I have written about countless vampire cases over the years, reports of real vampires preying on villages and towns. All of those cases took place well over a hundred years ago, but now I’ve got a current one for you today. The local council in western Serbia recently issued a public health warning that a vampire was on the loose.
Many sites are writing about this amazing bit of news, and so have I, but if you read through to the bottom, you’ll see folks aren’t reporting it correctly. Tsk tsk. Luckily you have a research junkie like me.
Sava Savanovic was believed to have lived in the old watermill on the Rogacica River, in Zarozje village in the municipality of Bajina Basta, where he fed on the blood of anybody who came to mill grain, reports the Austrian Times.
The watermill was purchased by the local Jagodić family who were too frightened to use it as a mill, and instead used it to draw in tourists looking for a piece of supernatural history – but only during the day.
The family, however, were too afraid to do any repairs on the ruined mill for fear of disturbing the vampire and facing its wrath, and due to the lack of repairs, the mill collapsed, says various news sites.
Now, with the mill gone, the locals supposedly believe that the vampire is on the loose in their town.
Local mayor Miodrag Vujetic admitted, “People are worried, everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else and possibly other victims is terrifying people. We are all frightened.”
He added that it was all very well for people who didn’t live in the area to laugh at their fears, but said that nobody in the region have any doubt that vampires do exist.
He confirmed that the local council had advised all villagers to put garlic on their doors and windows to protect them from the vampire as it was well known they can’t stand the smell, reports the Austrian Times (although there’s more to it than the smell, I wonder if the mayor actually mentioned smell in the interview or the if journalist simply added that out of ignorance).
He added, “We have also reminded them to put a Holy Cross in every room in the house.”
Ok so, given how poorly the original articles on this topic have been written (false information, bad research) I have a few issues on how well this story is being reported (don’t worry, I did research). I know very well that there are superstitious villages in Europe who still believe, even today, in the existence of vampires, so I am not questioning that. But, after doing some digging into Serbian articles published years ago (which I translated), I am finding more information. Like how two neighboring towns had a legal battle over the rights to the Sava Savanovic story. Or this – that the Jagodić family, who are the owners of the mill, were not actually afraid of the mill as these new articles claim. According to an article published in 2008, Radoslav Jagodić said in an interview that while many fear the vampire, he never did and had in fact spent many nights inside of the mill. Hmmm… something doesn’t seem right with these recent reportings.
Luckily, I found one of the original Serbian articles on the council warning. Yes, the mill collapsed, and yes many are afraid of the vampire. But as for the public warning made by the local government, well, people think that was done more for tourists than locals. However, as I thought above, the mayor did NOT mention the smell of garlic, the journalist in the Austrian Times totally made that up. In the original interview, the mayor brought up garlic as protection against Sava, he said, and I quote, “You can only protect yourself from it with hawthorn thorns or stakes. Everyone should place hawthorn and garlic on their threshold. But hawthorn thorn is ‘law’ for the vampire …” Which is exactly what someone in Serbia would say, and not what a shady lying journalist would report. Suck it journalists!
And there you have it readers, the truth to this widely (but poorly) reported story.