The Case of Mrs. Gehrke


There was a vampire incident that happened in Pniewo, a district in Prussia.  It concerns the wife of a forest keeper named Gehrke.  One day, the wife of the forester died for unknown reason at around February of 1870.  They buried her at the Biechowo cemetery.  Soon after she died, Gehrke and the children also became sick.  Since the belief on the undead creature is strong in that region, the villagers thought that his wife might be a vampire.  They believe that the wife is missing her husband and children and wanted to drag them into the grave.

The brother of the forester was alarmed.  He held an emergency meeting together with the other men of the villagers and they decided to open up the grave and see if there are any signs of vampirism.  At first they were planning to place flaxseed on the corpse as a way to repel the undead manifestation.  But when they opened up the casket and saw that the corpse has reddish cheeks, they immediately decided to decapitate her head.  They hack her head with a spade until it was detached to her body.  They placed her head behind her arms and closed the lid of the casket again.


Mr. Gehrke on the other hand, went into an operation and was fully recovered.  The news about the event that happened on the night that they exhumed the corpse of his wife spread quickly.  The authorities found out about the desecration of the grave done on the Biechowo cemetery, back then the desecration of grave is already prohibited.  The brother of Gehrke was arrested together with the other man and was placed into trial.  He was found guilty of the lower court but he decided to appeal his case on the higher court.  The court decided that the brother and the other people acted in self defense and not with any malice.

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