The Vampire of Liebava

In 1751 Dom Calmet had an interesting entry within his publication.  A priest had confessed to Calmet that the Council of the Bishop had dispatched Jeanin the Canon of the Cathedral of Olmuz to a village in Moravia named Liebava to investigate a well known vampire.  The Priest had accompanied Jeanin on his investigation and witnessed many things that he would relay to Calmet.

The church had received reports for the past few years that this vampire would terrorize the village nightly and that several of the villagers had been murdered in their own beds.  To compound the threat, the vampire which was only referred to as and “important man” concerning the village, was recruiting the newly dead to join his forces.  After nearly four years of this nightly torment it all came to an end.

The people of Liebava had held a trial where ordinary rules of justice were kept.  Witnesses came forward and attested that they had witnessed this important man within the confines of their own homes.  Families of the vampires victims stood before the village and admitted that they had encountered their loved ones even after their burials.  The courts had determined that something must be done lest they all suffer the same fate.  It just so happened that after the trial a Hungarian stranger arrived at the village.  The stranger was on his way to another destination and was merely passing through but news of the recent trial was still running rampant through the village and the stranger was fully briefed on the situation.  Having heard of the torments that the vampire had inflicted on the villagers for the last several years, the stranger vowed that the vampire would meet his demise.

When the sun fell low in the village sky, the stranger carried a ladder to the church and climbed the steep tower, from there he would be able to safely witness any activity at the vampires’ grave.  As darkness fell around him he saw that the soil of the grave began to shift and soon the vampire emerged.  He stood from his grave and removed his shroud to began his nightly rounds throughout the village.  When the vampire had left the cemetery the stranger came down from the steeple and stole his shroud.  He climbed back up the ladder and onto the steeple once more, the vampires’ shroud in hand.

Later that evening the vampire returned to his grave, bloated from his evening feed.  When he saw that his shroud was missing the vampire became enraged.  The stranger, having witnessed the vampires feverish tantrum called out to him, waving his shroud above his head.  He taunted the vampire by telling him that if he wanted his shroud back he would have to come and retrieve it from him.  The furious vampire took the bait, he began to ascend the ladder and when he had nearly reached the top the stranger struck him in the head with a hammer.  The vampire fell backwards down to the ground disoriented by the blow.  The stranger rushed down the ladder before the vampire could shake off the affects of the blow and cut off his head with a spade.  As promised, the stranger had rid the town of their vampire.

It was shortly after this that Jeanin and the Priest would arrive at the village.  Having counseled with Calmet in the past, the Priest recommended that all graves of the villagers that had died since the vampire had emerged should be exhumed and the corpses studied for signs of having turned vampire.  In all thirty one coffins were exhumed.  Most of the corpses had begun to decay at a normal rate, several were found that showed no signs of decay.  Their skin was vibrant and their limbs pliable, many having had fresh blood within the coffins with them suggested recent feeding.  Jeanin recruited the assistance of several villagers to remove the heads of the corpses in question and return them to their graves.  The Priest acknowledged that he had prayed over each corpse that had been beheaded before they were reburied thus ending the vampire infestation of the village of Liebava.

The Radojevo Vampire

There was a man named Miloch who lived just beyond the village of Radojevo.  The villagers suspected him of sorcery as he kept to himself and had a bird that he had taught to speak as his companion.  Miloch had been known to have the ability to communicate with wolves, he had raised and trained several that guarded his home by day.  In 1731, Miloch expired for reasons unknown.  The villagers held vigil and buried him in the village cemetery.

In July of 1732 the Prince of Wurtenberg sent Jozsef Faredi-Tamarzski to Radojevo to investigate the death of eleven villagers that had passed during January and February of the same year.  The villagers claimed that Miloch had returned as a vampire and was responsible for their deaths.  The deceased were said to have withered away within seven to ten days with no obvious symptoms other than night terrors which seemed to have plagued all eleven victims.  The deceased were examined by the village physician who could not explain their deaths but made note that bluish puncture marks were found on two of the deceased necks.

