Minor historical vampires

The Shepherd of Blow

In the village of Blow, there was once a shepherd, who died for unknown reasons. Several days after his burial, he took to reappearing in his village and tormenting the people there. Anyone on whom he visited would die within 8 days. His case would be unremarkable, but for what happened next.

Tired of his nightly ravishes, the villagers took the body from the grave– finding it, of course, to be in a vampire state– and they staked it through the heart and put it back in the grave. That night, the shepherd was again seen, and even angrier and more vicious than before.

He now carried the stake in his hand, and he taunted that the stake made a good weapon to defend himself against the village dogs. The frightened people disinterred the body again and had it burned, finally ending the shepherd’s deadly spree.

Peter Plogojowitz

Ten years after the death of Peter Plogojowitz, the habitants of his former village in Hungary reported seeing Peter wandering the streets by night. In some instances, he came into people’s houses and choked them, causing them to die in less than 24 hours.

Even the widow Plogojowitz reported that her deceased husband had appeared to her, demanding his shoes. The villagers asked the local military officials for permission to disinter the body.

Though reluctant, they ageed. One officer and a minister were present at the exhumation, upon which they found Peter’s body intact, despite his being dead for a decade. His body was staked– a great amount of fresh blood flowing from it– and burnt to ash, wherein the deaths in the village ceased.

The Breslau Vampire

Similar cases have existed down the centuries. A vampire terrorised the town of Breslau, Germany, following the suicide of a shoemaker on 20 September 1591. The family hid the cause of death, resulting in the body receiving a Christian burial, but rumours of suicide leaked out.

Soon, the shoemaker’s ghost began to appear in the town. At first, nightmares and noises disturbed the population, then it began sexually assaulting women in their beds. Appearing every night, some people even bore marks on their necks where its fingers had pressed.

After eight months of this the town council exhumed the body of the shoemaker. It was found undecayed. The widow then admitted her husband had committed suicide. Hence, they cut off its head, took out the heart, burned it on a pyre and threw the ashes into the river.

The hauntings ceased, but for a time afterwards, the shoemaker’s maid, who had also died, began appearing in homes and assaulting women. She, too, was exhumed and burned. The troubles ceased.