Epidemija vampirizma se 20-ih i 30-ih godina 18. veka razbuktala u Srbiji koja je nakon Požarevačkog mira bila Kraljevina pod vlašću Austrije (1718 do 1739). Nakon što su austrijski sudski i medicinski stručnjaci »verifikovali« postojanje vampira, diljem dvoglave monarhije postalo je neverovatno popularno ekshumirati mrtvace, rezati im glave ili ih probadati glogovim kolcima. Bečki dvor osnovao je za tu svrhu tzv. vampirsku komisiju, a Marija Terezija morala je naposletku objaviti tzv. Vampirski edikt, kojim su se zabranile dalje ekshumacije i skrnavljenje leševa.
Pojave vampirizma u Srbiji, koje se najvjerojatnije svode na epidemiju antraksa, bečki su »vampirolozi« u potrazi za dobrom zaradom naduvali do neslućenih razmera, tvrdeći da je svaki mrtvac čije se telo nije raspalo u roku od dva meseca zapravo nemrtvi krvopija, iako nije nepoznato da proces raspadanja tela traje bitno duže. No, zahvaljujući njihovim alarmantnim izvještajima, vampir je postao salonska tema dokone Europe.
Pored Blagojevića austrijski i engleski izvori pominju i izvesnog Arnolda Paolea, vojnika, koji je, navodno, imao bliski susret sa vampirom u Grčkoj, odakle je i doneo zarazu. On je, navodno, ubio vampira ali se posle toga osećao loše i ubrzo je umro u selu Medvedja kraj Kruševca, posle čega su krenuli napadi vampira u ovom kraju. Njegovo telo je kasnije ekshumirano (od strane vlasti!) i podvrgnuto "kuri" kocem, ali ni posle toga napadi nisu sasvim prestali. Izvestaj austrijskih lekara je poznat pod nazivom Visum et Repertum.
Navodimo i engleske prevode originalnih izveštaja austrijskih stručnjaka.
"After a subject by the name of Peter Plogojowitz had died, ten weeks past - he lived in the village of Kisilova, in the Rahm district [of Serbia] - and had been buried according to the Raetzin custom, it had been revealed that in this same village of Kisilova, within a week, nine people, both old and young, died also, after suffering a twenty-four hour illness. And they said publicly, while they were yet alive, but on their death-bed, that the above-mentioned Peter Plogojowitz, who had died ten weeks earlier, had come to them in their sleep, laid himself on them, so that they would have to give up the ghost. The other subjects were very distressed and strengthened even more in such beliefs by the fact that the dead Peter Plogojowitz’s wife, after saying her husband had come to her and demanded his opanki, or shoes, had left the village of Kisilova and gone to another.
"And since with such people (which they call vampires) various signs are to be seen - that is, the body undecomposed, the skin, hair, beard, and nails growing - the subjects resolved unanimously to open the grave of Peter Plogojowitz and to see if such above-mentioned signs were really to be found on him. To this end they came here to me and, telling of these events, asked me and the local pope, or the parish priest, to be present at the viewing. And although I at first disapproved, telling them that the praiseworthy administration should first be dutifully and humbly informed, and its exalted opinion about this should be heard, they did not want to accommodate themselves to this at all, but rather gave this short answer: I could do what I want, but if I could not accord them the viewing and the legal recognition to deal with the body according to their custom, they would have to leave house and home, because by the time a gracious resolution was received from Belgrade, perhaps the entire village - and this was already supposed to have happened once before under the Turks - could be destroyed by such an evil spirit, and they did not want to wait for this.
"Since I could not hold such people from the resolution they had made, either with good words or with threats, I went to the village of Kisilova, taking along the Gradisk pope, and viewed the body of Peter Plogojowitz, just exhumed, finding, in accordance with thorough thoughtfulness, that first of all I did not detect the slightest odor that is otherwise characteristic of the dead, and the body, except for the nose, which was somewhat fallen away, was completely fresh. The hair and beard - even the nails, of which the old ones had fallen away - had grown on him; the old skin, which was somewhat whitish, had peeled away, and a new fresh one had emerged under it. The face, hands, and feet, and the whole body were so constituted, that they could they could not have been more complete in his lifetime. Not without astonishment, I saw some fresh blood in his mouth, which, according to the common observation, he had sucked from the people killed by him. In short, all the indications were present that such people (as remarked above) are said to have.
