Rains of Blood Revisited

In season 1 of Haint n Holler podcast, we covered the Kentucky and Tennessee carnal rains of blood and flesh. While I did do a stack of research into these events and asked piercing questions, we did miss a couple of notable topics related to this discussion.

Listen to the episode on Anchor, Spotify, or wherever you download your podcasts. You can also watch it on YouTube:

We were hardly the first people to investigate the rains of blood. The most notable of investigators is likely Charles Fort. In his book, Lo!, he discusses carnal rains in California. While miles off from our Appalachian focus, Fort hits on similar arguments we had against the scientific and practical explanations for this phenomena.

“Out in open places there have been flows of a red liquid.
‘In La Nature, Sept. 25, 1880, Prof. J. Brun, of the University of Geneva, writes that near Djebel-Sekra, Morocco, he had heard rumors of a fall of blood from the sky.”
“Flesh and blood that fell ‘from the sky,’ upon Mr. J. Hudson’s farm, in Los Nietos Township, California – a shower that lasted three minutes and covered an area of two acres…
‘The story is told in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, Aug. 9, 1869. The flesh was in fine particles, and also in strips from one to six inches long. There were short, fine hairs…The Editor wrote what he had seen…’That the meet fell, we cannot doubt. Even the parsons of the neighborhood are willing to vouch for that. Where it came from, we cannot conjecture.”

Reading this prompted the writing of this blog post. While we debunk the vulture vomit (still think this is a good name for a punk band) in the episode, we didn’t touch on a key point that debunks the whirlwind/high wind/tornado explanation for the blood rain. The lack of debris. Someone could point out that the witnesses saying there were no clouds and no winds were mistaken. However, if there were indeed winds and weather strong enough to send flesh and blood flying over this area of land (and just this area of land, not a streak of it from carnage to landing spot), said weather would also send other things flying such as leaves, sticks, and more. None of this was found at the location mingled with the flesh and blood.

Fort did offer a possible explanation for these blood rains when discussing the appearance of animals in random locations seemingly out of nowhere. Telepathy. “It may be that a living thing, in California, was, upon the first of August, 1869, shot from point to point, and was torn to pieces, in the passage.”
A wild conjecture, surely, but no more laughable than vulture vomit or tornadoes that only blow around meat and not debris.

Content Warning: If you decide to pick up your own copy of Lo! and other works by Fort, be aware that this was written in the early 1900s and racial slurs were used and not omitted or edited out.

For those that are unfamiliar with Fort, he is in many ways the Daddy of modern discussions around the Supernatural and Paranormal. Topics like the Bermuda Triangle have him to thank for much of their terminology and theory. Fort’s work should always be taken with a grain of salt as he is often sarcastic, skeptical, an agnostic believer, and considers himself a humorist. His work birthed a group called the Fortean Society and their descendant thinkers have spawned other groups and publications such as Fortean Times (I get my digital copies via Scribd).

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