Vampires Ukraina

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Tichij Chutorj

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The Sources:

Albert Hellwig :
"Verbrechen und Aberglaube"
Verlag Teubner, Leipzig, 1908

The Case:

In the year of 1905 it was reported from Odessa that a priest had been murdered. At the time there was a serious drought throughout the Crimea, And in one place, the peasants blamed the lack of rain on an old dead man. This man had the reputation of having been some kind of sorcerer during his life. Apparently he had turned into an "Opyr". Now people thought that the cure would be to dig up his remains and have a priest sprinkle Holy Water on them, after which the corpse would be put back into the grave. On a Sunday all the villagers went to the churchyard in a long procession. Some were carrying torches, and there were people playing flutes and violins. The sorcerer's corpse was dug up and put against a tree. And the villagers danced around the dead man. Then suddenly the village priest appeared. The people cheered because they thought he was going to put Holy Water on the corpse. The priest however summoned them to stop their unchristian behaviour. The people got mad and threw the priest into the grave and then threw the corpse on top of him. They filled in the grave with dirt and rocks. Next day the police came and opened the grave. They only found the suffocated body of the priest. The other corpse had disappeared.

The Date:

We have been given the year in which the happenings are supposed to have taken place: 1905.

The Place:

Odessa is an important harbour town on the coast of the Black Sea, formerly in Russia, and now in the Ukraine. As we haven't been given the name of the exact location where the killing took place, we will keep it filed under Odessa for the moment.

Possible Follow-Up:

I think it's a nice tale, whether it is based on facts or not. If it has happened, then you can probably find it reported in newspapers from Odessa from 1905. Go find and read Hellweg's version of the story. Then go find those newspapers...

2011 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2011

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