1501 – 1850



The Spanish conquest of South America begins with Hernando Cortez’s relentless persecution of Inca and Maya inhabitants of Yucatan (in the vicinity of modern Mexico). The Inquisition is at its height and the priests who join the Conquistadores in Mexico regard all native chiefs as vampires. A regular question to those they want to evangelize is, “Art thou a sorcerer or a diviner? Dost thou suck the blood of others?” Their question is ironic, when we consider that in Christianity, as in the Maya and many other religions, blood is also a divine substance. The Eucharist, which is the heart of Christianity, is the consumption by the faithful of Christ’s blood, which is shed for the world’s redemption.


King Charles V, as part of his campaign on behalf of Catholicism, sets up a special tribunal in the Spanish Netherlands to try and hold back the tide of Protestantism. It is variously reformed by his son Phillip II and is thought to have been responsible for about 2,000 executions in the period up until the Dutch Revolt in 1572.


With the spread of Protestantism through Europe, Pope Paul III (1468–1549) establishes the Congregation of the Inquisition (also known as the Roman Inquisition and the Holy Office) which consists of six cardinals, including the reformer Gian Pietro Cardinal Carafa (1475–1559). The focus of the Inquisition seems to shift focus onto the growing Protestant movement.

The Spanish Inquisition turns its attention to the Protestants in Spain in an attempt to further unify Spain as a nation.


Gian Pietro Cardinal Carafa (1475–1559) becames Pope Paul IV in 1555. He approves the first Index of Forbidden Books (1559) and vigorously seeks out any academics who prompt any thought that offends church doctrine or favor Protestantism. Book censorship, a favorite of the early Roman Catholic Church, is once again the order of the day. The Vatican secret archive expands with confiscated contraband.


August 7: Nyírbátor, Hungary – Erzabet Bathory, later to be known as “the blood countess”, is born. Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. The noble Báthory family stemmed from the Hun Gutkeled clan which held power in broad areas of east central Europe (in those places now known as Poland).


Germany – By the late sixteenth century, the power of the Inquisition begins to wane. Johann Weyer (Weir) (1515–1588), a critic of the Inquisition, manages to publish “De praestigus daemonum” in which he argues that while Satan does seek to ensnare and destroy human beings, the charges that accused witches, werewolves, and vampires possess supernatural powers, are false. He argues that such abilities exist only in their minds and imaginations. It is a diplomatic argument in the face of personal risk of accusations of “heresy”.


Netherlands – The Dutch revolt against Spain and the Inquisition. Phillip II, regent of the Spanish Netherlands, admits the Inquisition there is ‘much less merciful’ than the Inquisition back home in Spain. During and after the revolt the Inquisition is portrayed as the enemy of political as well as religious liberty, despite the fact that most of its victims had been Anabaptists who were also viciously persecuted by orthodox Protestants.

Germany – Ludwig Lavater’s treatise “De Spectris, lemuribus, et magnis atque insolitis fragoribus” is translated into english as “Of Ghosts and Spirits Walking By Night”. It is a classic study of vampire species of the known world. Lavater, a Protestant theologian, explains that people are too superstitious and quick to ascribe sudden noises by night to ghostly events. According to Lavater, if a vampire exists, it is not the soul of a dead person, but rather good or evil angels responsible, or an act of God. It is very much a work of its time.


As if to provide an antidote to Weyer’s call (1572) for a rational approach to dealing with accusations of witchcraft in the Inquisition, the respected intellectual Jean Bodin, often referred to as ‘the Aristotle of the sixteenth century’, writes “De La demonomanie des sorciers”,  a book which argues that witches truly possess demonic powers, and causes the flames once again to burn high around thousands of heretics’ stakes.


September 20: Breslau, Silesia, Bohemia – A shoemaker in the Silesian town of Breslau commits suicide by slitting his own throat with a knife. Due to religious attitudes towards suicides at the time, the wife and relatives try to conceal the death as being due to illness. Shortly afterwards, the town inhabitants begin to suffer the nightly attacks of a spirit entity resembling the shoemaker. These nightly attacks then escalated to incidents which began to take place in the day as well.


April 18: Breslau, Silesia, Bohemia –  After eight months of suffering the attacks of the “Breslau Vampire”, authorities order the public exhumation of the body of the shoemaker. The body exhibits the generally accepted signs of vampirism of the time, is publicly displayed for a time, and is then reburied under the town gallows. The attacks experienced by the town are reported to increase in severity.

