Vampires France

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Chateau des Eperviers
Chateau Deux-Forts
Chateau du Vampire
la Penne-sur-Huveaune
Paris (2)
Paris (3)

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The Source:

Tony Faivre:
"Les Vampires" [1962]
Ed. du Terrain Vague, Eric Losfeld, Paris, 1962

Stefan Hock:
"Die Vampirsagen - und ihre Verwertung in der deutschen Literatur" [1900]
reprint: M.Munteanu, Ed.Geheimes Wissen, 2006

The Case:

Tony Faivre, who tells us that he has found the story in Stefan Hock's book renders the story like this:

"Un numéro du "Figaro" de l'année 1874, signale la mort à Paris du prince roumain Borolojovac. Il s'était exilé car l'on pensait, dans son entourage en Roumanie, que tous les membres de sa famille devenaient des vampires après leur mort. Peu de temps avant de quitter la vie il fit jurer à son hôte parisien de lui arracher le coeur immédiatement après son dernier soupir : c'était, prétendait le prince, le seul moyen de conjurer pour son compte la malédiction pesant sur toute sa famille atteinte héréditairement de vampirisme."

which more or less translates into the following:

"An edition of the "Figaro" of the year 1874, mentions the death in Paris of a Romanian prince Borolojovac. He had gone abroad for in Romania those around him thought that all the members of his family became vampires after their death. A little before his death he made his Parisian host swear that he would remove his heart after he died. The prince insisted that this was the only way to counteract the curse of vampirism that was hereditary within his family."

This is what we find in Stefan Hock's book:

"Der rumänische Fürst Barolajovac, der im Jahre 1874 zu Paris starb, bat vorhin seinen Hauswirt, ihm ja das Herz auszureißen, da er sonst als Vampir zurückkehren müsse, denn der Vampirismus sei in seiner Familie erblich".

which more or less translates into:

"The Romanian prince Barolajovac, who died in 1874 in Paris, before his death requested his host to remove his heart, because otherwise he would have to return as a vampire, for vampirism was hereditary within his family."

Hock adds in a footnote that he has found this story in the "Figaro" of 5 October 1874.

And then Michael E. Bell, expert on American vampires and author of "Food for the Dead - On the Trail of New England's Vampires", most kindly sent me copies of a couple of American newspaper articles related to the case. One of them is about the death of "Nicholas Boralajova, a Servian nobleman". The other one appeared in "The Hamilton Guidon" (4th of February 1875). It is here we learn about "Prince Nicholas Borolajovek, a Servian noble". We also learn that the Prince died in the Rue d'Amsterdam. And we are given the information that our noble was afraid to return from the grave because he was the eldest son.

The Date:

If we can trust what we have been told, Borolojovac (or is it Barolajovac ? Boralajova ? Borolajovek ?) must have died around September, October, 1874.

The Place:

According to our 2nd hand versions of the article in the "Figaro", Borolojovac, or whatever his name is, was living in Paris at the time of his death. Our Transatlantic sources add the interesting information that he died in the Rue d'Amsterdam. I do remember my very first visit to Paris which must have been around 1959 or so. We drove into Paris in my dad's little old "Postwar Standard 8", and - would you believe - well, maybe not so surprising seeing as we did come from Amsterdam, straight through the "Rue d'Amsterdam". I well remember my little brother making remarks about all those "beautiful ladies" standing in their doorways. From what I have seen on Google Streetview, the Rue d'Amsterdam (sadly ?) seems to have gone through a bit of a clean-up and makeover since then. Having said that, it might be interesting to find out what kind of street it was in 1874...

Possible Follow-Up:

Right now, the most important thing to do is try to find the original newspaper article in the Figaro. As it seems to be the ultimate source, it is essential that we know what is in it. What's in a name ? We have been given 4 names so far: Borolojovac, Barolajovac, Boralajova and Borolajovek. Let's add Jean-Paul Bourre's version: Borolojovak. I guess we have sufficient information to see if we can find a Serbian aristocratic family with a name like that. It is interesting to see that the 1875 sources are about a Servian nobleman. It is the 20th Century post-Dracula sources that refer to a Romanian nobleman, Bourre even turns him into a Count. And if you want to learn more about Mr. Bourre's version go check out our case that is listed under Venezia (2)

© 2011 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed December 2011

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