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eight bits

Vermont Vampire

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On September 26, 1859, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal,

The savage in man is never quite eradicated. I have just read of a family in Vermont– who, several of its members having died of consumption, just burned [?] the lungs & heart & liver of the last deceased, in order to prevent any more from having it.

“Consumption” is tuberculosis, from which Thoreau died a few years later, decades before the bacterial cause of the disease was identified. Until then, macabre incidents like Thoreau’s happened in New England. When a living person seemed to have their life force gradually sucked out, then family and friends might look to the graveyard to find someone who’s responsible.

http://uncertaintist...ire-in-vermont/

Apparently, there were several reported cases in New England, well before Bram Stoker's Dracula popularized vampire mythology. I was surprised (as was Thoreau) to hear about such beliefs, and that people acted upon them. Not all the stories about how people dealt with the situation are credible, but this case has left some physical evidence based on how the family burials are laid out.

Edited by eight bits

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It's interesting that the belief was in a sort of "vampiric magic", as there seems to be no indication they believed the dead actually rose to feed on the living - unless they believed it was the spirit of the dead who did such feeding?

Humanity has held 'magical beliefs' for many thousands of years. I suppose it is a bit unrealistic to believe we could embrace Reason and reject those beliefs in just the few short hundreds since the Enlightenment.

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Leo

Yes, the belief definitely wasn't Bram Stoker's or Anne Rice's idea of a busy fulfilling unlife above ground. New England style vampires don't seem to have left their graves. The corpses stayed put, but provided a base for whatever malevolent force was "using" the corpse to attack the surviving family.

Although the superstition lingered well into the flowering of the Enlightenment, there was visible progress. Some of the late 18th Century incidents involved educated, well-off people. But Thoreau, only two generations later, and despite having the disesase himself, withour cause or cure in sight, completely rejects the idea, with no sympathy for the people who did these things to their kin.

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Is there any difference between belief in magic and belief in divinity? And could belief in divinity have grown out of an ancient belief in magic?

Because most of the 'magical beliefs' appear to me to be associated with religious beliefs. The modern (post-Stoker) belief in vampires is intimately tied to Christianity and I strongly suspect the "New England-type belief" you highlight in your OP is also connected to belief in a God/Devil dichotomy.

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most if not all belief in magic stems from a belief in spirituality. Rituals used in magic often mirror those performed in religious ceremonies and vice versa.

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I don't know how the people who did these ghoulish things balanced their religious and "other" beliefs. In the Belcherstown case mentioned in the blog article, described here (opening paragraphs),

http://intertheory.org/bell.htm

which happened about the same time and within 100km or so of the Spauldings, the driving force was the local Protestant minister. This fellowhad also been a former town medical doctor, so: educated, a civic leader, a professional Chrisitan - and a wannabe vampire slayer.

I don't understand it, but I do think it's interesting.

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Mental illness is usually my guess.

and fear

Fear is irrational, if allowed to consume you, you then become irrational, its how people allow themselves to be controlled, to become psychotics,

....i feel like i'm talking like a movie villain right now.

point is, fear sucks, don't do it

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most if not all belief in magic stems from a belief in spirituality. Rituals used in magic often mirror those performed in religious ceremonies and vice versa.

I would suggest that belief in 'magic' preceded (and precedes) belief in divinity or spirituality. People believe in divine/spiritual things because they believe 'magical things' are possible, not the other way 'round.

And I wouldn't suggest it is mental illness that is the cause of this - simply a need to explain the unknown.

Edited by Leonardo

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mental illness being my explanation as to how these people killed others in "vampire slayings" and posessiosn and the lot.

I meant the afflicted probably has schizophrenia or something along those lines, though I suppose its just as likely the priests and whoever running the shows could also have been deluded.

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http://uncertaintist...ire-in-vermont/

Apparently, there were several reported cases in New England, well before Bram Stoker's Dracula popularized vampire mythology. I was surprised (as was Thoreau) to hear about such beliefs, and that people acted upon them. Not all the stories about how people dealt with the situation are credible, but this case has left some physical evidence based on how the family burials are laid out.

The first well documented case of Vampirism started in Austria (austro-hungary) given the real origin of the vampire myth (or, rather, Vampir myth). The case of Petar Blagojevic is documented with the actual representative of the administration witnessing the staking. Petar (eng Peter) died in 1725. year and supposedly came to his son the night after to ask something to eat. The son refused and soon after there have been a massacre in a fashion of a long traditional serbian mythology of the Vampir. In fact, Vampir is a Serbian word which got popularized thanks to the mass hysteria what westernized Europe was obsessed with in the post-victorian era which really nailed a lot of gothic novels to influence the "dark" aspects of humanity itself alongside with the love.

The original report made in german language

http://de.wikisource...disker_District

As for the Dracula he was following the Order of the Dragon which was led by a Serbian knight MIlos Obilic. The alleged dracula origins are works of fiction alone since the real vampire myths are quite distinctive to those of the popularized pro-fun westernized media where vampires are portrayed in a paradoxical manner as sex symbols which did find its roots in the 18th and 19th century gothic novels.

However, the proof that the vampiric extermination was done long before is mentioned in a medieval document from 1349. year called "Dusan's Code" In it it's written

clan20.png

And for the source http://en.wikipedia....Å¡an's_Code

The important aspect of it was that a priest would read the old texts named "Gromovnik" (trans: Thunderbook) where there're astrological readings according to the storms and earthquakes. The main astrological aspect of those texts was the Lunar cycle, which is one of the major motives in the mythological (astrological) concept of Fertility, while Mars represents war and masculine power while Venus represents females and feminine power since the Kalidei.

