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The Source:

Tony Faivre:
"Les Vampires" [1962]
Ed. du Terrain Vague, Eric Losfeld, Paris, 1962


The Case:

In Vilia, there used to be a cemetery on the Metamorpheos square. The people who were buried there regularly turned into some kind of spectres that haunted the houses and tormented their next of kin. The villagers thought it would be a solution to pour boiling water into the graves. But the bishop had a better idea. He wanted a couple of cows in front of a silver cart to make a march through the village along a route that would have the shape of a cross. Cows were found, and with the help of some neighbouring villages a silver cart was bought. In the presence of the bishop and lots of other spectators the cows made there cross-shaped parcours through the village. Four iron crosses were put at each end of the route. In the end everyone went to the cemetery where both the cows and the silver cart were buried. The ceremony was successful for from that moment on the dead were resting in peace. A few years later the cemetery was moved to another location to make place for a nice promenade.

The Date:

Faivre has found this case in Georg Eckert's "Mazedonischer Volksglaube", which was published in 1945. Apparently the story was told to Eckert around 1943. So all we can say is that the happenings must have taken place earlier than that.

The Place:

Vilia can be found in Greece, somewhere to the NorthWest of Athens.

Personal Comments:

From the vampire point of view this may not seem to be much of a story. More interesting are the remarkable ways in which these restless dead are taken care of.

Possible Follow-Up:

The same as usual. Find and read Faivre's version. Then go check Eckert's book. An unusual ceremony like this will probably have drawn the attention of the press. So try to check the local newspapers. You can also try to find out more about the cemetery. When did it disappear ? Is the promenade still there ? Etc., etc.

2011 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2011

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