Faredi-Tamarzski took testimonies from all involved and called a town meeting to explain to the villagers that their tormentor could not possibly be a vampire, that their friends and family had likely succumbed to a plague.  The villagers refused to listen, Faredi-Tamarzski called other meetings to try and reason with the villagers, to no avail.  The villagers insisted that Miloch be exhumed and staked immediately.  Faredi-Tamarzski, having exhausted all argument with the villagers conceded to exhume the body.

Milochs’ grave of fifteen months was dug out, the board that covered his coffin was removed to reveal a corpse that was completely intact.  Miloch’s eyes stared up coldly at the villagers as they stared down into the grave.  Out of his mouth trickled a steady trickle of blood.  Blood had seeped from the coffin and into the soil surrounding it.  Upon closer examination, Miloch was found to be completely pliable, his skin still having a rosy hue.  Faredi-Tamarzski ordered the body to be staked immediately.  Miloch was staked and covered with a layer of unslaked lime then reburied.  Faredi-Tamarzski then ordered the exhumation of all of the victims as well so that he may examine them.  Eight of the corpses were decomposing at a normal rate, two were found with a rosy complexion with some stiffening of the limbs but pliable elsewhere.  The last, a female had not decomposed in the slightest, her skin glowed healthily and the body was pliable, her eyes too stared back at the villagers that had gathered around her.  Faredi-Tamarzski ordered the other three corpses to be staked and buried in the same manner as Miloch.

Faredi-Tamarzski returned to Wurtemburg and delivered the report of his findings to the Prince, with quite a change of heart.

The Legend of the Bruxsa

The Bruxsa originates from Portuguese Vampire legends.  Though it has many of the similarities of the European Vampire there are several unique characteristics of the species.

The Bruxsa, mostly females, were said to have been witches in their mortal lives making them difficult to detect and nearly impossible to kill.  Bruxsa are said to have the ability to tolerate sunlight but are at their most powerful state between midnight and 2:00 a.m.  Legend states that their powers are a gift from Satan himself.  The Bruxsa gather at crossroads once a week (said to be either Tuesday or Friday) to worship their dark master, becoming stronger after every meeting.  When at their peak, the Bruxsa is said to have the ability to shift into the form of an animal further enabling them to avoid detection prior to attacking.  Some legends state that the Bruxsa takes the form of a large bird when she leaves her lair at night to feed but shifts back into  the form of a beautiful woman when she stalks her prey.

There is little that can be done to fend off the Bruxsa.  Some say that a particular amulet made of steel or iron will deter her briefly but once the Bruxsa has acquired the scent of her prey, there is little that can be done to protect the intended victim.  Historical documents mention that there was an incantation that could be spoken to the beast but throughout time, the spell has been lost.

The Bruxsa though attracted to hunting the male human, has a taste for children as well.  Women would protect their children from her in several different ways.  Some would sew garlic into the lining of the children’s garments, some would place a pair of scissors beneath the child’s pillow and others would drive iron spikes into the floor around the child’s bed to protect him while he slept.  If it was suspected that a Bruxsa was stalking a child, the mother would boil the child’s clothing while stabbing it with with a knife.  The Bruxsa was said to feel the pain of the blows.  The same tactic was used as revenge for the mother that had lost her child to a Bruxsa.  the mother would boil the clothing day after day and stab it in grief until the Bruxsa would come and beg for mercy, mercy that she likely would never receive.

The Vampire of Mineral Point

In 1981 reports began to circulate about a vampire that had taken up residence in Mineral Point’s Graceland cemetery.  Initial reports of activity in the graveyard prompted Officer John Pepper to investigate while patrolling the area one evening.  Pepper entered the cemetery and began to make his rounds when he saw a tall caped figure with a white face.  The vampire, startled by this intrusion, fled from the officer who by instinct only, gave chase until he saw the creature leap over a six foot barbed wire fence.  The Officer stopped in his tracks and returned to his squad car to make the report.  He and a group of officers would return to the scene in the morning and attempt to follow the creatures tracks in the still fresh snow.  When Pepper led his companions to the area where the Vampire had escaped, there were no tracks found on the opposite side of the fence.  Not much more would come of the event other than some ribbing by fellow officers.

