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The Source:

Robert Ambelain :
"Le Vampirisme - de la Légende au réel"
Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, France, 1977.

According to Mr. Ambelain this is supposed to be an official report, delivered by Surgeon-Major Jozsef Faredi-Tamarzski to the Imperial Military Commission of Belgrade, October 1732.

The Case:

In July 1732, Jozsef Faredi-Tamarzski, under orders from the Prince of Wurtemberg, was sent to the village of Radojevo to investigate the death of eleven villagers, who had all died in January and February of that year. According to the people of Radojevo, they were the victims of a vampire called Miloch. During his life, this Miloch had the reputation of being some sort of a sorcerer. The fact that he kept a bird which he had learned to talk, plus the fact that he had captured and tamed a wild wolf, which he then kept as a pet, seemed to confirm his magic powers.

Faredi-Tamarzski made an attempt to convince the villagers that vampires did not exist. But after several discussions he came to the conclusion that they were not going to listen to his arguments. He therefore decided to exhume a few of the corpses. They started by digging up Miloch, who had been buried some 15 months ago. When they had removed the earth and lifted up the wooden board that covered the dead man, Miloch's corpse looked completely intact. But his eyes were wide open now, despite the fact that his widow had closed them after his death. A slow but steady trickle of blood was coming from his mouth. Blood was also found on the wooden board beneath the corpse, and likewise on the earth beneath that.

Because the villagers insisted on it, Faredi-Tamarzski ordered the corpse to be staked. After that, fearing that they might dig up the vampire again after his departure, he had the corpse covered with unslaked lime before closing the grave again.

By interrogating the relatives of the 11 victims, the doctor learned that most of them had died in 6 to 10 days by simply wasting away. During the night they had horrible nightmares and a couple of them had two bluish marks on their neck. So Faredi-Tamarzski decided to also open up the graves of the victims.

Eight of them looked like decent corpses that were properly decomposing. Two of them looked well preserved, though the arm and legs were stiff and could not be moved. And the last one, a woman, looked as if she was only sleeping. Her members were perfectly flexible. Faredi-Tamarzski declares that those three looked suspicious enough to him, so he permitted the villagers to give them the same treatment as the first vampire. Despite these measures, the villagers were still of the opinion that the vampires should be cremated.

The Date:

We have been given January and February 1732 as the time of death of the vampire's victims, and July 1732 as the date of the official investigation. The death of the vampire Miloch is given as "some 15 months earlier" which puts it somewhere around April 1731.

The Place:

The only thing that we have here is the name of the village: Radojevo. Thanks to my latest map of the countries that used to make up Yugoslavia, I had no trouble finding where it is at. It is located in Serbia on the Romanian border, not very far from Timisoara.

Personal Comments:

At first sight, this looks very much like similar cases from that period. What worries me here is the source. I have read more of Mr. Ambelain's books, and although much of his material is serious enough, there are places where it definitely looks as if he is deliberately trying to confuse his readers with a mixture of facts and fiction. I am not suggesting that he is making it all up, but personally I'd like to see mention of this elsewhere before I'd be willing to accept that it is an authentic case.

Possible Follow-Up:

At least we have a date, a name and a place, which should be more than sufficient to try and find further material about this case.

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

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