May 7: Breslau, Silesia, Bohemia – In desperation, the towns people re-exhume the body of the shoemaker, dismember it, burn it, and throw the ashes into the local river. The phantom is reportedly never seen again.  This case is used by some at the time to argue that improper burial rites could cause the creation of a revenant.


August 23: Gelnhausen, Germany – Clara Geisslerin is an old woman who is accused of witchcraft, tortured in the most horrible manner in order to get her to confess to ridiculous accusations. To put an end to her torture she finally confesses to all these crimes, but no sooner has she been taken off the rack, than she claims to be innocent. So she is tortured again and again. This case is reported in Rossell Hope Robbins’ “The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology”: “The real torture was reserved for the question définitive, the Final Torture, which sought to make the witch reveal the names of the accomplices. The torture in 1597 of Clara Geisslerin of Gelnhausen, a 69-year-old widow, illustrates this aim. She resisted the thumbscrews, but when her feet were crushed and her body stretched out to greater length, she screamed piteously and said all was true that they had demanded of her: she drank the blood of children whom she stole on her nightly flights, and she had murdered about sixty infants. She named twenty other women who had been with her at the sabbats, and said the wife of a late burgomaster presided over the flights and banquets.’ When released from the rack, Clara retracted her accusations and pleaded: “As to what she had said about others, she had no personal knowledge of them, but had reported rumors spread by other people.” Clara was again tortured to admit the truth of her first denunciations. On release she recanted a second time; tortured a third time with “the utmost severity” for several hours, she admitted what the judges wanted. During the agony she collapsed and died under the torture. The judicial report concluded: “The devil would not let her reveal anything more and so wrung her neck.” Her corpse is burned.


Hungary – Erzebet Bathory’s castle raided. She is arrested on charges of killing several hundred people and bathing in their blood. Tried and convicted by the questionable standards of the day, she is sentenced to life imprisonment, walled into her bedroom and dies 4 years later. Her story is hidden from public until the 1800s.

Galileo Galilei comes into conflict with the Aristotelian scientific view of the universe (supported by the Catholic Church ), over his support of Copernican astronomy.


August 21: Erzabet Bathory is rumored to suffer siezures and dies, still walled into her chambers in her castle. Some in the VC have speculated that this is because she could no longer access fresh blood.


April 23: Florence, Italy – Ludovico Fatinelli tried and executed by the Inquisition for scholarly work regarding vampires – this continues to turn up in internet searches, but is a fabrication by the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency (FVZA), a spoof website from the 2000’s. “According to the FVZA, Fatinelli was a Florentine scholar, who studied under Galileo Gallilei, and was tried by the Inquisition for refusing to retract the findings in his 1616 work, Treatise on vampires, in which he claimed that ‘microscopic entities, not moral failures, that were the real source of vampirism.’ That same year, he was burned at the stake on April 23rd in Florence’s Piazza Signoria.” (Article)


Italy – The Holy Office of the Inquisition continues to serve as the instrument by which the papal government regulates church order and doctrine, restricts public thought and the development of science and technology, and tries to condemn Galileo  (1564–1642) for his support of Copernican astronomy.


Leo Allatius finishes writing the first modern treatment of vampyres, “De Graecorum hodie quirundam opinationabus” which contains explanations of the vrykolakas; the Vampyres. Evidence that the Church still clings to a belief in vampires is found in the writing of the noted theologian Leo Allatius. As a Church scholar he studies the vrykolakas, the Greeks’ concept of the vampire. In his 1645 work called “On the Current Opinions of Certain Greeks”, he concludes that vampires are often the result of excommunication. “Proof” of their vampirism given is that the body does not decay, indicating that it cannot leave this earthly plane. A swollen body was also evidence of possible vampirism. As some bodies might not decay rapidly due to the type of chemicals in the soil or the cold air temperature, and since bodily swelling is the result of naturally produced gasses in a corpse, many a dead man is wrongly presumed to be a vampire.


England – Religious scholar Henry More publishes his treatise “An Antidote Against Atheism”, a collection of tales employing the undead vampires and revenants as a means to enforce religious piety and adherence to religious traditions. More uses tales of revenants from around the known world at the time to illustrate that if burial rites and traditions are not followed, those who lived sinful lives would not rest and would return as revenants and the undead. Examples of the tales included in the book are “The Pentsch Vampire” and “The Breslau Vampire”.


