Sunday, April 9, 2017

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Paja Tomic (Vampire)

Although most Europeans stopped taking vampires seriously by the 20th century, belief in the creatures persisted in some rural areas. In the Bosnian village of Tupanari, for example, in 1923, a case of vampiric manifestation happened in Bosnia. The story started on the death of a village peasant named Paja Tomic on April 9. 1923 (Some says that it was May 1923, but the date May 1923 is the day that the case was published in the local newspaper but based on the book of Alan Dundes  The Vampires: A casebook the incident happened on April 9, 1923).  Soon after his death, his wife named Cvija was alarmed about the sightings of her husband during the night.  She claimed that her husband appeared on random guests and scares the occupants.  She also said that her husband has turned into a vampire.  Some villagers immediately believed her claims but some of them disregarded it.  But when her sons Krsto and Stevo told them that they also have an eerie experience with the vampire, the villagers started to grown weary.

The two siblings called the attention of the town and asked them on what measures they should take in order to repel this evil creature. Finally, they made the conclusion that this vampire should be destroyed.  The two siblings together with some of the town members storm to the cemetery to hunt the vampire.  They exhumed the body of Paja Tomic and struck the corpse with a stake made up of Hawthorn, which they believe has a magical element that strongly opposed the undead element.  They also burned the body of Tomic and dispersed the ashes.  The remaining bones were returned into the grave.

The incident was picked up by a local newspaper. According to the report published on May 23 of 1923:

“…an old peasant Paja Tomic…died…the 9th of April this year.  Shortly after his death, his wife Cvija began to complain that her dead husband had begun to return nights as a ghost and that he ran throughout the house scaring the inhabitants.  There are some who believe Cvija and some who did not, though she has unceasingly asserted that her husband is a vampire and that he returns every night.  Thus things went on for a whole month and then, it is said, her sons also became aware that there was a vampire in the house.            Stevo and Krsto Tomic, the sons of the deceased man, called the whole village to a discussion of what could be done about their father who had become a vampire.  All of the peasants were in agreement that the vampire must be destroyed.  They decided that they must dig up the corpse, burn it and disperse the ashes.  The decision was put into action.  The peasants, armed with pickaxes and shovels, went to the cemetery.  Some carried wood for the fire and one prepared a pointed hawthorn pole.  The peasant crowd, led by the sons of the deceased Paja, arrived at the cemetery.  The corpse was dug up, it was pierced by the hawthorn pole and thrown onto the stakes.  After the body was burned, they dispersed its ashes, and those few charred bones which remained were thrown back into the grave…”


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