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The Source:

Karl Haupt:
"Sagenbuch der Lausitz"
Verlag Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, 1862

Heinrich Gottlob Gräve:
"Volkssagen und volksthümliche Denkmale der Lausitz"
Verlag Reichel, Bautzen, 1839

The Case

In the interesting "Sagenbuch der Lausitz" we can find a short chapter or entry that is called "Der Vampyr". It is mainly about vampires in general and the way to destroy them. But somewhere there are two sentences that may seem interesting to some. Maybe it's best if I first tell you what Karl Haupt has to say:

"Jetzt hört man glücklicher Weise nur selten Etwas von diesem schrecklichen Gespenste. Aber noch im 16. Jahrhundert hat ein weiblicher Vampyr unter den Namen einer Gräfin Villambrosa (?) mehre Edelhöfe in der Niederlausitz besucht und in den dortigen Familien große Verheerungen angerichtet."

The question mark, in case you wonder is Karl Haupt's, not mine. So let's try to translate this for you.

"Nowadays, fortunately, you seldomly hear about these horrible spectres. But no longer back than in the 16th Century a female vampire by the name of Countess Villambrosa (?) did visit several aristocratic estates in the Niederlausitz, and caused great destructions under the local families."

And then I found an even older book that mentioned this same vampire Countess: Heinrich Gottlob Gräve's "Volkssagen und volksthümliche Denkmale der Lausitz" which was published in 1839. This is what Gräve tells us:

"Im sechszehnten Jahrhundert soll ein weiblicher Vampyr unter dem Namen Gräfin Villambrosa mehrere Edelhöfe in der Niederlausitz besucht und in dortigen Familien große Verheerungen angerichtet haben."

"In the sixteenth Century it seems that a female vampire under the name of Countess Villambrosa has visited several aristocratic estates in the Niederlausitz and caused great destructions under the local families."

The Date:

We have been told that the events (supposing that they were events) must have taken place during the 16th Century.

The Place:

The Lausitz is a historical region in the SouthEast of Germany, stretching out into Poland and the Czech Republic. Compared to the German part, the other parts are almost neglectable. As the Gräfin Villambrosa seems to have toured around a bit, it does seem likely that it must have been in the German part. Which is why - until there is new evidence that shows I am wrong - I have put this case under Germany.

Possible Follow-Up:

Obviously you should not take my word for a somewhat fantastic sounding story like this. Or for any of my stories. So go check Karl Haupt's "Sagenbuch der Lausitz". Apart from this he has other interesting things to say about vampires. Although, perhaps, you could also skip Haupt and go straight to Gräve's book, which appears to have been Haupt's source for this story. And then you can go in further search of the sinister Gräfin Villambrosa...

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

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