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The Source:

anon. :
in: "Schwäbischer Merkur", 17 January 1867

The Case

The article in the "Schwäbischer Merkur" reports about a lecture held by Dr. Ziehen on the subject of "Todtengebräuche der Wenden an der Nieder-Elbe". In it we can find the following:

"Hilft aber Alles nichts, so wird Nachts das Grab geöffnet und dem Vampir mit einem Spaten das Genick abgestoßen. Solche Fälle sind nach glaubwürdiger Mittheilung noch in diesem Jahrhundert vorgekommen, und wie Pfarrer Helms im hannoverischen Magazin berichtet, ist an denselben noch 1831 die Bitte gerichtet worden, die Ausgrabung von Vampiren zuzugeben."

Which more or less translates into the following:

"In case nothing helps, the grave is opened at night and the vampire's neck is cut through with a spade. Such cases, according to trustworthy sources, have even happened in this Century. And - like Father Helms reports in the "Hannoverischen Magazin" - he received in 1831 a request for permission to open a vampire's grave."

The Date:

We have been given 1831 as the year when Father Helms received the request to dig up a vampire.

The Place:

The fact that his testimony appeared in a publication from Hannover and was mentioned in a lecture about the customs of the Wenden along the Nieder-Elbe, seems sufficient to me to file this case under Wendenland. And Wendenland is an area that can be found in the NorthEast of Germany, in this particular case, along the river Elbe.

Possible Follow-Up:

First find and read the article in the "Schwäbischer Merkur". Then see if you can find Pfarrer Helms contribution to the "Hannoverischen Magazin"...

© 2012 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed March 2012

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