The Vampire Petar Blagojević

Tales of vampires rising from the dead originating from eastern Europe are what informed the classic tale of Dracula. One of those inspirations is a true tale from Serbia. Not much is known about Petar Blagojević's life, and the story really starts after he died in 1725. In the week after Blagojević's death, nine people in the village suddenly became ill and died within 24 hours. The sick people claimed that Blagojević had attacked them. Blagojević's widow said he had visited her and frightened her so much that she left the village. It was said that the dead man even killed his son, but that may be a tall tale. At any rate, villagers demanded that Blagojević's body be exhumed and examined to see if he was indeed a vampire. The report from the exhumation detailed the signs that Blagojević was indeed a vampire. 

Web know now that those signs have a logical scientific explanation, but the villagers didn't want to take any chances. They drove a stake through the corpse's heart, and for good measure, cremated it. The story of Blagojević corpse made the newspapers of the day and was disseminated across Europe. It became of the earliest documented cases of vampire panic, and helped shape the pop culture version of vampires in the public's mind. -via Strange Company 

(Image credit: Albin Grau

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