"After both the pope and I had seen this spectacle, while the people grew more outraged than distressed, all the subjects, with great speed, sharpened a stake - in order to pierce the corpse of the deceased with it - and put this at his heart, whereupon, as he was pierced, not only did much blood, completely fresh, flow also through his ears and mouth, but still other wild signs (which I pass by out of high respect) took place. [ He means that the corpse had an erection] Finally, according to their usual practice, they burned the often-mentioned body, in hoc casu, to ashes, of which I inform the most laudable Administration, and at the same time would like to request, obediently and humbly, that if a mistake was made in this matter, such is to be attributed not to me but to the rabble, who were beside themselves with fear.
"- Imperial Provisor, Gradisk District."
"After it had been reported that in the village of Medvegia the so-called vampires had killed some people by sucking their blood, I was, by high degree of a local Honorable Supreme Command, sent there to investigate the matter thoroughly along with officers detailed for that purpose and two subordinate medical officers, and therefore carried out and heard the present inquiry in the company of the captain of the Stallath Company of haiduks (a type of soldier), Gorschiz Hadnack, the standard-bearer and the oldest haiduk of the village, as follows: who unanimously recounted that about five years ago a local haiduk by the name of Arnold Paole broke his neck in a fall from a haywagon. This man had during his lifetime often revealed that, near Gossowa in Turkish Serbia, he had been troubled by a vampire, wherefore he had eaten from the earth of the vampire's grave and had smeared himself with the vampire's blood, in order to be free from the vexation he had suffered. In 20 or 30 days after his death some people complained that they were being bothered by this same Arnod Paole; and in fact four people were killed by him.
"In order to end this evil, they dug up this Arnold Paole 40 days after his death - this on the advice of Hadnack, who had been present at such events before; and they found that he was quite complete and undecayed, and that fresh blood had flowed from his eyes, nose, mouth, and ears; that the shirt, the covering, and the coffin were completely bloody; that the old nails on his hands and feet, along with the skin, had fallen off, and that new ones had grown; and since they saw from this that he was a true vampire, they drove a stake through his heart, according to their custom, whereby he gave an audible groan and bled copiously.
"Thereupon they burned the body the same day to ashes and threw these into the grave. These people say further that all those who were tormented and killed by the vampire must themselves become vampires. Therefore they disinterred the above-mentioned four people in the same way. Then they also add that this Arnod Paole attacked not only the people but also the cattle, and sucked out their blood. And since the people used the flesh of such cattle, it appears that some vampires are again present here, inasmuch as, in a period of three months, 17 young and old people died, among them some who, with no previous illness, died in two or at the most three days. In addition, the haiduk Jowiza reports that his step-daughter, by name of Stanacka, lay down to sleep 15 days ago, fresh and healthy, but at midnight she started up out of her sleep with a terrible cry, fearful and trembling, and complained that she had been throttled by the son of a haiduk by the name of Milloe, who had died nine weeks earlier, whereupon she had experienced a great pain in the chest and became worse hour by hour, until finally she died on the third day.
"At this we went the same afternoon to the graveyard, along with the often-mentioned oldest haiduks of the village, in order to cause the suspicious graves to be opened and to examine the bodies in them, whereby, after all of them had been dissected, there was found:
"1. A woman by the name of Stana, 20 years old, who had died in childbirth two months ago, after a three-day illness, and who had herself said, before her death, that she had painted herself with the blood of a vampire, wherefore both she and her child - which had died right after birth and because of a careless burial had been half eaten by the dogs- must also become vampires. She was quite complete and undecayed. After the opening of the body there was found in the cavitate pectoris a quantity of fresh extravascular blood. The vessels of the arteries and veins, like the ventriculis ortis, were not, as is usual, filled with coagulated blood, and the whole viscera, that is, the lung, liver, stomach, spleen, and intestines were quite fresh as they would be in a healthy person. The uterus was however quite enlarged and very inflamed externally, for the placenta and lochia had remained in place, wherefore the same was in complete putredine. The skin on her hands and feet, along with the old nails, fell away on their own, but on the other hand completely new nails were evident, along with a fresh and vivid skin.
