The Hiadam Vampires

It’s time for a vampiric history lesson Dear Readers! Today we’re traveling back to the 1700s, 1720 to be exact, to tell the tale of one of the most investigated cases of vampirism during the time. The Hiadam Vampires, also known as Haidam, were several vampires that were discovered in a village near the Hungarian border, who in 1720 were investigated by the officials of the Holy Roman Empire. This investigation resulted in one of the best-documented cases of vampirism of the time.

It all began one evening during dinnertime when a soldier, staying with a farming family, watched as a total stranger came into the house and took a place at the table – much to the shock of the silent hosts. The very next morning the farmer was found dead. It was then that the family told the soldier that the stranger had been the farmer’s father, who had been dead for ten years. The soldier quickly reported this wild incident to his friends, and eventually word of the event reached the local general, Count de Cadreras, who commenced a formal investigation.

Before I continue, I should note that during this time the belief in the undead was a very real and serious thing, virtually everyone believed in vampires, they saw them as monstrous beings that returned from the grave to kill.

Back to the story – the Count’s investigation began, depositions were gathered and the father was exhumed. They discovered his corpse perfectly preserved, even after ten years of death. Shortly after this, others came forward to report other vampires – one had been dead for thirty years and had killed three family members; another, dead for sixteen years, had drained the blood and the life out of his two sons. It was quickly decided that each of these vampires had to be destroyed. First the farmer’s father was decapitated, the second had a nail driven in his skull, and the third was cremated.

A full report of these events was sent to Emperor Charles VI, who was so shocked that he ordered another investigation, this time by lawyers, surgeons and theologians. What came of their investigation is unknown, but in spite of that the story of the Hiadam Vampires continues to live on.

What do you think of the story? Do you believe that they were really dealing with vampires or was it simply their overactive imaginations mixed with the vampire mass hysteria of the time? You see, nowadays we have scientific explanations for why a corpse would remain preserved, explanations they didn’t have during that time, so it’s possible it was ignorance and hysteria to blame for the Hiadam Vampires. What do you think?

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).


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  3. This is very much like what happened in Austro-Hungary early in the 18th Century.

    Empress Maria Theresa went so far as to send her personal physician to investigate on reports of vampires. The physician eventually declared that vampires did not exist. The Empress then passed laws decreeing it forbidden and illegal to open graves or desecrate bodies of the dead.

  4. Indeed fascinating story and great pic! I believe it was just rumours and hysteria, when people died to some real illness, but then I am sceptic…

      1. Most commonly it was a lack of medical knowledge which sparked declarations of “Vampire”. Such as the loss of fluid in a corpse causing skin to contract making hair and nails appear to have grown.

        Porphyria is also associated with claims of vampires.

  5. I think, that it actually was a psychopath who killed these families. There is actually no real proof that it have been vampires at all. I still think that it’s strange that their bodies were preserved but actually it also isn’t proof that it were vampires. Unfortunately this tale lies too far in the past to check it’s credibility.
    Anyway I can’t exclude that there are such things as vampires, I can just say that from the scientific view vampires don’t exist as long as there is no proof that they exist.
    I bet if there are vampires they’re completely different from what we imagine, what it makes harder for us to find them. Maybe you also can’t become a vampire and it’s a new shape of the homo sapiens.
    Still I will trace such stories and keep being interested. Maybe there is an explanation for all those strange stories running around the world about vampires, werewolves, demons and witches or maybe they’re real. Keep your eyes open. (excuse me, if I made some mistakes in this comment, but I’m no native speaker)

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