While we know that creatures such as werewolves, vampires, and zombies aren’t real, you may be surprised to learn that many of these supernatural beings bear names similar to real medical conditions. Let’s explore some of the most horrifying medical oddities that have names with a Halloween connection.

Werewolf Syndrome

Congenital Hypertrichosis, also sometimes known as “werewolf syndrome” is a rare genetic disease which causes the growth of excessive body and facial hair, Buzzfeed reported. According to a 2015 paper on the syndrome, Congenital hypertrichosis is more rare than acquired hypertrichosis, which can often occur as a result of a hormone problem or side effect of drug use. Congenital hypertrichosis is also often found in association with other symptoms, such as intellectual delay, epilepsy, or complex deformations.

Individuals with this condition have been documented since the Middle Ages, and, unfortunately, they have been exploited for their startling appearance. For example, Julia Pastrana, an indigenous Mexican woman born in the 1830s, was one of the most famous public figures with hypertrichosis. During her life she was exhibited in an American circus as Mexico’s “Monkey Woman” and after her death her embalmed body continued to be showcased until she was finally laid to rest in 2013, Buzzfeed reported.

Vampire Disease

Porphyria, also sometimes referred to as “Vampire Disease” refers to a group of disorders that result from a natural buildup of chemicals that produce porphyrin, a compound essential for the function of hemoglobin in your blood, the Mayo Clinic reported. The condition is usually inherited, and symptoms can range largely depending on the severity.

There are two forms of the porphyria — acute, which mainly affects the nervous system, and cutaneous, which mainly affects the skin. The disease is known as the Vampire Disease because many of the symptoms fit in line with the legend of the vampire. For example, according to Unbelievable Facts, individuals with this condition have skin that is sensitive to sunlight, urine which is reddish to purplish in color, and gums that are shrunk making the teeth look more prominent.

Walking Corpse Disease

Yet another spooky, yet real, disease is Cotard’s Syndrome, also known as Walking Corpse Disease, a mental condition in which individuals are convinced they are actually dead. Although extremely rare, individuals with this condition may also believe they are missing several body parts. According to Psychology Today, one young woman with Cotard’s Syndrome was so convinced that she did not have body parts that she didn’t see the need to eat and soon died of starvation.

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