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The Source:

G.F. Abbott:
"Macedonian Folklore"
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1903

The Case:

Why not keep things simple and just quote Abbott:

"A native of Sochos assured the writer that such a one was known to have lured a Vrykolakas into a barn and to have set him to count the grains of a heap of millet. While the demon was thus engaged, the Sabbatarian attacked him and succeeded in nailing him to the wall. The story presents several points of interest. First, the nailing of an evil being to a wall is a notion familiar to the Macedonian mind. It may even be found embodied in folk-songs. Some children's rhymes, which I heard from a girl of the same village, began with the words: "thou Ghost buried, and to the wall nailed !"

This notion is closely connected with the ancient Roman practice of warding off evil by driving a nail into a wall, and the kindred superstitions still prevalent among the peasants of European countries."

The Date:

No date is given, so all we can say is that things must have happened before 1903, the year when the book was published.

The Place:

Sochos is a small village (some 3000 inhabitants) which can be found somewhat to the North-East of Thessaloniki.

Possible Follow-Up:

Best thing you can do is find an online copy of this book by Mr. Abbott. Don't use Google Books. They used to be a good source for old books. But it seems that these days they are mainly out there to try and sell you hardcopies of the books they have scanned. Don't be put off by their silly claims that no electronic copies are available. Just try one of the other larger online libraries.

2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed September 2014

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