The story fell silent for quite some time until until March 14th 2004 when police responded to several reports of someone sitting in a tree outside of an apartment complex that would leap upon his victims as they passed to enter.  The description given by witnesses matched John Peppers’ suspect from the Graceland Cemetery case.  The creature remained at the scene until police arrived, they reported that a six foot caped figure leapt from the tree and fled.  The police gave chase only to find that the footprints disappeared at a ten foot concrete wall.  The area was scoured, but not a sign of the creature was found beyond the concrete wall.  Once again the story fell silent until July 11 2008 when the police were dispatched again when a terrified young couple arrived at the station to report a tall caped figure with a white face had chased them.

The witnesses, a young couple that were fishing off of a jetty at Ludden Lake reported that they had heard noises coming from beneath them while fishing from the jetty.  The couple stated that there was scratching under the wooden surface, and that they could hear splashing and something climbing up beneath them.  One of the witnesses, Brandon Heinz, stood and began to stomp on the jetty thinking it was an animal and the the noise would scare it away.  He reported that his stomping only drew the creature closer to them.  He shined his flashlight between the boards of the jetty to see the caped figure climbing up beneath them.  He froze in horror as his girlfriend, Jamie Marker, fled the scene.  When the creature approached, Heinz threw the flashlight at it and fled behind Marker to their parked car where she sat waiting for him with the doors locked.  Heinz entered the car and started the motor, he could see the caped figure speeding towards them as he jammed the car in gear.  The couple fled to the Mineral Point Police station to file their report.  Two patrol units were dispatched to the site but found nothing other than the young couples’ fishing gear that was all still accounted for, with the exception of the flashlight.

Mineral Point was one of the first communities settled within this area.  Mining was the main attraction in the 1800’s.  The newly installed railway system brought wealth and population to the small town as it was where the tracks ended.  There are many stories of ghosts and paranormal activity within the area, perhaps one of the haunted legends of Mineral Point contains a clue of where the Vampire could have originated from.

The Tale of Johannes Cuntius

Sometime in the 17th century Johannes Cuntius, a alderman of Pentach in Silesia died after being kicked in the head by a horse.  He would not remain dead, the townspeople had been made painfully aware as omens of his return began immediately upon his passing.

Cuntius was said to have made a pact with the devil upon his death bed.   When Cuntius’ soul left his body a cold wind arose generating a dark mist.  A black cat emerged from the mist and proceeded to attack Cuntius’ face mauling him severly.  During his funeral the same cold wind arose and did not subside until his coffin was within the ground.

It was said that the town watchman, guarding the body prior to it’s burial, witnessed a phantom-like apparition that spoke with Cunius’ voice.  After his death, reports of strange noises within Cuntius’ house began to circulate through the town.   Other surrounding townspeople also began to experience strange happenings.  Reports made were:, jugs of milk or water being turned to blood, children were found to be missing from their cradles at night, the linens of the priest and altar boy at the local church had been stained with blood.  Reports became more sinister with every passing week.  A maid from a surrounding home reported that she heard someone riding around the house, then into the outer wall, shaking it violently.  Cuntius’ friends and family members began to report having violent encounters, one stating that Cuntius had pulled up two posts that had been secured deeply into the ground  in a fit of rage.   Cuntius also appeared to his widow, demanding to share the bed with her, when he was denied he made several attempts at other women in the surrounding area; one that was touched claimed that Cunius’ hands were as cold as ice.

With each encounter becoming increasingly violent, the townspeople gathered to seek a solution to their increasing torments.  It was the general consensus to disinter his body.  The townspeople met at the graveyard, the bodies that had been buried around Cunius were found to be putrid and rotten.  Cunius’ body was found to be tender and pliable, by no means stiff after having been dead for over six months.   When a staff was placed between his fingers, Cuntius’ eyes opened and he gripped the staff tightly.  When his leg was punctured, he bled profusely and began to struggle.  Cintius was decapitated and dismembered then consigned to the flames thus ending the undead reign of Johannes Cuntius.