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Halloween bat










Bring Back the Bat


"We wake up when the bat goes to bed,

Don't ban the bat, don't ban the bat,

He sleeps with his feet up over his head.

Oh, bring back the bat."



Nancy Schimmel and Fran Avni


How can something so cute as the bat, yes, the bat - invoke terror? Seen close up, these flying mammals are actually rather sweet - not terrifying as depicted in the movies. Long associated with vampires, they are also associated with Halloween.


How did they enter the Halloween Hall of Fame? It is believed that early pictures of witches revealed them worshipping a horned figure (bat's ears?) that sometimes had the wings of a bat. Furthermore, bat blood was an ingredient was an ingredient in their "flying" ointment rubbed on before attending Sabbath.


During their assault on pagan religions, the Christian church became very wary of bats due to the association with witches.


What's a poor bat to do? Well, these resourceful creatures fly at night avoiding notice - not really - they are nocturnal animals. Blind as a bat? Bats actually have excellent eyesight. They take cover in areas not easily seen. You can find them sleeping upside down in caves, under bridges, attics (!), and barns.


These creatures, once feared are amazing animals and helpful to man. Please visit the following link to learn more about the adorable bat!

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The Vampire Bat?


"That night, Lucy spends the night with the Sewards. As she sleeps, a large bat flies into her room that transforms into Dracula. He leans over her sleeping body to bite Lucy on the neck and drink her blood."  - Bram Stoker's Dracula


Bats have become somewhat synonymous with the image and idea of the vampire. In countless movies and cartoons, we see Dracula transform himself into a bat.


How did bats become associated with vampires?


During the 16th century the Spanish conquistadors first came into contact with them and recognized the similarity between the feeding habits of the bats (vampire species) and those of their mythical vampires. It wasn't long before they began to associate bats with their vampire legends. Over the following centuries the association became stronger and was used by various people, including James Malcom Rhymer who wrote Varney the Vampyre in the 1840's. Stoker cemented the linkage of bats and vampires in the minds of the general public.


Bat Facts

  •        They are the only mammals that can fly.

  •        They live much of their lives hanging  upside down.

  •         Most species are only active at night, dusk and dawn, spending their days in dark caves.

  •         There are more than 1,000 bat species in the world. About a fourth of all mammals species!

  •         They use echolocation to find their prey. With echolocation the bat can determine where the prey is, how big it is and in what direction it is moving!

  •         Bats live in caves, bridges, buildings, bat houses, and even trees.

  •         Food sources: insects, pollen, fruit, animals/fish and blood.

  •        The world's smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat of Thailand which weighs about as much as a dime.

  •         Vampire bats adopt orphans, and are one of the few mammals known to risk their own lives to share food with less fortunate roost-mates.

  •         Bats are very clean animals and groom themselves often to keep their fur clean.

  •      Only the vampire bat species feed on blood for sustenance. The vampire bat must first prick the animal with its two large front teeth, often in the foot or leg of a sleeping mammal or bird. An anticoagulant in the vampire's saliva causes the blood to flow without clotting. They only drink 2 tablespoons of blood while the host animal continues to sleep.

  •        The pallid bat (see above) of western North America is immune to the stings of the scorpions and centipedes upon which it feeds.

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Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts - The Story of the Halloween Symbols

by Edna Barth





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