The Legend of the Big Stone Gap Vampire

Vampirism has roots going back to the ancient world. Belief in such creatures has spanned continents and millennia. Many people are surprised to learn these long-held superstitions found their way into the deepest parts of the Appalachian Mountains.


In the 1890s, a European named Rupp moved to Big Stone Gap. The recluse had no interest in being a part of the community. He secluded himself in a tiny cabin over a mile back into the woods. He lived there for what seemed like forever.

Locals began to notice people disappeared in that area, and at alarming rates. A number of animal carcasses turned up drained of blood. A popular traveling salesman made his regular trip through the region, but his body was found drained of blood.

Suspicion eventually fell on Rupp. The disappearances of people and animals always occurred somewhere around his shack. A group of curious men decided to pay Rupp an unexpected visit.

Rupp was out when they arrived, but they had to see things for themselves. The windows were too grimy to see inside. One of the men in the group gently nudged the front door open. A number of human body parts were scattered around the cabin. The table and counters were bloody.

Rupp was never seen again, but legend claims his ghost haunts the woods around his tiny cabin. Animals and humans are still known to disappear in the area, even today.



Sadly, the truth isn’t remotely as sensational. Big Stone Gap actually had a sizable newspaper, which began formal publication in 1892. The Big Stone Gap Post published its first issue in 1890. There is no mention of anyone named “Rupp” or any of these events in the area. There were plenty of disappearances, but most were due to human misdeeds.


Originally, this article was published at Ye Olde Appalachia Obscura.

3 thoughts on “The Legend of the Big Stone Gap Vampire

  1. Hey!

    My name is ReVonda Crow. I am a storyteller in Wilkes County, NC. What would I need to do if I wanted to tell any of the stories on this website? I mainly volunteer my storytelling services, and if I get paid it’s a small amount. In other words, I am not making a living at this incredible art! I do it to continue the art of storytelling and to tell our stories. I hope that I can tell some of these stories. Thanks so much! I look forward to hearing fro you!

    ReVonda Crow 🙂

    1. Hello, ReVonda! Thanks for visiting. This is very much a grassroots effort, too…lol. Feel free to use them, the only thing I ask for is that you mention the site. Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe for free and get an update every time I put new information up.

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