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The Source:

Bernhard Schmidt:
"Der Wampyr"
in: "Griechische Märchen, Sagen und Volkslieder"
Verlag Teubner, Leipzig, 1877

The Case:

Bernard Schmidt informs us that he has been told these things by a local man called Georgios Kremos. This, more or less, is what is said to have happened:

A man was murdered somewhere out in the open and it took quite a long time before his body was found. He was buried in his village. After a while the villagers started to have problems with their chickens, their eggs, their goats and sheep. They did not understand what was wrong. Then one night the local Priest was on his way to the church at night. He saw how a devil was rising from the grave of the murdered man. He saw how that devil went into people's stables and how he went to his widow's house.

The priest told everyone what he had seen. Then an old man suggested that the murdered man had turned into a Wampyr. He advised that they would have to find someone who was born on a Saturday and show him the grave. They found someone who was born on "Sonnabend" and took him to the grave. He told them to bring two kettles of vinegar, to harden a metal skewer in the fire, and to bring an axe, a couple of sharp knives and a cloak.

So they all came to the grave on Saturday before sunrise. The Saturday-child washed his face and hands with vinegar. He took the cloak and hung it around a tree in such a way that it looked as if there was someone in it. Then he took the axe and started opening the grave.

The Wampyr from his grave could hear it and shouted: "Who is there ? I will take care of you !" The Saturday-child answered: "I will first draw you into the daylight. And then you can do what you want." When they had opened the grave they saw that the Wampyr looked like someone large and well-nourished, with wild rolling eyes. He angrily asked who had betrayed him. The Saturday-child pointed at the cloak around the tree. The Wampyr spit out fire and the cloak had vanished.

Then the Saturday-child took a knife and cut out the heart of the vampire. He pierced it with the skewer and threw it into one of the kettles with vinegar and then boiled it. Then he threw the vinegar on the Wampyr, put the axe and everything else that had been used into the grave and then filled it up with dirt. From then on the evil spirit had left the village.

The Date:

We have been given no date, so all we can say is that the events are supposed to have happened before the publication of the book. So we will file it as "before 1877"

The Place:

Arachoba or Arachova can be found on the Greek mainland West of Livadia, at the foot of Mount Parnassus.

Possible Follow-Up:

By all means, go check out Bernard Schmidt's "Griechische Märchen, Sagen und Volkslieder" for yourself.

© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2014

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