One of the most famous cases in undead folklore is that or Arnod Paole. It happened approximately 300 years ago and shows that even as America was starting to strongly considering dumping British tea into the ocean and becoming its own nation, that on the other side of the planet, vampires were still not considered myth and legend as they are today, but were deeply rooted in reality.
The oldest recorded records of this case are…well, they’re not in English. In 1732, Regimental Field Surgeon Johannes Fluchinger recorded the events of the outbreak of vampirism he was witness to, and it instantly became a best seller. This work, entitled Visum et Repertium was eventually translated into French in 1746, and eventually Augustine Calmet would make a literal translation of Flickinger’s work into English in 1850. As no doubt, very few if any of my readers possess The Phantom World by Calmet, I’ve reprinted the original document here exactly as it was translated 150 years ago. It’s a fascinating look at how humanity hgas changed its views of things in just a century and a half.
After it had been reported that in the village of Medvegia the so-called vampires had killed some people by sucking their blood, I was, by high decree of a local Honourable Supreme Command, sent there to investigate the matter thoroughly, along with officers detailed for that purpose and two subordinate medical officers, and therefore carried out and heard the present inquiry in the company of the captain of the Stallath Company of haiduks, Gorschiz Hadanack, the bariactar and the oldest haiduk of the village, as follows: who unanimously recount that about five years ago a local haiduk by the name of Arnod Paole broke his neck in a fall from a hay wagon. This man had, during his lifetime, often revealed that, near Gossowa in Turkish Serbia, he had been troubled by a vampire, wherefore he had eaten from the earth of the vampire’s grave and smeared himself with the vampire’s blood in order to be free of the vexation he had suffered. In twenty or thirty days after his death some people complained that they were being bothered by this same Arnod Paole; and in fact four people were killed by him. In order to end this evil, they dug up this Arnod Paole forty days after his death—this on the advice of their Hadnack, who had been present at such events before; and they found that he was quite complete and undecayed, and that fresh blood had flowed from his eyes, nose, mouth and ears; that the shirt, the covering, and the coffin were completely bloody; that the old nails on his hands and feet, along with the skin had completely fallen off, and that new ones had grown; and since they saw from this that he was a true vampire, they drove a stake through his heart, according to their custom. Whereby he gave an audible groan and bled copiously. Thereupon they burned the body on the same day to ashes and threw these into the grave. These same people say further that all those who were tormented and killed by the vampires must themselves become vampires. Thereupon they disinterred the above-mentioned four people in the same way. Then they also add that this Arnod Paole attacked not only the people but also the cattle, and sucked out their blood. And since the people used the flesh of such cattle, it appears that some vampires are again present here, inasmuch as, in a period of three months, seventeen young and old people died, among them some who, with no previous illness, died in two or at the most three days. In addition, the haiduk Jowiza reports that his stepdaughter, by the name of Stanacka, lay down to sleep fifteen days ago, fresh and healthy, but at midnight she started up out of her sleep with a terrible cry, fearful and trembling, and complained that she had been throttled by the son of a haiduk by the name of Milloe, who had died nine weeks earlier, whereupon she had experienced a great pain in the chest and became worse house by hour, until finally she died on the third day, At this we went the same afternoon to the graveyard, along with the often-mentioned oldest haiduks of the village, in order to cause the suspicious graves to be opened and to examine the bodies in them, whereby, after all of them had been dissected, there was found:
1. A woman by the name of Stana, twenty years old, who had died in childbirth two months ago, after a three-day illness, and who had herself said, before her death, that she had painted herself with the blood of a vampire, wherefore both she and her child—which had died right after birth and because of a careless burial had been half eaten by dogs —must also become vampires. She was quite complete and undecayed. After the opening of the body there was found in the cavitate pectoris a quantity of fresh extravascular blood. The vasa of the arteriae and venae, like the ventriculis cordis were not, as is usual, filled will coagulated blood, and the whole viscera, that is the pulmo, hepar, stomachus, lien, et intestina were quite fresh as they would be in a healthy person. The uterus was however quite enlarged in place, wherefore the same was in complete putredine. The skin on her hands and feet, along with the old nails, fell away on their own, but on the other hand completely new nails were evident, along with a fresh and vivid skin.