Kringa, Istria (Croatia) – Jure Grando, an Istrian (Croatian) peasant from Kringa in the interrior of the Istrian peninsula dies. (He is disinterred and decapitated as a Vampyre in 1672.)


France – Fr. Francoise Richard’s “Relation de ce qui s’est passe a Sant-Erini Isle de l’Archipel” links vampirism and witchcraft.


Giuseppe Davanzati, archbishop of the Roman Cathoilic Church, and a notable vampirologist is born.


Roman Catholic biblical scholar Dom Augustin Calmet born 26 Feb 1672, most famous vampirologist of the 18th century.

A second wave of vampyre hysteria sweeps through Istria (Croatia). Jure Grando is disinterred and his body decapitated on suspicion of being a Vampire. Nine people go to the cemetary, carrying vampire hunting tools of superstition, dig up the coffin and find a perfectly preserved corpse, reportedly with a smile on its face. They try unsuccessfully to pierce the heart with a stake but cannot penetrate the flesh. A man recorded as Stipan Milasic saws the head off. The corpse reportedly screams and the grave fills with blood.

Germany – A German Vampyre text, “De Masticatione Mortuorum” (“On the Chewing Dead”), by Philip Rohr is published. This is one of two texts bearing the same title (the other published by Michael Ranf in 1728), both of which were largely responsible for the spread of vampire hunting and hysteria in the 17th and 18th centuries.


England – The last victim of witch hunt hysteria is executed in England.


November: Salem, Massachusetts, American Colony – For the first time Rev. Samuel Parris preaches in Salem village and the book “Memorable Providences (Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions)” is published by author and priest Cotton Mather. The book has direct bearing on the later infamous Salem Witch Trials which resulted in numerous innocent deaths.


February: Salem, Massachusetts, American Colony – The Salem witch trials begin – a string of persecutions of people accused of witchcraft. It takes place between February 1692 and May 1693 in a number of counties in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The reason why this ghastly episode occurred could be understood by the conditions that prevailed during those times. America, “the new world”, was being explored. European explorers brought home stories of practices and forms of magic that was strange for their people. Life in Massachusetts Bay was stressed with economic crisis and prevailing fear of attack by warring tribes, rivalry with the nearby Salem Town, belief in the devil, and suffering caused due to a recent small pox epidemic created a fertile ground for unfounded fear and beliefs in Salem Village. The townspeople resorted to blaming their misfortunes on their fellow men, accusing them of witchcraft, and condemned scores of innocent people – the ‘witches’ – to death. An examination of the victims shows that specific people were targeted by the trials of witchcraft. The accused were usually the poor and weak, who depended on the society for their survival, or those that the society felt threatened by as they did not adhere to the moral and social norms of the times. These trials were also initiated by individuals to settle personal scores. Sometimes, people would accuse each other in order to avoid suspicion themselves. Even today it is considered a shameful episode in history, where a large number of people were killed because of superstition and false accusations.


May: Salem, Massachusetts, American Colony – The Salem witch trials end. Governor Phipps pardons the remaining survivors of the accusations of witchcraft and they are released on the grounds that their arrests were based on spectral evidence. The public response to the events continues even after the last trial. These responses are primarily because innocent individuals were convicted, and the public wants compensations for the survivors. By this time, the hysteria has already claimed the lives of 24 people.


Paris, France – In the early 1700s the Sorbonne university in Paris formally opposes the all too common practice in popular culture of mutilating corpses to prevent the dead from becoming vampires. The Sorbonne (which the renowned writer Voltaire had once been shocked to discover actually debated the legitimacy of the mythological vampire) finally takes the apparently radical position at that time that the mutilation of corpses suspected of vampirism is a practice based on irrational superstitions.


Prussia – Vampyre hysteria sweeps through East Prussia. This is the first of the great vampire hysterias in Europe.


An account by French traveller Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, who witnesses the exhumation and “slaying” of a suspected vrykolakas (vampire) on the Greek island of Mykonos becomes famous. One of the pioneering figures in plant and animal classification, Tournefort does not believe that what he had seen was actually a vampire (or “vrykolakas”, as his account reads), but this doesn’t stop later audiences from making these assumptions.

February 20: Lublov, Slovakia -The “Lublov Vampire” – In the town of Lublov, Slovakia near the Polish border, a man dies and is buried. Shortly afterwards, people who knew him claim to have met him, demanding they give him fish to eat.

