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The Source:

Adrien Cremene:
"Mythologie du Vampire en Roumanie"
Editions du Rocher, Monaco, 1981.

The Case:

According to Cremene, on 29 March, 1949, a petition was sent to the protopopes of Cozia and Horezu. It was signed by the priest of Armasesti and some of the villagers. They confessed to having opened a grave, and were afraid to go to church, because - a bit late perhaps - they now realised that they had committed a serious sin that the church did not approve of. This - more or less - is what had happened:

A man had died and was buried on 10 February 1949. The priests attended his grave until 25 March. Nothing strange happened during this period. But on the 25th of March, the dead man's widow became ill. The next day, the wife of the dead man's son, one of his sons, and a young girl all got ill. A priest was called to the rescue so that the affected people could take confession. When asked what they were suffering from, they told him it was their heart and that their lifeforce was fading away. It certainly looked as if they were about to die. The priest discussed the case with the relatives and it was decided to check out the dead man's grave. On the grave they found a small opening, just over the place where his feet were. The grave was opened and they found the corpse intact. The beard, the hair and the nails had grown an awful lot. The heart of the corpse was pierced, and the grave was covered up again.

The Date:

We have been given some clear dates here: 10 February 1949 for the death of the deceased, 26 March 1949 for the opening of the grave, and 29 March 1949 for the petition.

The Place:

We have been given some places: Armasesti, Cozia and Horezu. Cozia and Horezu I know well since they happen to be the locations of famous monasteries that I have had the pleasure of visiting on several occasions. Both are located not all that far from the town of Rimnicu Vilcea. The closest thing that I could find resembling the village name that we have been given, is a village called Amarăstii de Jos, about halfway between Craiova and Corabia. For your information, "de Jos" in a place name simply means "lower" whereas "de Sus" means "upper". Amarăstii de Jos is situated in Oltenia. Of course I am aware of the fact that - according to vampire fiction - Transylvania is supposed to be "vampire country no.1". Not in my book it isn't. The number of cases of vampirism in Oltenia that are recorded in our files is much larger than the ones from Transylvania. Anyway, seeing as how the difference in place names leaves sufficient room for doubt, it seems like a good idea to invest a few more hours trying to see if we could find a better match for the village of Armasesti.

Personal Comments:

Obviously, one of the more interesting things about this case is the fact that it is relatively recent. Cremene has published the (real?) names of both the vampire and the priest. Like I said, this case is more or less recent. So some of the people who were involved may still be alive. Which is why we are not going to give out those names.

Possible Follow-Up:

First and foremost, don't take my word for the things you read here. In other words: go find yourself a copy of Cremene's book. It is worth the effort. Cremene claims to have found this information in the Episcopal Archive of Râmnic, which sounds plausible enough. He also indicates that these kind of documents are usually considered to be Church Secrets, and are very rarely made available to outsiders. This too sounds pretty likely. Which does not leave us much hope as far as getting to see the original documents. Then of course there is the village where some of the older people may have heard about or may even have witnessed the happenings. I am definitely not going to encourage you to rush over in order to question these people. Furthermore, let me remind you that as yet we do not even have an exact match for the name of the village. So before you start packing, I'd suggest that you'd invest at least a few more hours in studying detailed maps of the area.

© 2009 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed 19 November 2009

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