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The Source:

Dorina Rusu:
"Un strigoi bantuie Europa"
Ziua, 26 February, 2004

Daniela Nedelcu:
"Vanatorii de Strigoi, condamnati"
Ziua de Sambata, 29 January, 2005

Toma Roman JR
"Sidonia si Moroiul din Dolj"
Jurnalul National, no date, 2005

Cristian Vasilcoiu:
"Ce buna a fost inima moroiului Toma!"
Jurnalul National, no date, 2005

Claudia Cristescu:
"Vampiri in Banat"
Banateanul, 12 April, 2006

anon:
"Satul care tremura de frica strigoilor"
Timis Onlinem 27 September, 2007

"Vampire Forensics" (DVD)
National Geographic, 2010

The Case

Towards the end of 2003, Toma Petrica, an inhabitant of the village Marotinu de Sus, died. A short time after his burial three relatives of the dead man became ill. So Toma Petrica was suspected of having turned into a strigoi. Six people, all relatives and friends of the deceased, discussed the situation and decided to take action. That night they followed Toma's brother-in-law Gheorge to the cemetery where they opened up the grave. They later declared that they had been drinking all night to have the courage to do what had to be done. With the help of the blade of a scythe they removed the dead man's heart. They burned the heart. The ashes were collected and mixed with water. As could be expected, the victims of the strigoi got well again. Everybody happy.

Unfortunately the authorities were less pleased by the happenings. Specialists from the Institute of Forensic Medicine of Craiova were sent over to examine the mutilated corpse. Not surprisingly the inside of the coffin was found splashed all over with blood. Strings of garlic were found, as well as the blade of the scythe that had been used to remove the heart. Arrests were made, and the six vampire hunters found themselves in court. Where they were condemned to pay a pretty large fine and also had to pay for all the dammages.

The Date:

Toma Petrica died on 26 December 2003.

The Place:

Celaru is a community in the Dolj district. It consists of 5 villages. Marotinu de Sus is one of them. It can be found to the west of the Romanian capital Bucharest.

Possible Follow-Up:

If you are interested to learn more about this case, I suggest that you check the Romanian newspapers. As you can see from the small selection of articles above, this case made the newspapers and magazines for several years. While it is a known fact that these practices still continue in small backward villages, this case was considered to be outrageous at the time and got quite a bit of coverage. It has been suggested that this might have to do with the fact that Romania wanted to become part of the European Union. Don't look at me. How would I know ? As it is a recent case, I am reluctant to give you the complete names of all the people involved. But you can find each and every detail in all those newspapers.

2011 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2011
Photo "Romanian Village Cemetery" - 1980 by Rob Brautigam

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