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Venezia (2)
Via Appia

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The Source:

Jean-Paul Bourre:
"Le Culte du Vampire aujourd'hui"
Alain Lefeuvre, Nice, 1978

The Case:


Mr. Bourre informs us that he has read the newspaper article in the Figaro about the death of the Romanian Count Borolojovak:

A Romanian Count named Borolojovak, who had fled his own country and had been living in Paris, had died in Paris. Before he died, he had asked his host to remove his heart after his death. According to him this would be the only way to stop him from coming back as one of the living dead.

Mr. Bourre - or so we are told - does further research in the National Library, and discovers that the Count used to live in the castle of C..., just outside Paris. Somewhere in the direction of Mainvilliers. Another clue he gives is his remark that the Chevalier d'Eon has also some connection to this castle. So Bourre and his companion go to stay there in the very same room where the Count had been living. The fact (?) that the room has a number suggests that the Chateau has been turned into a hotel at one time or another. In the library of the Chateau - now that is a bit of good luck - Bourre finds correspondence of the Count which shows that before he came to Paris he has lived in Venice for some time.

Bourre also informs us that the Count Borolojovak is buried on the famous Isola di San Michele, a cemetery island which can be found in Venice. And - what other evidence do we need ? - there is even an unsharp photo of a grave which seems meant to support the story.

The Date:

If we can trust the "Figaro" the Count Borolojovak must have died around September, October, 1874.

The Place:

According to the alleged article in the "Figaro" the Count had been living in Paris. One source has it that he was living in the Rue d'Amsterdam at the time of his death. According to Bourre he had actually lived outside Paris. The Count is also said - again by Bourre - to have lived in Venice and to be buried there. And before he fled his country he must have been living somewhere in Romania - again according to Bourre. Others have it that our vampire came from Serbia. So there are various locations, houses, castle, and even a grave, that we could try to find. Supposing that there is any truth in this story.

Personal Comments:

Some of the things we are told are a bit hard to accept. Like a relative of the Count sending him a letter from Bistritz, Transylvania, the place where a few decades later the fictional Jonathan Harker would be staying on his way to another vampire Count. Wow ! Isn't that a remarkable coincidence ? Supposing that this present story is based on facts, we are left with many questions. Did the Count's friends comply with his request to remove his heart ? If so, what happened to it ? Why and how did his corpse end up in Venice, rather than in one of the larger Parisian cemeteries where Romanian aristocracy as well as Romanian royalty has been buried ? Is he a Romanian at all ? Going by his name it sounds a lot more plausible that he is from Serbia.

Possible Follow-Up:

We could go to Paris and try to find the Chateau de C... And if it does exist, and my suspicions are true and it has been turned into a hotel, then we could even stay there and see if that library still is there. We could go to Venice and try to find out where the Count has lived and also try to find back the Count's name in the registers of the Cemetery. Plus there is the Romanian background. Or is it Serbian after all ? Has there ever been a family with the unlikely name of Borolojovak ? Or is it perhaps the name of a town, village, castle ? The word Count suggests some aristocratic title. Is it the correct equivalent of Borolojovak's title, or is it an attempt to link the story up with Count Dracula ? In Tony Faivre's story there is no Count at all. He talks about a Prince Borolojovac. It could be a good and useful exercise to try and find out if there is any factual basis for this story.

2011 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed December 2011

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