2. There was a woman by the name Miliza (sixty years old, incidentally), who had died after a three-month sickness and had been buried ninety-some days earlier. In the chest, much liquid blood was found, and the other viscera were, like those mentioned before, in a good condition. During her dissection, all t e haidukes who were standing around marveled greatly at her plumpness and perfect body, uniformly stating that they had known the woman well, from her youth, and she had, throughout her life, looked and been very lean and dried up, and they emphasized that she had come to this startling plumpness in the grave. They also said that it was she who had started the vampires this time, because she had eaten the flesh of those sheep that had been killed by the previous vampires.
3. There was an eight-day-old child who had lain in the grave for ninety days and was similarly in a condition of vampirism.
4. The son of a haiduk, sixteen years old, was dug up, having lain in the earth for nine weeks, after he had died from a three-day illness, and was found like the other vampires.
5. Joachim, also the son of a haiduk, seventeen years old, had died after a three-day illness. He had been buried eight weeks and four days and, on being dissected, was found in a similar condition.
6. A woman by the name of Ruscha who had died after a ten-day illness and had been buried six weeks previous, in whom there was much fresh blood not only in the chest but also in fundo ventriculi. The same showed itself in her child, which was eighteen days old and had died five weeks previously.
7. No less did a guy of then years of age, who had died two months previously, find herself in the above-mentioned condition, quite complete and undecayed, and had much fresh blood in her chest.
8. They caused the wife of the Hadnack to be dug up, along with her child. She had died seven weeks previously, her child—who was eight weeks old —twenty-one days previously, and it was found that both mother and child were completely decomposed, although earth and graves were like those of the vampires lying nearby.
9. A servant of the local corporal of the haiduks, by the name of Rhade, twenty-three years old, died after a three month-long illness, and after a five-week burial was found completely decomposed.
10. The wife of the local bariactar, along with her child, having died six weeks previously, I noticed a profuse liquid blood, like the others, in the chest and stomach. The entire body was in the oft-named condition of vampirism.
11. With Stanche, a haiduk, sixty years old, who had died six weeks previously, I noticed a profuse liquid blood, like the others, in the chest and stomach. The entire body was in the oft-named condition of vampirism.
12. Milloe, a hiaduk, twenty-five years old, who had lain for six weeks in the earth was also found in the condition of vampirism mentioned.
13. Stanoicka, the wife of a haiduk, twenty years old, died after a three day illness and had been buried eighteen days previously. In the dissection I found that she was in her countenance quite red and of a vivid color, and as mentioned above, she had been throttled at midnight, by Milloe, the son of the haiduk, and there was also to be seen, on the right side under the ear, a bloodshot blue mark the length of a finger. As she was being taken out of the grave, a quantity of fresh blood flowed from her nose. With the dissection I found, as mentioned often already, a regular fragrant fresh bleeding, not only in the chest cavity, but also in venriculo cordis. All the viscera found themselves in a completely good and healthy condition. The hypodermis of the entire body, along with the fresh nails on hands and feet, was as though completely fresh. After the examination had taken place, the heads of the vampires were cut off by the local gypsies and then burned along with the bodies, and then the ashes were thrown into the river Morava. The decomposed bodies, however, were laid back into their own graves. Which I attest along with those assistant medical officers provided for me. Actum ut spra:
(L.S.) Johannes Fluchinger, Regiment Medical officer of the Foot Regiment of the Honourable B. Fursstenbusch.
(L.S.) J. H. Sigel, Medical officer of the Honourable Morall Regiment.
(L.S.) Johann Friedrich Baumgarten, Medical officer of the Foot Regiment of the Honourable B. Furstenbusch.
The undersigned attest herewith that all that which the Regement Medical officer of the Hourable Furstenbusch Regiment had observed in the matter of vampires—along with both of the medical officers who have signed with him—is in every way truthful and has been undertaken, observed, and examined in our own presence. In confirmation thereof is our signature in our own hand, of our own making. Belgrade, January 26, 1732.
