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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About writing. And reading. And being published. Or not published. On working on being published. Tangents into the pop culture world to come. Especially about movies. And comic books. And movies from comic books.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Vampires: Day 4 -- Vampire Serial Killers and Killer Serials
Posted by Andrew Leon at 10:09 PM
Labels: Bram Stoker, consumption, Dracula, E J Wesley, Hart Johnson, legend, Peter Plogojowitz, RaShelle Workman, Richard Chase, Serbia, serial killer, Shadow Spinner, Susan Quinn, vampire of Sacramento, vampires, Victorian
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I love a good vampire documentary or story... especially the silly ideas about redheads becoming vampires after death.ReplyDelete
Looks like a fun collection of books here, I think it's high time I check out your writing with the first book included. Happy Halloween, Andrew!
Interesting stories. Wonder where the water-mill vamp went...ReplyDelete
I guess vampires aren't immune to drug overdoses.ReplyDelete
I see Hart's catch-phrase has caught on! Excellent selection of serials.
Don't like serials. Way too much work to download 32 books that could easily be 1.ReplyDelete
I have a thing for vampires. =)ReplyDelete
I actually hate serials.ReplyDelete
Jean: Well, I hope you do and that you enjoy it!ReplyDelete
Alex: Some stuff about vampires say drugs are a weakness for them, because they can't metabolize the drug from their system.
GP: Well, mine will be four, in the end.
RaShelle: What kind of thing? Hmm...
Michael: Even the peanut butter ones?
I remember when vampires were feared. Evil, dangerous, ugly creatures. Now they're just handsome pale guys who like to sip blood like it's a frikken cosmo.ReplyDelete
Very cool to see other serial stories. I personally don't think downloading multiple issues is a hassle. One click of the finger and it's on my Kindle reader... pretty easy, actually.
Oh, nice vampire history there! I thought they were older, maybe because I read stories where the vampire norm for age is 400-1000 years old...ReplyDelete
ABftS: I know! On all of it!ReplyDelete
Hart: Well, yeah, the vampire age... If you look at the old White Wolf game, there are vampires thousands of years old.
I guess a slow, lingering death from consumption isn't as attractive to teenagers as sparkles. Unfortunately.ReplyDelete
You are getting FANCY with the blog tools!ReplyDelete
Excellent post about the vampires -- as usual. Also, gross about that last guy.
What I kept thinking about in that Peter The Vampire story was that sometimes those old legends had a basis in fact and the 'cures' (burning the body, etc) might actually help but not in the way people thought. If Peter had some kind of virus or bacteria that was contagious, and it was spreading and causing other people to die of consumption, then burning the body would help destroy the source of the plague.
I don't know if that's what happened, of course.
You have to wonder whether some of the things we think today will look amazingly silly in 2313. "Can you believe, they actually used to go JOGGING to try to stay in shape!" "Ha, ha! What silly people! Everyone knows jogging destroys neurons."
That's what I HOPE, anyway. Since I can't jog anymore. I also hope that it's true that pizza causes immortality. SCIENCE!
Jeanne: Yeah, well, I'm not sure I'd actually choose consumption, either. That would just suck.ReplyDelete
Briane: Oh, no, the blog tools weren't me. Someone else did them and just sent me the code.
I agree with you about the Serbian thing. Well, except that they all said the one guy came and choked them, and he was already dead.
Vamps are pretty done. My eyes glaze over at the thought. But a good story is a good story. I appreciate the history though.ReplyDelete
Rusty: Yes, they are, but I could probably get behind a good old-school vamp story.ReplyDelete