If the community was convinced there was a vampire among them or if there had been reports of attacks in the near communities, search parties would be dispensed to the graveyard.
The idea may seam far off to some, but we`re not referring to gatherings similar to those presented in the movies [in “angry torch-carrying mob” scenes].
One cannot fully understand the emotions that drove the peasants back then… grief over loving someone [remember that usually the family members were present during the ritualistic eradication of the so called vampires], fear over losing another family member, confusion and impossibility to go against the majority.
Since it was believed that vampires have the ability to hypnotize the caretakers into protecting them during the day – when the vampire is confined to his coffin, if the gravediggers were protective of several graves, those were scrutinized first.
§ In the case of a careful inspection at the cemetery, the following were considered proof of vampirism:
– holes in the ground
– disarranged dirt on and around the grave
– unusual [dens] fog, especially at nightfall
– scratches on the tomb stones
– fallen and/or dismantled crosses
– tracks on remote or auxiliary exits from the cemetery
– sounds similar to sighs herd from inside the graves during sunset
– strange animal behavior, such as: birds not singing, dogs barking and refusing to enter the cemetery, geese get restless around certain tombs, horses refuse to advance towards certain graves.
§ When opening a coffin, people would look out for:
– eyes and/or mouth open
– unusually pale or reddish face
– teeth or fangs that are larger than normal [not necessarily sharp]
– bloated body [people assumed it was due to the drinking of blood]
– hair longer that at the burial
– long and/or transparent fingernails
– flexible extremities
– lack of decomposition
– blood around the mouth and/or in the coffin
– white liver [when removed]
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† Vampire Accounts
I now give you a replica of an article from a site I wish to recommend. It is take from “Vampires and Vampirism” by Dudley Wright and the transcript of a detailed investigation about this event can be found on ShroudEater.com
“In 1672 there dwelt in the market town of Kring, in the Archduchy of Krain, a man named George Grando, who died, and was buried by Father George, a monk of St. Paul, who, on returning to the widow’s house, saw Grando sitting behind the door. The monk and the neighbours fled. Soon stories began to circulate of a dark figure being seen to go about the streets by night, stopping now and then to tap at the door of a house, but never to wait for an answer. In a little while people began to die mysteriously in Kring, and it was noticed that the deaths occurred in the houses at which the spectred figure had tapped its signal. The widow Grando also complained that she was tormented by the spirit of her husband, who night after night threw her into a deep sleep with the object of sucking her blood. The Supan, or chief magistrate, of Kring decided to take the usual steps to ascertain whether Grando was a vampire. He called together some of the neighbours, fortified them with a plentyful supply of spirituous liquor, and they sallied off with torches and a crucifix.
Grando’s grave was opened, and the body was found to be perfectly sound and not decomposed, the mouth being opened with a pleasant smile, and there was rosy flush on the cheeks. The whole party were seized with terror and hurried back to Kring, with the exception of the Supan. The second visit was made in company with a priest, and the party also took a heavy stick of hawthorn sharpened to a point. The grave and body were found to be exactly as they had been left. The priest kneeled down solemnly and held the crucifix aloft: “O vampire, look at this,” he said; “here is Jesus Christ who loosed us from the pains of hell and died for us upon the tree !”
He went on to address the corpse, when it was seen that great tears were rolling down the vampire’s cheeks. A hawthorn stake was brought forward, and as often as they strove to drive it through the body the sharpened wood rebounded, and it was not until one of the number sprang into the grave and cut off the vampire’s head that the evil spirit departed with a loud shriek and a contortion of the limbs.”
NOTE: PLEASE visit the above mentioned site for all the details! The article is to be considered incomplete and I listed it only because I was afraid the site would one day disappear – as so many good and reliable ones have sadly done so in the last couple of years.
๑۞๑ Related: ๑۞๑
† Vampire Accounts