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The Source:

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

The Case:

Adrien Cremene gives us a French translation of this story, which he has found in N.I. Dumitrascu's "Strigoi - din credintele, datinile si povestirile poporului roman, vol.XXXVIII", published in Bucharest in 1927.

This, more or less, is the tale:

A young girl from the village Boureni had become pregnant. One time, when her unborn baby was restless, she promised it all kinds of things if it would just quiet down. Only after she had promised to give it the animals of the Ionicani, the child became quiet again. The Ionicani, in case you were wondering, were a wealthy family that owned a lot of animals.

When the time came, the girl gave birth to a little boy who was born with a caul. The child died before it had been baptised. Because the baby was illegitimate and unbaptised, it was buried outside the cemetery and it became a Moroï. Soon after its burial, the sheep of the Ionicani family started dying, one after another.

One night, the shepherd Patru Patran saw the dead child running among the sheep, in the shape of a cloud. When he hit the child with his stick, it changed into a horse's head and the child went back into its grave. Patru opened the grave and found that the child had become a Moroï. With his sickle he cut the little corpse into pieces, cooked the pieces in wine, and then reburied them. After that, the sheep stopped dying.

The Date:

According to Dumitrascu, these happenings had taken place some 50 or 60 years before the publication of his "Strigoi", which puts the date somewhere around 1872.

The Place:

Adrien Cremene tells us that Boureni is a village in Valachia. I found that it is situated a little to the East of Bailesti and both places are rather close to the Bulgarian border.

Personal Comments:

There are several elements that make this an interesting story. There is the child with the caul, the fact that it dies unbaptised. There is the shapeshifting: into a cloud, into a horse's head. There is the use of the sickle to cut up the vampire. And, last but not least, there is the Valachian haute cuisine of "Corpse au Vin".

Possible Follow-Up:

As always: Go find the sources. Start with Adrien Cremene's book. There, among other things, you will find another name that will help you to identify the vampire's mother. Go find Dumitrascu's version. There may be further material there.

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

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