April 26: Lublov, Slovakia – Reportedly even after the body was decapitated and burned, the Lublov Vampire continues to appear, allegedly setting fire to one house.


The case of the Hiadam vampires, reports of numerous documented sightings result in two official investigations ordered by Count de Cadreras and Emperor Charles VI. Numerous un-decomposed bodies were disinterred and destroyed. Extensive documentation around this case survives at the University of Fribourg, but to this day the location of the village of Hiadam remains unknown, although it is rumored to have been near the Hungarian border.


American Colony – Thirteen vampire-related murders allegedly recorded in the USA, all victims allegedly have bite marks at the nape of the victims neck. (Article) UNVERIFIED


East Prussia – Vampyre hysteria returns to East Prussia and Austrian Serbia and lingers until 1730. The wave of vampire hysteria produces the famous cases of Peter Plogojowitz and Arnold Paul (Paole). Arnold Paole (Paul), is killed in an accident and buried immediately. Three weeks later reports of his sighting are made in his community. Four people who report seeing him die in quick succession and hysteria spreads in the community. The town leaders have the body disinterred forty days later in the presence of two military surgeons. The body is staked, reportedly uttering a loud groan. The head is severed and the body burned. The corpses of the four others who died are treated similarly.


June: Dornoch, Scotland – The last person executed for witchcraft in Great Britain is Janet Horne. A Scottish alleged witch, she is the last person to be executed for witchcraft in the British Isles. Janet Horne and her daughter were arrested in Dornoch in Scotland and imprisoned on the accusations of her neighbors. Horne was showing signs of senility, and her daughter had a deformity of her hands and feet. The neighbors accused Horne of having used her daughter as a pony to ride to the Devil, where she had her shod by him. The trial was conducted very quickly; the sheriff had both of them judged guilty and sentenced to be burned at the stake. The daughter manages to escape, but Janet is stripped, smeared with tar, paraded through the town on a barrel and burned alive. Nine years after her death the witchcraft acts are repealed and made illegal. Janet (or Jenny) Horne is also a generic name for witches in the north of Scotland at the time and this makes it difficult to determine what the real name of this woman may have been. Contemporary writers may have called her ‘Janet Horne’ simply because her real name was unknown or because the name was reported as ‘Janet Horne’ and they were unaware that this was a generic name. Some sources give the date of the Dornoch execution as June 1722.


Germany – A German Vampyre text, “De Masticatione Mortuorum” (“On the Chewing Dead”), by Michael Ranf is published. This is one of two texts bearing the same title (the other published earlier by Philip Rohr in 1679), both of which were largely responsible for the spread of vampire hunting and hysteria in the 17th and 18th centuries.


Treautenau, Slavia (modern Trutnov, Czechoslvakia) – Stephen Hubner, otherwise known as “the Vampire of Treautenau”. Hubner came from a small Slavic village called Treautenau and was accused of killing several people between 1730 and 1732. He is also alleged to have strangled cattle.


Istria – Vampire hysteria lingers. In the same area of the Paole case, 17 people die in the space of 3 months of symptoms reported to indicate vampirism. The towns people are slow to react until a teenage girl reports being attacked by a man who had recently died, named Milo. Word of the “second wave” of vampire attacks causes hysteria and reaches Vienna. The Emperor of Austria-Hungary orders an inquiry. Regimental field-surgeon Johannes Fluckinger begins to gather eyewitness accounts in the town of Medvegia. Milo’s body is exhumed and found to be as preserved as that of Paole. The body is staked and burned and under Fluckinger’s orders, 43 corpses are exhumed in the town cemetery – of these 17 are determined to be in a “vampiric” state and these are staked and burned. Fluckinger’s popular article reminds many people of an earlier account by naturalist Pitton de Tournefort.


January 7: Johann Flucklinger, an Austrian Army surgeon who documented several vampire cases in Serbia, publishes his report on the Arnold Peole case, “Visum et Repertum”. It is subsequently translated into French and English and rapidly creates a sensation around Europe, spreading interest in vampires as well as creating hysteria because it states categorically that vampires do exist and are poised to spread through Europe like a plague. The report also prompts other researchers such as Dom Augustin Calmet to investigate the phenomenon. As part of the fall-out of the European vampire hysteria epidemics, the word “vampyr” also enters the German language and popular culture of the day.