The Moon itself plays the great role among the old Slavic and especially Serbian people who had a Wolf as a bad spirit and a Dog as a protector of the house.

The common belief in the vampires is as follows

It happens when an evil spirit or a demon enters the body of a person or when a person is a major jinx and black cat crosses over the grave.

Vampir isn't pale and bloodless, they're very red in the face (blood or the term "Red as a vampire") and often quite fat in the stomach area (especially if they drank). Vampir doesn't feed often, but usually visits their spouse. If it happens in the village they usually try to eat the food of the animals such as chicken or a horse (the horse one is really a metaphor because of the mythological chthonic properties to a horse, which is another story).

The origin of the cult of vampires belongs to the cult of ancestry and correlation to demons. Vampires, in tradition, are demons since they do posses the origin of a curse from a demon.

- Only a very bad person may become a vukodlak (werewolf) after the initial death (there's a distinct verb in the serbian language called "povampiriti se" meaning "To vamp itself" or, rather just a simple "to vamp", used most in the 3rd person singular).

- Vampir is filled with gel. Doesn't have flesh'n'bones. That's why impaling or sticking a vampir is the best method of killing.

- Vampir will become someone who died prematurely, either by a suicide or some illness, someone who dies without a lit candle in the room (a custom), someone who dies in the dark, someone with a very bad temper, when a cat walks over the grave, when the chicken walks over the grave, if a thunderbolt kills the person (myth: God Perun)

- A horse won't walk over the grave of a vampir (vukodlak).

- Vampir can shapeshift into a wolf and will only show himself in such a form to the people he/she knew while being alive.

- Beli Luk (White onion/Garlic) and Glogov kolac (Hawthorn) are used as a repel because of their healthy properties, according to the folk tales.

- During the forty days a specific Serbian belief mentions that the soul of a deceased will travel invisible or as a shadow and visit the ones who were close to him/her during the life. If the soul isn't properly buried during those forty days and if the undead drinks the blood - automatically becomes a vampir(e) gaining tremendous strength and a long unlife being able to walk among the living without the need to go back into the grave/coffin.

- Vampir may shapeshift into the animal which crossed his/hers grave, such as a cat, dog, chicken, frog, white horse, a lamb. If the case of vampirism is started like this the vampir(e) will show to others only as an animal, but to the family in his/hers human silhouette.

- Vampir may become the one who's been buried with long nails.

- Vampir may become one who's been buried in the wool clothes. The wool had to be made during the "Wolf week" (customs and mythology of the Slavic people)

There are many, many more ways for a vampir to come to the unlife but I may not spare that much time to write it all. Of course, there're great books covering this. Unfortunately I've yet to find the one that's been translated on English.

Some etymology names for vampir and vukodlak are as follow

- Vukodlak (Wolffur, Wolfhair, Werewolf) or Vetrogonja (Windchaser mainly in the areas of Bosnia and Croatia as well as in the parts of Montenegro).

- Lampijer (Lampyr) or Lampir (Lampeer) in the Bosnia ~Special note at the end

- Wampir and Opi in Poland

- (Upir / Oo-peer) in Russia

- Upir or Vupor at Belarus

- Dalmatia and Istra - Vishchun (deriv from Vestac or Witcher, also derives from Wolk or Wolf)

- Leptir in Bulgaria as well as Grobnik (Grob - Grave)

~ Leptir or Butterfly (literally) is often considered to be a creature used to describe a soul. In Bosnia a word "Lampir" is similar to "Leptir".

In Serbia during the slaying of a vampir® there's a special warning that a butterfly will fly away from a vampir just before he/she dies and such a butterfly must be burnt, otherwise the vampir will come back to unlife!

Only in the slavic customs it's noted that a vampir is the same creature as a werewolf, however it the germanic countries it's noted that a vampire may shapeshift in the creatures previously stated but also in the snake where it leads to dragon.

One of the greatest orders in the medieval times was the Order of the Dragon who had but a one cause - to kill the ottoman sultan. Founder was a Serbian by the name Milos Obilic and one of the famous peoples of the order was Count Vladislav.

vlad_dracul.JPG

Milos Obilic killed the sultan Murad I at the battle of Kosovo 1389.

To prevent the vampirism

- In the Serbian customs regarding the vampire there's a practice of placing sand or millet alongside with the dead body with loud saying - (You may become a vampire only after you count them all). Or thorns are placed alongside with the mound on top of the coffin with similar properties, obviously to hurt a potential vampire.

The interesting part, as well, is that bellow the tongue of a dead person there can be placed a bit of silver (a silver coin or such), or bellow the head of a dead person to put a strong iron nail (note - Iron's usually used as a means against the ghosts, silver too).

- If a vampire have a sex with his/hers spouse and a child is born, the child will become a vampire and during the life it will see vampires. The child, usually, becomes a vampire hunter.

There're a lot of false interpretations online which try to perceive the truth behind vampirism leaning onto some of the religious aspects but without the proper using of the metaphors, which can be devastating for the final result/conclusion. A mere letter or oversight may lead into a completely false route so it's imperative to gain the necessary knowledge / info, even if it might be untrue.

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