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The Source:

Johann Christoph Harenberg:
"Vernünftige und Christliche Gedancken uber die Vampirs oder Bluhtsaugende Todten"
Johann Christoph Meisner, Wolffenbüttel, 1733

The Case

This is what Harenberg tells us:

"Ich erinnere mich auch, daß vor einigen Jahren auf dem Gottes-Acker vor Alfeld aus dem Grabe ein Schall eines Schmackens und Saugens von einigen, wie man sagte, gehöret worden. Wie solches der Obrigkeit gemeldet würde, wollte dieselbe nicht vergönnen, daß man die Verstorbene ausgrübe und das Grab öfnete. Es folgte aber darauf keine Sterbens-Noht unter den Anverwandten oder Feinden, Vordem pflegte man dergleichen Cörper aufzugraben und denselben einen Pfahl durchs Hertze zu schlagen, damit sich dadurch die Auszehrung und Aussaugung der Hinterbliebenen legen mögte."

"I also remember that a couple of years ago it was said by some that in the churchyard of Alfeld the sound of smacking and sucking was heard. When this was reported to the authorities these would not allow that the deceased would be dug up and the grave opened. However, this was not followed by deaths among the relatives or enemies. In the past such corpses used to be dug up and a stake would be hammered through the heart, so that the wasting and draining of the surviving relatives would be stopped."

The Date:

Harenberg has informed us that the case took place "vor einzigen Jahren", i.e. a couple of years before 1733.

The Place:

If you want to know the location, Alfeld can be found about halfway between Hannover and Göttingen. As a matter of fact the man that brought us the story, Johann Christoph Harenberg, was born in Langenholzen, which used to be very close to Alfeld and now seems to be part of it.

Possible Follow-Up:

Of course anyone who has a serious interest in historical vampires should read Harenberg's classic: "Vernünftige und Christliche Gedancken uber die Vampirs oder Bluhtsaugende Todten". So go get it and read it !

© 2012 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed 13 February 2012

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