Today I bring you a vampire account from the 1700s, the tale of a supposedly real vampire found in the German town of Hermsdorf. Once, ages ago, the belief in the undead was very much real and vampires were greatly feared throughout Europe. The Hermsdorf Vampire is one of many reported cases of a vampire plaguing the living.
According to vampirologist Hermann Schreiber in Es Spukt in Deutschland (1975), in 1753 in the German village of Hermsdorf had itself a small vampire infestation. In the town, there was a woman known as the “Doktorin” who had spent her entire life healing the ill with her mysterious and strange potions. Eventually this woman died, and that’s when the real mystery began.
According to Schreiber, who read this woman’s story in the Vossichen Zeitung, dated 1755, when the woman sense that she was going to die soon, she called her husband to her bedside and had him promise that after her death he would cut off her head before her corpse was buried. She then made him swear that he would not bury her in Catholic graveyard.
After his wife’s death, her husband discovered that he simply couldn’t do as she asked. He couldn’t bring himself to carry out her horrid requests, and to make it even worse for him, the local priest told him that only sinners were buried outside of the churchyard, and so she was buried in the church’s cemetery. It wasn’t long after her burial that fearful stories spread throughout the village of the Doktorin returning from her grave as a vampire. One night after one too many drinks the husband told his drinking partners about the horrific requests his late wife asked of him before her death. The next day the whole village had caught wind of his story, as did the authorities.
In 1755 the woman’s grave was opened, along with the graves of 30 others suspected of being vampires. Of the 31 graves exhumed 21, including the Doktorin, looking incredibly fresh and were declared to be vampires. The supposed vampires were staked and cremated.
And that Dear Readers is the story of the Hermsdorf Vampire.