The following is a passage from “LA GUZLA – ou – Choix de poésies Illiriques receuillies dans la Dalmatie, la Bosnie, la Croatie et l’Herzegowine” [selection of folklore from Dalmatia, Bosnia, Croatia and Herzegovina] published in 1827 by Prosper Mérimée.
In 1819, I had undertaken a journey on foot to Morlachia and I arrived one evening in the small village of Varboska. My host was a Morlaque, rich for someone from these parts, a jovial man, often drunk. His name was Vuck Poglonovich. His wife was still young and beautiful, and his sixteen-year-old daughter was charming. I wanted to stay at their house for a couple of days, because I wanted to make some sketches of antic ruins in the neighborhood. But I was not allowed to pay the rent for my room – I could only stay as a guest.
One evening, the two ladies had left us about an hour earlier. And to have an excuse not to drink, I sang for my host some songs from his country, when all of a sudden we were interrupted by horrifying cries from the bedroom.
Usually, in this part of the world, there is only one bedroom that serves for all. We ran into the room carrying our arms, and we were confronted by a terrible spectacle. The mother, pale and with her hair in disorder, was holding her daughter who had fainted, even whiter than herself, and who was stretched out on a mattress that served as a bed. She cried: “A vampire! A vampire! My poor girl is dead!”
With united efforts we succeeded to revive the poor Rhawa. She had seen, she told us, how the window was opened and how a pale man, wrapped in a shroud, had thrown himself upon her and had bitten her while he tried to strangle her. When she started crying for help, the specter had run away and she had fainted. Nevertheless she thought to have recognized the vampire as someone from the neighborhood: a man called Wiecznany [Wirezany] who had died fifteen days ago.
On Rhawa’s neck was a small red mark. But I don’t know if this wasn’t something natural, or if an insect had bitten her during the nightmare. When I dared to make this supposition, her Father rejected it rudely. The girl cried and wrung her arms, repeating without a pause: “Alas, to die so young, before marriage!” And the mother swore at me and called me a heathen, saying that surely she had seen the vampire with her own eyes, and that she too had recognized Wiecznany. I thought it best to refrain from further comments.
All the amulets from the house and from the village, soon were hanging from Rhawa’s neck. And her father swore that the next morning he would dig up Wiecznany and that he would burn him in front of all of his relatives. The night passed while it was impossible to calm them down. At daybreak the whole village was on the move. The men were armed with rifles and with hanzars, the women were carrying iron stakes, the children had sticks and stones. They marched to the cemetery crying accusations against the deceased.
I had a lot of trouble to get through this crowd and get a place next to the grave. The exhumation took a long time. As everyone wanted to assist, they were hindering each other, and accidents would surely have happened if some grey old men had not decided that no more than two men were needed to unearth the cadaver. At the moment that they lifted the piece of cloth that covered the corpse, a sharp horrible cry made my hair stand on end. It was a woman standing next to me: “It is a vampire! He has not been eaten by the worms!” she screamed. And a hundred mouths immediately repeated her words. At the same time, twenty rifles shot at close range destroyed the head of the dead man, and Rhawa’s father and relatives finished the job with their long knives.
Women dipped linen clothes in the red fluid that was coming from the corpse to rub it on the sick girl’s neck. Meanwhile, several young men pulled the dead man from the grave. And although the corpse was terribly cut up, they still took the precaution of tying it to a wooden beam. After that, they dragged it, followed by all the children, to a small orchard in front of Poglonovich’s house. There, people had already prepared a pile of wooden beams mixed with straw. They lit the fire, then threw the corpse upon it, and started dancing around and shouting as hard as they could, while they continued to put new wood on the fire. The infected smell I produced forced me soon to leave and return to my host’s house.
The house was full of people. The men were smoking their pipes, the women were all talking at the same time and questioning the sick girl who still was very pale and could hardly speak. Her neck was covered with those rags, colored by the red and infected fluid that they had thought to be blood, and which made a terrible contrast with the neck and half naked shoulders of the poor Rhawa. Little by little, people started to leave the house, and at last I was the only stranger in it.
Rhawa was very worried about the coming of the night, and wanted someone to stay at her side at all times. As her parents, exhausted by the events of the day, could hardly stay awake, I offered my services as a “nurse”. They were glad to accept my offer. I knew that the Morlaques would not think of my proposal as something inappropriate. I will never forget those nights, that I have spent in the company of this unfortunate girl. The creaking of the floorboards, the whistling of the wind, the smallest sound made her shiver. When she started to fall asleep she had horrible visions, and often she woke up all of a sudden, crying out loud.
. . .
The night before she died, she told me: “It is my own fault that I have to die. A boy from the village wanted me to elope with him. I refused and told him to buy me a silver necklace first. He went away to Marcaska to buy me one. On the other hand, if I had not been at home, perhaps he would have killed my mother. It is better this way.”
The next morning she called her father to her bedside and made him promise to cut her throat and the tendons of her legs, so that she would not become a vampire herself, and she did not want anyone but her father to commit these rather unnecessary atrocities to her corpse. After that, she embraced her mother and asked her to go and pray at the tomb of some local saint, and come back afterwards. I admired the delicacy of this peasant girl, who had thought up this pretext to save her mother from the pain of having to be present at her last moments.
She told me to take an amulet from her neck. “Keep it.” She said to me. “I hope that it protects you better than it has protected me.” After that she received the sacraments with devotion. Two or three hours later, her respiration got weaker and her eyes became glassy. Suddenly she grabbed her father’s arm and made an attempt to embrace him. She was dead. Her illness had lasted eleven days. She died of no other disease other than restlessness of body and mind occasioned by superstitious terror.
Some hours later I left the village, cursing vampires, ghosts, and all those who tell stories about them.
Interesting enough this case continues to be regarded by some as being authentic, though over the past years many have come forth to share the idea that is in fact a fictional tale.
The author – Marimee – was poor in the time that he published this [his first book] and openly admitted later in his career that at that time  he would have published anything that would have sold. He even adds in the preface for a later edition that he was too poor to travel abroad but that he did his research about the geography and read “Voyage en Dalmatie” by l’Abbé Fortis to sketch his “artless poems”.
Analysis of the text will reveal that it is too well written to be a true collection of ballads.
Nonetheless it was listed as a true vampire account by Jean Paul Bourre in his “Dracula et les Vampires”  and Peter Haining in his “The Dracula Centenary Book”