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The Source:

Tony Thorne :
"Children of the Night - of Vampires and Vampirism"
Victor Gollancz, London, UK, 1999

The Case:

A man called Zirovec died in the village of Tomiselj. He was buried alongside the church of Ig. But at night he returned from his grave to sleep with his wife. He also went to see his neighbours, and although he did not harm them, they went to see the village priest. The priest and one of his colleagues decided to dig up the vampire (or "vedomec"). They put a hawthorne stake through his heart and reburied the corpse in another place. His wife gave birth to a child and went mad, or so we are told.

The Date:

A newspaper article from 1883 mentions that the case took place about 50 years earlier, which puts it in the early 19th Century.

The Place:

Several places are mentioned. Tomiselj, where the vampire lived. Ig, where he was originally buried next to the church. And Golo, where the other priest came from. They can all be found South of Ljubljana, in Slovenia.

Possible Follow-Up:

First go get yourself a copy of Tony Thorne's book. He has more interesting tales and gives you much more details than I am giving you here. Names, places, dates and newspapers are mentioned. I have been to Slovenia many times and it is a very nice and interesting place to be. While you are there, don't forget to visit the castle of the Cilli family.


And then I received a message from my good friend Roman Pavlin, who writes:

I would like to send you some information I collected during my visit of Ig and Tomišelj in spring 2010:
In the middle of Ig there is a church, dedicated to St. Martin. This version of the church in the baroque style was built in 1720. The first written evidence about the church on the same place is from 1200.

The surrounding of the church is nice: a small park, a parking place, and a fountain with water…but no graveyard.

The new graveyard is now placed outside the village in the western direction. It is also used by other small villages near Ig. The graveyard is not very old – the oldest grave I found was from 1917.

I think it is possible that the old graveyard, which was probably placed next to a church, was used at least till the end of the 19th century – after it became too small and it has to be replaced on the new location. This is, of course, only my speculation, I don’t have any evidence.

Tomišelj is a small village, nothing special. All the houses are near the road which goes under the slope, so the remaining flatland (a part of “Ljubljansko Barje”) on the east side of the village can be used for agricultural purposes.

The houses of the village, view from the church of Tomišelj.

© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed September 2014
all photos © 2010 by Roman Pavlin

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