Human Blood on Floors and Walls

In its September 9th, 1987 edition, The Atlanta Journal Constitution carried a bizarre story that became known as The House That Dripped Blood.

Atlanta Police had been called just after midnight by a woman claiming that what looked like blood, was coming out of the floor of her home at 1114 Fountain Drive.

In the late 1980s, elderly couple William and Minnie Winston lived in a small private house in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Everything in their life was calm and normal, except that William had diseased kidneys and was connected to a dialysis machine every day, which he really did not like and why he was often out of sorts.

Late in the evening of September 8, 1987, 77-year-old Minnie Winston took a bath, dried herself with a towel, and as she was getting ready to leave the bathroom, she noticed a red spot on the floor.

It looked like blood, but Minnie was sure there were no wounds on her body where it could leak. And when she looked around the entire bathroom, she found another red spot, this time on the wall. Red liquid slowly flowed from it down to the floor.

Minnie jumped out of the bathroom and saw bloody streaks on the floor in the hallway, smeared on the tiles. She immediately thought that something had happened to her husband and that the blood might have leaked during dialysis. However, when she woke up William, 79, there were no sources of bleeding on his body.

Minnie and William Winston

There was no blood on or near the dialysis machine. The frightened couple walked around all six rooms of the house and found bloody stains on the floor in almost every room. Their house was old, brick and very strong. They have lived in it for 22 years and until now nothing unusual has happened in the house. They had no pets; they had never seen rats, mice or other possible pests. They didn’t know what to do and finally decided to just go to bed.

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The next morning, the blood on the floor and walls had not gone away and there even seemed to be more of it. So the Winstons decided to call the police. Police searched the house and indeed found “copious amounts of blood” in the bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom, hallways and even the basement.

They found no evidence that a person had been attacked, but they declared the Winston house a crime scene and surrounded it with yellow tape. The couple was allowed to stay inside the house.

Blood samples were collected and sent to the laboratory for analysis. First of all, in order to determine whether it is human blood at all. Soon the answer came that yes, human. Moreover, it was type zero, and both Winstons had type A blood. According to detective Steve Cartwright, who led the case, he had worked in the police force for more than 10 years up to that point, but had never encountered such an oddity.

The police examined the house again, but in the end they still found nothing more. A few days later, this story hit the press and a crowd of onlookers and journalists flocked to the house. And also psychics who offered their services, believing that something supernatural was involved.

From the Sept. 11, 1987 edition of the Lawrence Journal-World. Credit:

Then a group of five enthusiastic skeptics was formed who decided to get to the bottom of this phenomenon at all costs. They were Joe Nickell, Larry Johnson, Rick Moen and Rebecca Long, who were later joined by Lt. G. Walker, who was on the original team of investigators on the case.

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At some point, they managed to get a police report from the inspection of the house, which contained color photos of bloody stains (alas, these photos are not available on the Internet), but no further breakthroughs happened.

Lieutenant Walker believed that there was no poltergeist intervention (as psychics believed), and assumed that something criminal had happened in the house. He also did not rule out that the spouses could have been persuaded to commit a hoax by promising them money or something else.

Walker then discovered that the Winstons’ daughter worked at the hospital as a nurse and had access to blood donations. According to his theory, the daughter could deliberately stage a “bloody show” in order to make her parents look like crazy and so that they would be recognized as incompetent. Then the daughter would get their house for herself.

Walker considered this version very plausible, as he found out that there had been long-standing serious conflicts between the Winstons and their daughter.

However, he was removed from the case long ago, and the official investigation quickly reached a dead end and the case was simply closed. A police spokesman later admitted that they still did not understand where the blood came from.

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