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 (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).