Jure Grando was a peasant that lived in Istria in the 1600′s and may have been one of the earliest recorded vampire in historical records. Branded as a strigoi, a local term for “vampire” Grando died and rose again in 1656. For sixteen years Grando would terrorize his village appearing first to his widow in her bedroom. The woman described him as pale and thin, furthering to say he appeared to be smiling while gasping for breath. The distraught widow enlisted the assistance of Father Giorgio to rid her of the affliction. The Father eventually came face to face with Grando. The Father held out a cross in front of him and shouted “Behold Jesus Christ, you vampire!” “Stop tormenting us!” At that moment tears fell from the vampire’s eyes and he ceased to terrorize his widow, the rest of the village would not be so lucky.
After many years of torment the some of the villagers, having had enough of Grando, met with the Father to seek relief of their affliction. The Father called a town meeting and gathered a group of the villages’ strongest men, to include the bravest of the men, Miho Radetić. Radetić would later chase and try to kill the vampire by piercing his hear with a hawthorn stick. His attempt failed as the stick bounced off of the vampires’ chest.
On the following night Radetić would gather with nine others and go to the graveyard armed with lamps, a cross and a hawthorn stick. The men exhumed Grando’s coffin and opened it to find him perfectly preserved, with a smile on his face. Father Giorgio began to recite some religious incantations as the men attempted to pierce his heart a second time. The hawthorn stick would not penetrate his chest. The priest began to recite exorcism prayers then the one villager, Stipan Milašić took a saw and cut his head off. As the saw sliced through his neck, the vampire screamed and blood began to spurt from the wound. The coffin began to fill with blood as his headless body contorted then fell limp into the casket. It was at that time the vampire would find his peace.
Ms. Lyn Gibson, author of “The Adrian Trilogy.”
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