marks. Had she really inflicted them herself while in the throes of an epileptic seizure, or had they been savagely driven into her flesh, as she claimed, by something or somebody who had attacked her in her locked cell?

Mayor Arsenio Lacson did not know, but the case was so strange that the Chief of Police had been called and he in turn had called the medical examiner. Together, they had gone to the jail to examine the cause of all the excitement - eighteen year old Clarita Villaneuva - just another of the countless homeless youngsters the war had left adrift in the streets of Manila.

When police found her, she was the centre of a small crowd on the street corner, screaming that she was being attacked and bitten. The onlookers, most of them scum from the nearby taverns, were cheering her on and winking knowingly at each other, making signs to indicate that the girl was insane. Dope, perhaps? Or absinthe? Whatever it was, police left to others to determine. They seized the struggling girl and took her to a cell. Clarita fell sobbing to the floor as the door clanged behind her. The police ignored her pleas to look at the eight sets of teeth marks where she said the Thing had bitten her. The Thing? What thing? Clarita could only describe it as a thing that looked like a man, except that he had big, bulging eyes and was wearing a loose black cape, and he seemed to float in the air when he desired.

Just then she began to scream again, shrieking that the Thing was coming again, right through the bars. The exasperated policeman unlocked the cell door and led the girl into the hall, screaming at the top of her voice. And before his eyes, more teeth marks appeared on her upper arm and shoulders - livid marks surrounded by what appeared to be saliva. The officer ran for his Captain and the Captain called the Chief.

After the medical examiner had gone home, the Mayor and the Chief of Police examined the marks on the girl for themselves. Self- Inflicted? Ridiculous, they told each other; no one could bite himself on the back of the neck, or on the back or the shoulders where this girl was bitten. Something strange here, indeed! Clarita Villaneuva spent the rest of the night on the bench in the front office of the Manila police station, where she finally sobbed herself to sleep.

Next morning, as the police prepared to take her into court to face vagrancy charges, the girl began screaming again. The Thing was back, biting her! Two strong policemen grabbed her, one holding each hand, and before their astounded eyes and those of the reporters and the medical examiner himself, the teeth marks sank deep into her arms, the palms of her hands, and her neck. This attack lasted for a least five minutes until the girl fainted and sank to the floor. Medical Examiner Mariana Lara examined her again - and reversed himself. This girl was not having an epileptic seizure at all. The bites were real, but not self-inflicted. He asked that the Mayor be called at once, and the Archbishop.

It was some thirty minutes before the Mayor arrived and by that time Clarita had regained consciousness. The bites on her arms were badly swollen and the palm of her hand was thick and bruised where the teeth prints had been deeply embedded. As the Mayor and the medical examiner accompanied her to the prison hospital, Clarita began shrieking that the Thing was after her again; and this time he had a helper, another bug-eyed creature.

Mayor Lacson later testified that, as he watched, livid teeth marks appeared on opposite sides of her throat, on her index finger, and one set of teeth prints was deeply indented on the girl's hand even while the Mayor held it! The fifteen-minute trip to the prison hospital was a nightmare for the Mayor of Manila, the medical examiner, the girl, and the driver of the automobile. But once there, the attacks ceased and Clarita began her slow recovery. She never again underwent such an experience. Said Mayor Lacson; "This is something that defies explanation." Said Medical Examiner, Dr. Mariana Lara, "I was just scared stiff!"

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