March 4: The London Journal publishes an almost exact translation of the “Visum et Repertum” account of Johann Flucklinger, marking the entry of the word “vampyre” into English common usage.

May: The London Gentleman’s Magazine publishes an article called “Political Vampires”, thought to be one of the earliest uses of the word “vampire” in English since the Johann Flucklinger report. The article humorously compares the escapades of the undead, draining the life from the living to the terrifyingly evil actions of living politicians. The detail that both spellings of the word (vampyre and vampire) entered English in the same year within two months of each other is rather remarkable, indicating that the earlier “vampyre” – being traceable historically from “upyr” is more correct than “vampire” since this was far more likely birthed as a phonetic misspelling of “vampyre” by the writer.

June 7: Medmgna, Serbia – At the village of Medmegna, near Belgrade, a woman named Miliza is exhumed after being buried 90 days. The woman looks fatter than before her burial, and since the locals do not understand the decomposition process, assume this to be a vampire and treat it accordingly.

The Dutch journal “Galneur Hollandois” is published, citing numerous “scientific” writings by vampire “experts” encouraging  the spread of vampire hysteria. It was a lengthy list of cases of revenants and exorcism in Europe.


The “Dissertatio de Vampyris” is published, written by Johann Heinrich Zopfius and Francis Von Dalen, it becomes one of the most popular scientific treatises on the undead in the eighteenth century.


June 24: London, England – In the Kingdom of Great Britain, witchcraft ceases to be an act punishable by law, with the passing of the Witchcraft Act of 1735. The Witchcraft Act (9 Geo. II c. 5) is a law passed by the Parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain which made it a crime for a person to claim that any human being had magical powers or was guilty of practising witchcraft. The maximum penalty set out by the Act is a year’s imprisonment. It thus marks the end point of the Witch trials in the Early Modern period for Great Britain and the beginning of the “modern legal history of witchcraft”, repealing the Witchcraft Acts which were based on a widespread belief in the genuine existence of magic and witchcraft. The law is described as “a heavy-handed piece of Enlightenment rationalism”, reverting to the view of the medieval Church that witchcraft and magic were illusory, treating as an offence not the supposed practice of witchcraft but the superstitious belief in its existence. The Act reflects the general trend in Europe, where after a peak in the mid-17th century, and a series of late outbursts in the late 17th century, witch-trials had quickly subsided after 1700. The last person executed for witchcraft in Great Britain had been Janet Horne in 1727.


October 14: Dubrovnik, Croatia – A trial begins in which people are accused of “aiding vampires” takes place, recorded in the Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik in 1737. The defendants are from the island of Lastova, about 60 miles by sea from Dubrovnik. Earlier that year there was an outbreak of severe “diahrea” on the island, which caused vampire hysteria and a dispute among the inhabitants. Among the defendants is a band of vigilante-style vampire hunters, who believe the epidemic is due to vampirism, and parish priests accused of cooperating with the vampire hunters. Both parties are accused of desecrating graves.


Krumlov, Bohemia – “The Vampire Princess” Bohemian princess Eleanora Schwartzenburger dies. At the time of the Bohemian vampire hysteria, she reigned at Krumlov Castle. The castle archives draw a comprehensive image of her: after the accidental death by shooting of her husband while hunting in 1730, Eleonore withdrew to the castle, raised wolves, indulged in big-game hunting and the preparation of poisons and clearly had a marked penchant for the occult. When she died in 1741 in Vienna from a mysterious illness (later found to be cervical cancer), an autopsy was performed on her – a very unusual procedure for someone of her standing. Eleonore suffered from symptoms which the doctors of that period classified as the “vampire illness”. Many things point to the fact that, for her environment and her family, she must have been extremely sinister. This is rumored to be one source for the fictional association of werewolves with vampires, particularly emphasized by author Bram Stoker’s early drafts of “Dracula” which feature Jonathan Harker being attacked at first at the tomb of a vampire princess based upon Schwartzenburger.


Cardinal Guideppe Davanzati publishes his treatise, “Dissertazione sopre I Vampiri”. He asserts that the belief in vampires mostly occurs in rural and less-populated areas of the world, labels vampirism as simply the “fruit of imagination,” arguing that such a belief is not found in the metropolitan milieus of western Europe. Davanzati’s work is looked upon with favor by the then Pope Benedict XIV who as Prospero Lambertini (1675-1758) writes what remains for many years the standard Roman Catholic sourcebook on miracles and the supernatural, “De servorum Dei beatifications dt Beatorum canonizations”. As pope, he threatens to sanction some Polish bishops who are making their belief in vampires too public. While the first edition of his book does not deal with vampires, the second edition adds two pages punctuating his negative conclusions on the subject.


