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The Sources:

The Earl of Carnarvon:
"Reminiscences of Athens and the Morea"
John Murray, London, 1869

The Case:

"I extract from the MSS. before me the following story of a Mainote vampire.

"Passing by a dreary and half-deserted village, I was shown a house to which another wild legend attached, and which was said to have been once inhabited by a shoemaker's widow. Her husband, however, though dead, had not entirely departed; for, being a vampire, he used a vampire's privilege, and bursting the bondage of the tomb, returned every night except on the Saturday to his old abode, and sometimes even worked at his old trade. At length the woman became pregnant. The villagers taxed her with infidelity to her husband's memory, and she in her own defence maintained that she was on the point of giving birth to no unlawful issue. At this horrifying disclosure the villagers sallied forth to attack the Vampire in his tomb, undertaking the enterprise on a Saturday morning, on which day alone the Vampire's devil-imparted strength forsakes him, and the grave has power to hold his body. They found him working in his grave, making shoes. 'How did you know that I was a Vampire ?' exclaimed the still living tenant of the tomb. A villager, In answer, pointed to a youth whose cheek a month before had been bright with health, but on which the ghastly paleness of disease and coming death had fixed its mark. The Vampire immediately spat at him. The moisture from those accursed lips burnt the man's capote as though it had been fire, but it could not hurt the man himself, because it was the blessed Saturday. Maddened by the failure of his attempt, the Vampire imprudently cried, 'Though I am nerveless now, yet you shall taste my vengeance to the full on every night save this alone.' On hearing this alarming threat the neighbours fell upon him, tore him to pieces, and cut out his heart, dividing it into portions, and distributing the several parts among the villagers, commanding each one to eat his allotted fragment - 'and this,' my narrator observed, 'is the only real specific against vampires; and since that event,' he added, 'no vampire had ever molested the village again, though for two months before persons had been perishing daily under their fatal influence.'

The Date:

All we can say is that the story is supposed to have taken place before 1869 when the book was published.

The Place:

Maina is the central peninsula of the Southern Peleponnese, which can be found to the South-West of Athens.

Possible Follow-Up:

You could start by checking out Carnarvon's interesting book. And then you can see if you can find any further mention of this story elsewhere,

2015 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed January 2015

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