It is common knowledge that Bram Stoker based his iconic literary character Dracula off of medieval Transylvanian monarch Vlad Tepes. But the "vampire" myth goes back further than that.
Jure Grando Alilovic lived in Istria (which is now part of modern day Croatia) from 1579 until his death in 1656. According to historical record, Grando died from an undefined illness and was buried in the local village cemetery.
Grando's story did not end there. It is said that for 16 years following his death, he would rise from his grave at night and terrorize his village, Kringa.
It was said that he would walk the village, and whomever's door he knocked on, someone from that household would die within a few days. Superstitions like this still run deep in that part of the world, so imagine what this must have done to a village in the 1600s.
Jure also apparently took time to terrorize his grieving widow, specifically in her bedroom. She claimed that he would enter the room and sexually assault her. She also described him as a corpse that was both smiling and wheezing for breath at the same time.
Something needed to be done; the village had been living in fear for nearly two decades.
Father Giorgio, the priest who had overseen Jure's funeral, found himself in front of the monster formally known as Jure Grando. Father Giorgio showed a holy cross in the "vampire's" face, invoking the name of Jesus Christ. This act did little to quell the terror.
A group of staunch-hearted villagers attempted to chase down Jure in order to piece his heart with a stake made of hawthorn wood, but the stake bounced of the creature's chest, unable to pierce the flesh.
The night after this failed attempt to rid the village of Jure's plague, a group of 9 went to the cemetery and dug up the monster's coffin. It had been 16 years since the funeral, but what they found in that coffin was a perfectly preserved corpse that appeared to be smiling.
They again tried to pierce his chest with a hawthorn stake, but it failed a second time. They then recited several prayers of exorcism before villager Stipan Milasic took a saw to Jure's neck. When blood began to well in the wound, the corpse let out an anguished scream. They removed the monster's head from his body and peace was restored to the village of Kringa.
What do you think of this story? Do you think Jure Grando was a literal vampire?