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Berdichev
Ditkowce
Ivanovka
Kluczow
Odessa
Reusch-Lemberg
Sinokriwetz
Slavka
Tichij Chutorj
Ukraina
Wittelowka
Zlatyczew



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The Source:

Wladimir Bugiel :
"Aus dem rutenischen Volksglauben"
in: "Zeitschrift für österreichische Volkskunde" vol.I, 1895

The Case:

"Semen Burjenyk erzählte mir von einem Landmann, der sich in Ditkowce erhängt hatte. Er verlor im trunkenen Zustande eine ziemlich bedeutende Geldsumme, die er für sein Ochsenpaar bekommen hatte. Vergeblich war alles Suchen, und der Verlust traf den Ärmaten so schmerzlich, dass er, zu Hause angekommen, sich das Leben nahm. Um drei Uhr nachts schnitten ihn vorübergehende Bauern ab und brachten die Leiche ins Leichenhaus. Am folgenden Abend gieng der Wächter des Leichenhauses in die Schenke, und nur seine Frau blieb daheim. Da verwandelte sich gegen Mitternacht der Gehängte in einen lebendigen Menschen und hub an, die Wächterin sowie ihre Kinder zu schlagen. Als der Hahn krähte, legte er sich wieder auf den Todtentisch. Bald darauf kam der Wächter zurück, die Frau erzählte ihm alles, was vorgefallen war, und auf Grund dessen wurden dem Todten, damit er nicht fortfahre zu spuken, vor der Grablegung alle Knochen gebrochen."

Here is my rough but close enough translation of the facts:

"Semen Burjenyk told me about a man who had hung himself in Ditkowce. When he was drunk he lost a considerable sum of money, that he had got from the sale of a pair of oxes. He searched for it in vain, and the loss was so painful that when he got home he took his life. Around 3 at night some farmers passing by cut him down and took his corpse to the morgue. The next evening, the man in charge of the morgue went to a bar and only his wife stayed at home. Then, against midnight, the hanged man changed into a living person and started to beat up the woman and her children. When the cock crowed, he went back on to the mortuary slab. Soon the guardian of the morgue came back, his wife told him what had happened, and on account of this, before they buried the dead man, all his bones were broken to make sure that he would not continue his haunting."

The Date:

No date is given, so we will file it as "before 1895".

The Place:

At first I could not find a place called Ditkowce. Then it was suggested somewhere that an alternative name was Dytkowce. After some searching Dytkowce turned out to be called Ditkivtsi. And there appear to be two places called Ditvkivsti in the Ukraine. And I am sad to say that both of them are just a little to the North of, and disasterously close to Tchernobyl.

Personal Comments:

Nothing to do with the case. This happens to be the 222nd case that I am putting online. It was only this morning that I noticed that today is 22-2 or the 22nd of February. It is not something I had planned. And even though I am not all that superstitious, I am going to take this as a positive sign. Just as a joke I have set myself the goal of putting 666 cases of vampirism on-line. I have now finished one third of my journey. Time to have a well-deserved break away from vampires and find back the strength and inspiration to finish the next 444...

Possible Follow-Up:

Go check this out in the "Zeitschrift für österreichische Volkskunde", which is well worthy of your attention.

© 2012 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed 22 February 2012

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