Germany – J. H. Zedler, whose “Grosses volständige Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschaften und Künste”, describes vampirism as a superstition used to explain what are in reality certain diseases. He is usually credited for initiating the modern view of vampirism.

Dom Augustin Calmet publishes his treatise on Vampyres, “Dissertations sur les Apparitions des Anges des Demons et de Espits, et sur les revenants, et Vampires de Hundrie, de Boheme, de Moravie, et de Silesie”. The belief in vampires, does not go without intelligent criticism. Calmet, a French Benedictine monk, whose book (A Treatise on Apparitions, Spirits and Vampires a.k.a. The Phantom World. ) which dares to question the existence of vampires, challenges the rampant vampire superstitions of the day and requires proof before acceptance of belief. He especially doubts that vampires could perform superhuman tasks, such as rising from the dead. He also analyzes and critiques the supposed vampire epidemics throughout Europe, questioning their basis in reality.


Germany – The first modern vampyre poem, “Der Vampir,” is published by Hienrich August Ossenfelder.


Prussia – Another wave of vampyre hysteria starts in East Prussia.


The chief physician of the Holy Roman Empire, Gerard van Swieten, gives a scathing report on the vampire exhumations and mutilations common in Central Europe at the time, stating bluntly that those hunting the vampires have no idea what a dead body ought to look like, and thus cannot tell a “vampire” from any other mortal remains. This moment in history is widely regarded as the turning point when the mythical vampire ceased to be a part of every day reality and became relegated to superstition and fantasy fiction – at least, for most people.


Germany – Hermsdorf, near the Polish border. 31 corpses are disinterred, of them 29 are pronounced vampires, and burned. In response to reports of ongoing vampire hysteria and mass exhumation and desecration of corpses, and a report by Dr. Gerard van Swieten, the Holy Roman Empress officially bans vampire hunts.


Wallachia, Romania – Vampyre hysteria peaks in Wallachia.


Russia – Vampyre hysteria occurs in Russia.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, American Colony – The start of the American War of Independence in which the colony seceded from Britain.


The close of the American War of Independence, with the recognition of the United States of America at the signing of the Treaty of Paris.


Manchester, New England, USA – The first known case of Vampyres reported.


Rhode Island, USA – The first known case of the Rhode Island Vampires is found in a short request made to the Cumberland Town Council by a Mr Stephen Staples to “try an experiment” to save the life of one of his daughters by exhuming the body of another who had recently died.


Goethe’s “Bride of Corinth” (a poem concerning a vampire) is published.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge writes “Christabel,” later conceded to be the first vampire poem in English.


The various smaller Inquisitions of Sicily, the New World and Venice begin to disappear abruptly between 1799 and 1815, finally killed off at the start of the Napoleonic Wars. The world’s pious finally have a more threatening enemy to fight than the ‘devil worshipers’ plotting behind the garden hedges.

Exeter, Rhode Island, USA – The next noted case of the Rhode Island Vampires, that of Sarah Tillinghurst of Exeter is recorded.


“I Vampiri”, an opera by Silestro de Palma, opens in Milan, Italy.


“Thalaba” by Robert Southey is thought for a long time to be the first poem to mention the vampyre in English, which is later found to be untrue. “Christabel”, written by Samuel Taylor between 1798 and 1800 is later found to be older.

Reports of sheep being killed by having their jugular viens cut and their blood drained circulate through northern England.

“The Vampyre” by John Stagg, an early vampire poem, is published.

The Inquisition in Europe is abolished during the domination of Napoleon and the reign of Joseph I (1808-1812).


Lord Byron’s poem “The Giaour” includes the hero’s encounter with a vampire. In this poem Byron demonstrated his familiarity with the Greek vampyiric being the vrykolakas.

The liberal deputies of the Cortes of Cádiz obtained the abolition of the Inquisition, largely as a result of the Holy Office’s condemnation of the popular revolt against French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars.


The Inquisition in Europe is reconstituted when Ferdinand VII recovers the throne on July 1, 1814. It is again abolished during the three year Liberal interlude known as the Trienio liberal. Later, during the period known as the Ominous Decade, the Inquisition is not formally re-established, although, de facto, it returns under the so-called Meetings of Faith, tolerated in the dioceses by King Ferdinand.


