The concept of vampires was truly born in the Balkans, more specifically, from the territory of Serbia. Even in the 14th century, the Serbian tsar, Dušan, had to send armies to calm the waters in the villages caught in the frenzied fear of vampires.
It is true that the word VAMPIR is the only Serbian word that is now used all over the world. It was first recorded in written documents from 1725, explaining how a certain Petar Blagojević had risen from the dead, somewhere near Požarevac. Allegedly, he killed a considerable number of people, including his own son. But the story does not end there;, a local priest decided to burn Petar’s body, but without much success!
The fear of vampires then swept across the rest of Europe and reached its peak in the 18th century.
After that period, vampires became quite popular, mostly in art forms. We are all familiar with Stoker’s “Dracula”, later on with many Hollywood films on the same topic, from “Interview with the Vampire” to “The Twilight Saga”. That only proves how time and space and the influence of different cultures have changed the perception of vampires – from the bloodthirsty Petar Blagojević to the sexual beast presented as Dracula, all the way to today’s romantic notions of great loves and eternal lives.
The last noted case of a vampire was in Belgrade in 1923 – at 61 Bosanska Street. It is popularly known as the case of “The Belgrade Vampire” when a liturgy was held in order to scare him/her/it away.
If you are still afraid of vampires, I strongly suggest something which Serbs have been practising for ages – a good dose of garlic!
No more bedtime stories, it’s time for bed and sweet dreams!
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