"2. There was a woman by the name of Miliza (60 years old), who had died after a three-month sickness and had been buried 90-some days earlier. In the chest much liquid blood was found; and the other viscera were, like those mentioned before, in a good condition. During her dissection, all the haiduks who were standing around marveled greatly at her plumpness and perfect body, uniformly stating that they had known the woman well, from her youth, and that she had; throughout her life, looked and been very lean and dried up, and they emphasized that she had come to this surprising plumpness in the grave. They also said that it was she who started the vampires this time, because she had eaten of the flesh of those sheep that had been killed by the previous vampires.
"3. There was an eight-day-old child which had lain in the grave for 90 days and was similarly in a condition of vampirism.
"4. The son of a haiduk, 16 years old, was dug up, having lain in the earth for nine weeks, after he had died from a three-day illness, and was found like the other vampires.
"5. Joachim, also the son of a haiduk, 17 years old; had died after a three-day illness. He had been buried eight weeks and four days and, on being dissected; was found in similar condition.
"6. A woman by the name of Ruscha who had died after a ten-day illness and had been buried six weeks previous, in whom there was much fresh blood not only in the chest but also in fundo ventriculi. The same showed itself in her child, which was 18 days old and had died five weeks previously.
"7. No less did a girl ten years of age, who had died two months previously, find herself in the above-mentioned condition, quite complete and undecayed; and had much fresh blood in her chest.
"8. They caused the wife of the Hadnack to be dug up, along with her child. She had died seven weeks previously, her child - who was eight weeks old- 21 days previously, and it was found that both mother and child were completely decomposed, although earth and grave were like those of the vampires lying nearby.
"9. A servant of the local corporal of the haiduks, by the name of Rhade, 21 years old, died after a three-month-long illness, and after a five week burial was found completely decomposed.
"10. The wife of the local bariactar, along with her child, having died five weeks previously, were also completely decomposed.
"11. With Stanche, a local haiduk, 60 years old; who had died six weeks previously, I noticed a profuse liquid blood, like the others, in the chest and stomach. The entire body was in the oft-named condition of vampirism.
"12. Milloe, a haiduk, 25 years old; who had lain for six weeks in the earth, also was found in the condition of vampirism mentioned.
"13. Stanoika, the wife of a haiduk, 20 years old, died after a three-day illness and had been buried 18 days previously. In the dissection I found that she was in her countenance quite red and of a vivid color, and, as was mentioned above, she had been throttled, at midnight, by Milloe, the son of the haiduk, and there was also to be seen, on the right side under the ear, a bloodshot blue mark, the length of a finger. As she was being taken out of the grave, a quantity of fresh blood flowed from her nose. With the dissection I found; as mentioned often already, a regular fragrant fresh bleeding, not only in the chest cavity, but also in ventriculo cordis. All the viscera found themselves in a completely good and healthy condition. The hypodermis of the entire body, along with the fresh nails of hands and feet, was as though completely fresh.
"After the examination had taken place, the heads of the vampires were cut off by the local gypsies and burned along with the bodies, and then the ashes were thrown into the river Morava. The decomposed bodies, however, were laid back into their own graves. Which I attest along with those assistant medical officers provided for me. Actum ut supra:
"L.S. Johannes Fluchinger, Regimental Medical Officer of the Foot Regiment of the Honorable B. Furstenbusch.
"L.S. J.H. Siegel, Medical Officer of the Honorable Morall Regiment.
"L.S. Johann Friedrich Baumgarten, Medical Officer of the Foot Regiment of the Honorable B. Furstenbusch.
"The undersigned attest herewith that all which the Regimental Medical Officer of the Foot Regiment of the Honorable B. Furstenbusch has observed in the matter of vampires - along with both medical officers who signed with him - is in every way truthful and has been undertaken, observed, and examined in our own presence. In confirmation thereof is our signature in our own hand, of our making, Belgrade, January 26, 1732.
"L.S. Buttener, Leieutenant Colonel of the Honorable Alexandrian Regiment.
"L.S. J.H. von Lindenfels, Officer of the Honorable Alexandrian Regiment."
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