I would not wish to hazard a guess as to whether or not vampires are real. There have undoubtedly been some cases which have defied explanation, and still others which have just been disturbing. Blood drinking is a concept which has always both repulsed and fascinated, and there is no shortage of information on various vampire sightings, dating back hundreds of years.
I would have to dedicate the entire site to the subject if I hoped to provide a complete chronicle of people who were either suspected of being vampires, or who believed that they were real vampires. It would suffice to outline a few of the better known occurrences as an introduction to the subject. The examples presented here not for children and some of the information is quite disturbing.
Arnold Paole & Peter Plogojowitz: These two gentlemen were inhabitants of small villages in Eastern Europe at roughly the same time and their cases show remarkable similarities. Both died in 1725, both were supposedly seen haunting the village after their deaths (not to mention killing a few villagers) and both were eventually exhumed so their bodies could be staked.
Countess Elizabeth Bathory: Ah yes…the Blood Countess. She was made famous for her supposed habit of bathing in the blood of young beauties in order to retain her youth. This would appear to be untrue, but she did apparently have a pesky habit of biting her charges. It is estimated that she was responsible for the deaths of anywhere from 20 to 650 individuals through various means of torture.
Mercy Brown: This young lady has the dubious distinction of being of the best documented cases of exhumation for the purpose of destroying a vampire. This occurred during what is now known as the New England Vampire Panic when many people were being killed by Tuberculosis.
Vlad Tepes: Made popular by Bram Stoker’s iconic Dracula tale, Vlad Tepes is thought by many to be the first example of the present day vampire. And yet, to date, there is very little evidence that he actually consumed blood. That being said, he certainly seemed to revel in the sight of it and his methods of torture are still known today for their cruelty.
Jure Grando: This peasant from Istria in Croatia was accused of terrorizing hapless villagers for 16 years after his death in 1656. He even allegedly carried on sexual relation s with his wife. Official documents actually called him a ‘strigon’, the local word for vampire, which was the first time the term was formally applied to person. Finally fed up, Miho Radetic and a group of other men decided it was time to end Grando’s reign of terror. When they opened his grave they found a suspiciously well kept corpse. They promptly decapitated him and the sightings stopped.
Sava Savanovic: Sava Savanovic has the distinction of being both a vampire and a ghost. He supposedly haunted an old watermill located on the Rogacica River. According to legend, he would murder millers who came to mill their grain and drink their blood. One day he simply stopped. Since that time, the old watermill made its way down the generations until it finally collapsed in 2012. The local authorities issued a tongue-in-cheek warning that Savanovic was now free to haunt again.
One of the main problems in most of these cases is the lack of credible documentation. They often occurred, as in Mercy Brown’s situation, during a time when disease was rampant and those afflicted in a particular household were thought of as victims of a deceased relative. In other instances, the ‘evidence’ is merely anecdotal.