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The Source:

Dudley Wright
"Vampires and Vampirism"
William Rider & Son, London, 1924

The Case:

"At the latter end of August 1923 (see Observer, 2nd September 1923) it was claimed that a vampire ventured into the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and gave vent to its feelings by throwing stones at the house of its victim. Bricks and fragments of big stones fell day after day on No. 61 Bosanska Street, which runs from the old "Gates of Town," near the railway station, into the picturesque Balkanska Street. All the windows of the house were broken and the terrified inhabitants perambulated the yard of the house, sprinkling holy water and chanting psalms and hymns, but it is not on record whether the vampire was captured and transfixed with the customary briar stake."

The Date:

We have been given a rather exact date here: end of August 1923.

The Place:

We have also been given the exact location of where these happenings are said to have taken place: Beograd, No. 61 Bosanska Street. Here is a link to Beograd :  www.beograd.org.yu 

Personal Comments:

This is a somewhat unusual case. Nothing much has been reported about the vampire itself. And we might feel inclined to file this case under "Poltergeist" rather than "Vampire". But there must have been some reason why the (invisible ?) attacker was labelled as a vampire.

Possible Follow-Up:

This story has been mentioned in various books. For instance, it can also be found in Montague Summers' "The Vampire in Europe", where it is slightly different from the version by Dudley Wright. These stories do change, things may be added, things may be left out. Therefore, it is important that we find ourselves a copy of "the Observer" in order to compare the text of the original article with other existing versions. Next we can try to locate the street names on a city map of Beograd. If we have no luck, we will have to find an old city map. The streets might still be there, even the house might still be there (or not). We can also go in search of local newspapers. If this story made its way into "the Observer", then it seems likely that it must also have been recorded (possibly in much greater detail) in local publications.

Reactions:

And then an old friend of my family, Mr. Ljuba Gajic, who actually lives in Beograd, kindly sent me further information about the location where this mystery seems to have taken place. I will quote his findings:

"I can tell you now that former Bosanska Street does not exist anymore since the year of 1936. The main part of this street (numbers 1-60) was renamed into Gavrila Principa Street (after the famous assassinator of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on 28 June 1914, Sarajevo), but the upper part of Bosanska str. (just two short corners) from the numbers 61-80 were renamed after the French Admiral Emile Guepratte (1856-1939, former Rear Admiral and chief of the French Mediteranean Fleet in WWI). The name of this part of Bosanska street has become Admirala Geprata (still nowadays)."

According to Mr. Gajic, the haunted house must have been situated on one of the corners of Bosanska Street and Balkanska Street. Exactly where Bosanska Street has been split up and given two new names. Now that we have been given the new street names, it will be a lot easier to find the exact location on a modern map. It is easy to find the crossing of Bosanska and Balkanska Ulica on old maps of Beograd. It is only a few hundred meters away from the railway station.

Thanks very much, Ljuba. Your help is much appreciated.

2009 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed 19 November 2009
Link last checked 27 September 2008

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