So what have we learned from all this? Other than the fact in 1732, run-on sentences and a lack of paragraphing was considered acceptable for published literature. You can make the claim that because this all took place in a “suburb’ of Belgrade, Medugna, Yugoslavia that is just wacky backwards eastern European thinking. However, that’s instantly nullified when you realize that the French and English were taking this serious even up until 1850. 1850 people. The USA had been a country for almost a century, and people were still willing to accept vampirism as a realistic threat to humanity. Fluchinger’s published pamphlet would go on to influence many “vampirologists” such as the aforementioned Augustine Calmet and Giuseppe Davanzati, as well as Montague Summers.
What has changed in the past century to change the majority of people walking the earth today to be skeptical instead of unconditionally believing in the undead? Primarily it has been advancements in forensic medicine and a greater study of what truly happens to a human corpse once a person has expired. For centuries, it was considered uncouth, morally and ethically wrong, and also often times illegal to disinter, dissect or study a corpse. Thus most of what we thought happened to us when we die was conjecture or came from seeing an exposed corpse where the sun and animals could get it. Of course in 1850, we didn’t have mass produced automotives either, and we’re now at the dawn of space tourism, so it’s amazing how so much can changed in just 150 years.
In Culture, Carla gets a nice interview, while Mr. Kennedy gives you Wacky Religious Trivia. Wallace teaches you how to get drunk, and my god, with Nyogtha, that was four, yes FOUR Culture articles last week. Holy crap!
In Music, Gloomchen reviews Slayer.
In TV, Cavanagh reviews the third Beavis and Butthead collection. Let me know which set “Prank Call” in on, as that’ll be the only one I buy.
In Comics, Maolis interviews some guy I never heard of who wrote some comic I never heard of.
In Sports, check out IP Sports Radio.
I get asked to do a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes here in Nyogtha. The truth is, I rarely make either. At the same time I go into hippie supermarkets like the one I live a block away from for organic ingredients and nearly crap myself in rage at the cost of simple, easy to make products. Truly, vegans get ripped off. That’s why this week I thought I’d tip my hat to them and give them a recipe to make their own vegan chocolate chip cookies, thus saving them from the 2 dollar per cookie charge at most vegan bakeries and also save them from the fact most vegan cookies suck ass and just too cake like to truly be called cookies. Please note this recipe calls for margarine, but outside of vegan cooking, I would never ever use it.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats (do not use quick drying oats)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons/1 1/2 sticks margarine, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup tahini (this is a sesame seed paste you can buy at most supermarkets. Just ask for it.)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips.
1. Position the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. mix the flour, oats, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until mixture is uniform throughout. Set mixture aside. Grease a large baking sheet with a dab of margarine on a crumpled piece of wax paper or the wrapper from the margarine itself. Set aside.
2. Beat the margarine and tahini in a large bowl with an electric mixture on medium speed. Beat until smooth and mostly creamy. This will take about two minutes. Add the sugar and beat once more until the mixture is thick and smooth. This will take about a minute as well. Next add the maple syrup and vanilla. Beat once more until the syrup and vanilla are incorporated evenly into the mixture. Remove the mixer.
3. Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir until mixture is uniform throughout and you cannot see any traces of the flour mixture. DO NOT BEAT. ONLY STIR. Now stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Scoop out a rounded tablespoon of the dough and roll it into a ball between your palms. Place on the prepared baking sheet and continue rolling balls of dough, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheet/ press the balls with your thumb, just to flatten slightly. Bake until light brown and firm to the touch. This will take about 12 minutes. Cool the cookies for two minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Let the baking sheet cool before you start the next round of cookies as when you are done, this mixture will allow you about four dozen cookies.
That’s it for this week, and to be honest this month. I’m taking a two week hiatus from IP as I get things ready for the launch of two new sections. It means I’ll be writing, but you won’t see any evidence of it until September. See you then!