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The Sources:

Heinrich von Wlislocki:
" Quälgeister im Volksglauben der Rumänen"
in: "Am Ur-Quell", vol.6, no.3, 1896

The Case:

Let us start by giving you some information about Varcolaci that you may not know. I quote Mr. von Wlislocki:

"Nicht alle Varcolaci wohnen im Monde; bis zu ihrem siebenten Jahre liegen sie am Tage im Grabe, in der Nacht aber ziehen sie in der Gestalt kleiner schwarzer Kinder aus und saugen am Menschen. Hat ein Varcolac vom Blute eines schlafenden Menschen gesogen, so kehrt er zu ihm erst nach einigen Wochen, oft nach Monaten zurück. Der betreffende Mensch, dessen Blut der Varcolac gesogen, fühlt sich am nächsten Tage ganz erschöpft und siecht langsam dahin."

"Not all Varcolaci live on the moon. Until they are 7-years-old they are in their graves during the day. At night, however, they go out in the shape of little black children and suck the blood of people. When a Varcolac has sucked the blood of a sleeping person it does not come back for weeks, often months. The victim whose blood the Varcolac has sucked feels totally exhausted the next day and slowly fades away."

"Der Varcolac kann sich so „schmal machen", dass er im Stande ist, selbst durch das Schlüsselloch durchzukriechen und sein Opfer zu besuchen. Verstofft man zufällig dasjenige Loch, durch welches der Varcolac zum betreffenden Menschen gekrochen ist, so verliert er sofort seine Kraft und auch seine Gestalt und verwandelt sich gewöhnlich in einen Strohhalm oder eine Bettfeder, oft aber in den Fingernagel eines Kindes."

"The Varcolac can make itself so small that it can even go through a keyhole to visit its victim. If someone accidently covers up the hole through which the Varcolac has crept, then it immediately looses its power as well as its shape and usually turns into a piece of straw or a bed-feather, often also into the fingernail of a child."

And then on to "the case".

"In Reschinar (Siebenbürgen) war im Jahre 1883 die Frau eines reichen Rumänen dem Tode nahe. Allgemein hiess es, der Varcolac habe schon acht- oder wenigstens schon siebenmal an ihr gesogen. Da fand man gerade am Ostermorgen vor ihrem Bette den Daumennagel eines kleinen Kindes, der sofort im Beisein aller Verwandten und Nachbarn mit Weihwasser besprengt und verbrannt wurde, worauf aus den Flammen eine Biene emporflog, sich auf das Bett der Kranken setzte und einige Mal deutlich die Worte summte: „Hab1 Dank, hab' Dank!" Die Biene flog zum Fenster hinaus, die Frau aber erlangte ihre frühere Gesundheit wieder. Die Leute glaubten, sie hätte mit dem Nagel den Varcolac verbrannt, der nun als Biene in's Jenseits gelangt sei."

"In Reschinar (Transylvania) in the year of 1883, there was the wife of a rich Romanian who was close to her death. It was generally said that the Varcolac had sucked her blood for 8 times, or at least 7 times. And then just on Easter morning they found in front of her bed the thumbnail of a little child. Immediately, and in the presence of family and neighbours, this was sprinkled with Holy Water and then burnt. Then, from the flames, a bee flew up, sat on the bed of the sick woman and clearly buzzed the words: "Thank you, thank you !". It flew out of the window and the woman got healthy again. People believed the Varcolac had been burnt with the nail and had now flown into the hereafter as a bee."

It turned out that one of the servants, returning home at night, had hung his cap on the doorknob, thus blocking the exit of the Varcolac and forcing it to turn into a thumbnail.

The Date:

We have been given the year of 1883.

The Place:

Reschinar (German) is now called Rasinari (Romanian) can be found close to and South-West of Sibiu.

Possible Follow-Up:

The story itself may be hard to believe. But it is definitely worth checking out this particular volume of "Am Ur-Quell". There are quite a few articles by Heinrich von Wlislocki about unpleasant entities in Romanian popular belief. There is even an article about the Nosferat. So go find it. I found it so it should not be too hard.

© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed December 2014

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