In the landscape of legends, vampires are relatively new additions. At least, the idea of vampires as we think of vampires is relatively new. Only a few hundred years. Which is not to say that legends of blood-drinking demons don't go back millennia, but the whole cross-fearing, no-reflection-casting (and there's more to that), oversexed, broody minions of the night is fairly recent. And, yeah, it's mostly due to Bram Stoker and Dracula, but you know those Victorians... (okay, so maybe, you don't, but I'm not getting into that, right now)
Of course, legends always get fuel by actual events that people can blame on the supernatural, and vampires have been good targets for that. If nothing else, they have been blamed for consumption, due to the wasting away caused by the disease. Wasting ailments have frequently been blamed on vampires.
One of the best and earliest documented cases of vampire murders happened in Serbia in 1725. After the death of Peter Plogojowitz (at the age of 62?), an unnatural string of deaths occurred in his village. Within eight days, nine villagers became ill and died generally within a day of becoming sick. Each of the "victims," before dying (of course), reported that Plogojowitz had come to their beds in the night and throttled. It is also possible that Plogojowitz brutally murdered his son for not "feeding" him. Plogojowitz's wife fled to another village after reporting that Peter had visited her looking for his shoes.
The authorities were called in and, unable to quell the furor, the body of Plogojowitz was exhumed and signs of vampirism found to be present. This is on official record, you have to understand, and all of this examination was done under protest, so the administrators performing all of this were not part of the frenzy of the village. The body was staked and, then, burned. Frombald, the guy in charge who had been trying to calm the villagers into waiting for more proper authorities, sent in a request with his report of the incident that the villagers not be punished because they had been "beside themselves with fear."
Another Serbian case claimed that a vampire was living in an watermill and killing people when they came to mill their grain. That mill served as a tourist attraction until just recently, 2012, when the mill finally collapsed of age. I suppose the vampire has had to move on.
More recently, there was "The Vampire of Sacramento." In 1978, Richard Chase killed at least six victims within a one-month time frame. He was known to drink their blood and eat pieces of their flesh. He had previously been known as "Dracula" while serving time in a mental institution because of his tendency to catch rabbits and other small animals and drink their blood. He died of a drug overdose in 1980 while in jail.
I'm sure I could go on (quite sure, since I just closed my research pages on two other cases), but I need to move on from vampire serial killers to killer serials, none of which are about vampires (at least, I don't think they are). Any of you that have been hanging around my blog for the last year will know that I had been serializing my last book. Now that that is all over, I'm collecting up the parts to make it easier for people to buy. But, aside from that, since I first started serializing Shadow Spinner over a year ago,
Some Killer Serials you should consider sampling
Andrew Leon: The Shadow Spinner Series (34 parts, 40ish pages each)
Tiberius has always thought of himself as a normal 10-year-old boy, at least until the day his mother finally decides to tell him about his father, and she tells him things that convince him that one of them is crazy, and he's pretty sure it's not him. That is until the Man with No Eyes shows up and his father falls out of the sky.
Susan Kaye Quinn: The Debt Collector Series (9 Volumes, 50ish pages each, all complete, (for you risk-averse readers) first one free)
What's your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely.
EJ Wesley: Moonsong Series (5th coming in December (no end point necessarily planned, but they are coming in 3-book clusters (6th in January) for satisfying individual story arcs; link to the first one FREE)
Jenny Moonsong recently inherited the title of "monster hunter" and an ancient tribal journal/how-to manual passed down by her Apache ancestors. The Moonsongs books follow her adventures as she battles the dark supernatural denizens of the world in a series of action-packed, urban fantasy novelettes.
RaShelle Workman: The Cindy Chronicles (4 published of 6 volumes)
From a seemingly insignificant word comes the greatest of fairytales... Cinderella is a witch and she's been asked to save a world she never knew existed.
Hart Johnson: A Shot in the Light Series (10 episodes, 100 pages each, 4th available today and the first is free)
Deadliest virus in a century, or a social experiment gone awry? Sidney Knight begins to notice inconsistencies in what people are being told and what's going on as half the population dies of the flu... or is it the vaccine?
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