John Polidori’s “The Vampyre”, the first vampyre story in English, is published in the April issue of New Monthly Magazine.

John Keats composes “The Lamia,” a poem built on Greek legends about Vampyre like beings.


“Lord Ruthwen ou Les Vampires” by Cyprien Berard is published anonymously in Paris.

June 13: “Le Vampire”, the play by Chareles Nodier opens at the Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martinin Paris.

August: “The Vampire;” or, “The Bride of the Isles”, a translation of Nodier’s play by James R. Planche, opens in London.


Versailles, France – Antoine Leger is tried by the district court of Versailles for the murder of a young girl whose body he ate and blood he drank. He is described in surviving references to the trial dating from 1873, a report entitled “Insanity and its Relation to Crime” as a “historical vampire”. He is later executed.


The so-called Meetings of Faith, a psuedonym for the Inquisition tolerated in the dioceses by King Ferdinand, have the dubious honour of executing the last heretic condemned, the school teacher Cayetano Ripoll, garroted in Valencia on July 26 1826 (presumably for having taught deist principles), all amongst a European-wide scandal at the despotic attitude still prevailing in Spain.


Foster, Rhode Island, USA – The next case of Rhode Island Vampires, occurs in Foster when the body of the 19 year old daughter of Captain Levi Young is exhumed when other members of the family become ill. Tuberculosis at the time is responsible for many deaths which seemed mysterious to the people of the time.


Kisolova, Serbia – Peter Plogojowitz dies in a village named Kisolova in Austrian occupied Serbia, not far from the site of the Paole case. Three days later, in the middle of the night, he is reported to enter his house and ask his son for food. He eats and then leaves. Two evenings later he reappears and again asks for food. His son refuses and is found dead the following day. Shortly after this several villagers fall ill from exhaustion which is diagnosed as caused by an excessive loss of blood. They report that, in a dream, they had been visited by Plogojowitz who had bitten them on the neck and sucked blood from them. Nine persons succumb to this mysterious illness during the following week and die.
Later the same year the chief magistrate sends a report of the deaths to the commander of the Imperial forces who responds by visiting the village. The graves of all the recently deceased are opened. The body of Plogojowitz himself is reported to be an enigma to them – he appears to be in a trance-like state, breathing very gently. His eyes are open, his flesh plump and he exhibits a ruddy complexion. His hair and nails appear to have grown and fresh skin is discovered just below the scarfskin. Most importantly, his mouth is smeared with fresh blood. The commander quickly concludes that the corpse is a vampyre and has the executioner accompanying him to Kisolova, drive a stake through the body. Blood gushes from the wound and the orifices of the body which is later burned. None of the other exhumed corpses show signs of the same condition so, to protect both them and the villagers, garlic and whitethorn are placed in their graves and their remains returned to the ground.


March: Leipzig, Germany – Heinrich Marschner’s opera, “Der Vampyr”, based on Nodier’s story, opens in Liepzig.


July: The Spanish Inquisition’s reign of terror is finally ended and definitively abolished on July 15 1834, by a Royal Decree signed by regent Maria Cristina de Borbon, a liberal queen, during the minority of Isabel II and with the approval of the President of the Cabinet Francisco Martínez de la Rosa.


Edgar Allan Poe writes his short story “Berenice”, about a a man’s fascination with the teeth of a beautiful cataleptic woman. The story is often associated with vampire fiction.


Serbia – The case of the Sarbanovac Vampires – the inhabitants of the Serbian town of Sarbanovac conclude that nine of the town’s recently deceased members had become vampires. With the aid of a hired vampire hunter, they go against the wishes of the village priest and desecrate the bodies of eight bodies found to be in “vampiric” condition. The priest has them arrested and they spend a week in prison, following 30 strokes of the cane.


Paris, France – Alexey Tolstoy publishes his short story, “Upyr,” while living in Paris. It is the first modern vampire story by a Russian.


Ireland, UK – Bram Stoker, later author of “Dracula”, is born.

“Varney the Vampyre” begins lengthy serialization as a “penny dreadful”.


Paris, France – Several cemeteries in Paris have graves broken open at night and the bodies mutilated. Vampire rumors spread. The culprit turns out to be Sergeant Victor Bertrand who has a sexual attraction to corpses — a condition known as necrophilia.

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