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Re: Dear Vlad, was Re: a little history lesson

Poster: Heather Swann <heather@pop.net>

> > For a good work on vampires, check out 'Vampires of the Slavs' by
> > Perkowski.  It has historical notes as well as the author's notes on his
> > research among Slavic peoples on vampires and local stories.  One woman
> > he talked to told him the man a few farms down was a vampire.  A vampire
> > hunter he spoke to told him to 'take an iron spike and nail those
> > suckers to the ground!'.  Interesting stuff.
> Yes, but how much of that material is mediaeval?  

As I say, just some of it, but it IS in there.  The author comes from an
Eastern background.  I recall in his class it was like listening to Bela
Lugosi's natural voice....

My own experience is
> with western Europe not eastern (although I could plug pretty hard for
> renewed study of mediaeval Bulgaria, which, from the little I know about
> it, is fascinating).  The western sources I've encountered emphatically do
> not express belief in anything like the modern idea of a vampire. 

I suppose it depends on how you're defining the modern idea.  If you
mean the slicko 'goth-dressed-in-black-and-looking-cool' stereotype,
well no.  I don't know any source that does. I recall some descriptions
of blood-sucking humans/corpses who were also said to be shape-shifters,
but they didn't have the cool cachet that vampires do now.  They were
cold, pale, and smelled of death.  They could, however, be living people
who had turned to evil.

> the typical reanimate corpse/ghoul/wight.  People with evidence for belief
> in vampires (modern sense) from western Europe in the Middle Ages are
> cordially invited to mention it.  :-)
> Alianora

I haven't seen any descriptions that would fit a wight, per say, and the
ones that fit a ghoul aren't uniformly vampiric- they tend to fall into
the shape-shifter/lycanthrope category as far as I know.....at least for
Eastern Europe.  If someone's got some source material, I'd love to have
more things to dig through!  :)

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