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The Terrifying Tale of Peter Plogojowitz

Back in the 1700s vampire hysteria was all the rage in Europe, everyone was deathly afraid of vampires rising from the grave to feed upon them and their loved ones – and thanks to their fear I’ve got plenty of vampire stories for you dear readers. One such story is that of Peter Plogojowitz, and it just so happens to be one of the most well-known and best documented cases of vampire hysteria. So read on and enjoy this bit of vampire history…

In 1725  in the village of Kisolava, Serbia a farmer by the name of Peter Plogojowitz died – but he didn’t stay dead. Three days after his death Peter returned from the grave, appearing before his son and demanding food. Apparently the whole dying thing makes you very hungry. His son fed him, but the next night when Peter returned asking for more, the son refused him, so Peter left his boy, but not after giving him a threatening look. The next morning the son was found dead, and after a few days, nine more people from the village were found dead.

Before their death, each of these villagers complained of exhaustion and appeared to have lost large amounts of blood. If that wasn’t suspicious enough, they also all claimed to have dreamed of being visited by Peter. Greatly alarmed by these events, the parish priest wrote to the local magistrate, who passed on the news to a nearby commander of imperial troops. He, two officers and an executioner arrived shortly after receiving the message and they promptly set to exhuming the corpses of all who had died. What they found in Peter’s grave shocked everyone – for Peter’s corpse was perfectly preserved and his mouth was covered in blood.

After the discovery, a stake was pounded into Peter’s chest, blood gushing everywhere. After this they burned his body to ash on a pyre, they then moved on to the other bodies, the bodies of Peter’s victims. These were reburied with the normal preventative measures – garlic and whitethorn placed with each corpse in the grave.

And so was the end of Peter Plogojowitz’s reign of fear.

The reason this case is so notable is because of the completeness of the official accounts and the fact that it was so widely reported all throughout Europe. Vampires were a serious and frightening matter back then.

Nowadays we have scientific explanations for the events in this story, but in the 1700s it was all supernatural evil to them, and who knows, maybe they were right.

– Moonlight

Peter PlogojowitzSerbiavampire historyvampire lore

Moonlight • November 10, 2010


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Comments

  1. vampires
  2. David Zahir November 10, 2010 - 12:21 pm Reply

    European history is full of outbreaks of tuberculosis taken as vampire attacks. In a certain way, it didn’t matter. Digging up the body and burning it to ashes removed a major source of contagion. So it worked!

  3. True Blood Sucker
  4. Christine November 11, 2010 - 3:49 am Reply

    These folklore stories – Paole, Plogojowitz etc – are gruesomely fascinating.However, I think Plogojowitz was in early state of decomposition – his new “ruddy” skin mentioned in most sources was epidermis and his “fat” body was swollen by gas, not vampirism.

  5. Mish@ November 29, 2010 - 12:58 pm Reply

    He’s name was Petar Blagojevich !!!!!

  6. pagan December 3, 2010 - 2:18 am Reply

    I read a interview about a guy named peter that claims hes a vampier but he would not tell me hes last name should i even beleave that hes a real vampier? he said he was born in the 16oos or the 1700s. I dont know but if you search (A real interview with a vampier) maybe you can find it…… call me crazy but is it possible that this is the same vampier? and is there any books on Elisabeth Bathory that i could find on here? thanks!

  7. jonny March 13, 2015 - 3:56 pm Reply

    Amanda i am citing this as a source for my essay and I need your full name, what is your last name?

  8. Jeeves December 13, 2016 - 12:52 am Reply

    Paole’s body would’ve been a meal for beetles and maggots after 40 days of death. How many days was this?

  9. 49 Fun Facts About Serbia You May Not Know | Serbia Travel Blog - Chasing the Donkey

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