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The Sources:

William Martin Leake
"Travels in Northern Greece"
J. Rodwell, London, 1835

The Cases:

I will simply quote Leake :

"The metropolitan bishop of Larissa lately informed me, that when metropolitan of Grevena, he once received advice of a papas having disinterred two bodies, and thrown them into the Haliacmon, on pretence of their being Vrukolakas. Upon being summoned before the bishop, the priest confessed the fact, and asserted in justification, that a report prevailed of a large animal having been seen to issue, accompanied with flames, out of the grave in which the two bodies had been buried. The bishop began by obliging the priest to pay him 250 piastres : (his holiness did not add that he made over the money to the poor). He then sent for scissors to cut off the priest's beard, but was satisfied with frightening him. By then publishing throughout the diocese, that any similar offence would be punished with double the fine and certain loss of station, the bishop effectually quieted all the vampires of his episcopal province."

The Date:

Sadly, no date is given, so all we can say for certain is that things must have happened some time before 1835 when the book was first published.

The Place:

Grevena is a town in the NorthWest of the Greek mainland. Larissa is on the mainland too but more to the East. And the Haliacmon is the longest river of Greece. It's official name is Aliakmonas.

Possible Follow-Up:

I have skipped a couple of books where this story is repeated and gone straight to the source. Go check out Leake's book and see what else he has to tell. Find out who was metropolitan of Grevena before he became bishop of Larissa. Hey, if you want to do a proper job, try to find out how much 250 piasters were worth in those days...

2011 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed December 2011

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