Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Vampires of Lastovo Island

The case of the Lastovo Island vampire is a unique case of undead activities.  It was believed that there is a certain type of vampire that was causing diarrhea during 1737-1738.  A group of vampire hunters were brought to trials for the desecration of corpses and their graves.   The government that time, already imposed rules forbidding public on exhuming a suspected vampire.  But the strong belief of the locals about vampires remained strong that some people continued to perform vampire exorcism rituals.

During the year 1737-1738, residents of the Lastovo island of Croatia were called in front of the court to undergo inquest for the desecration of the corpse and the grave.  The residents claimed that whenever there are illnesses or unexplained sickness in their area, they blamed it on a certain vampire.  The incident was the same for the recent epidemic that happened on the island that resulted to numerous deaths.  In addition, the villagers believe that people who died on the diarrhea plague also became a vampire.

The villagers then decided to launch a massive haunt for the vampire to stop the epidemic.  They believe that the plague will cease once they managed to stake the supposed vampire with a black thorn.  Not everyone in the island joined the said hunting; it is also not recorded that sometimes a priest was present on the exhumation.

The villagers opened the casket of a man who dies of drowning, according to the legends and belief, people who died because of drowning is likely to be infested with the undead, but his remains has been reduced to bones confirming that he’s not a vampire.  They opened more casket but to their dismay, they saw no sign of vampirism on the other corpse.

They decided to open random casket and to stake those who are believed to be a creature of the undead.  Some said that a loud noise upon staking the corpse was heard, some dogs also howl and the donkeys all made a noise, which the local believe was a clear sign of vampirism.

A priest present on some days was also summoned by the court.  Don Marin Pavlovic, 63 years of age confirmed that the villagers hold a strong belief on vampires.  He said that the priest before him told him an event about a vampire that leapt out of his coffin.  The priest shot the vampire and it went back to his casket.  He further testified that before that event, a similar occurrence has already happened 17 years ago, where the villagers randomly dug up a grave and search for a suspected vampire.  They opened a casket of a priest and tear his body.  Pavlovic was annoyed on what they did, but the villagers said that the priest is a vampire.

17 individuals were proven guilty after the trial.  They were asked by the archbishop to wear a stone on their neck and go to three different churches and ask for repentance from their sin.

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