Monday, 16 January 2012

Bulgarian undead

Writing recently of Jordi Ardanuy, it is worth mentioning the quarterly journal L'Upir which frequently publishes articles by Ardanuy. Although written in Catalan, those of us who cannot read the language may still get something from looking at it anyway.

The December 2011 issue was recently distributed and focuses on vampires in Bulgaria. It includes an article by Ardanuy that a.o. deals with a 'vampire case' from Tirnova in Bulgaria mentioned by Rob Brautigam on his Shroudeater site:

'The corpses (who are refered to as witches) were rising from their graves after sunset. Just like some of the vampires that we know from Romania, they would spoil the food, mess up people's belongings and - remaining invisible - throw dirt and stones at people. They knocked people down and sat on them. Some of the people were so scared that they decided to leave the town.

An exorcist called Nikola was called to the rescue and was offered the price of 800 Kurus to do his job. Apparently he used a stick with a picture (possibly a Saint ?) on it to locate the troublesome graves. He found two of them. Both graves contained the bodies of soldiers that had been Yeniceri (better known in our part of the world as Yanitsaries or Janitsaries). The graves were opened and the corpses looked inflated, with hair and nails that had grown. Nikola decided that a stake should be driven through the stomach, the heart should be cut out and boiled. And then - for good measure and just to make sure - the bodies would have to be cremated.'

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