Peter is sometimes referred by one of the two alternate last names depending on the form (Serbian-German) from what I understand. He was a Serbian born peasant who apparently killed nine fellow villagers after his death. This was apparently done in the fashion of what people declared as vampirism.
When and Where, How?
1725 was the year of Peter’s death in the Serbian town of Kisilova. Within eight days of his death the nine other villagers died of various causes, but it was on their death beads that they declared some type of encounter with Peter just prior to the illness. (Reports from sources say different causes). Long story short, the body of Peter was eventually exhumed and it showed signs of new growth, fingernails, beard length, new skin, etc. These signs were enough to convince the villagers of vampirism and then they drove a stake through its heart and burnt the corpse. The body, according to some reports, bled with new blood from the wound, eyes, nostrils and ears when the stake was driven in.
Science vs Myth
Well this as usual is up to dispute. Some say the causes of the villagers illness was caused because they came into contact with Peter after his death. But during his burial so a disease was or something similar was transferred. With the death of Peter on their minds the delirium could have caused the testimonies in the end. There are also the scientific studies that nowadays reports the signs of new growth found on the corpse is not uncommon in post-mortem bodies. But of course back then you can imagine the surge of fear it would strike into people’s minds upon seeing this.
The strange thing about the case is that it was one of the first well documented cases in Eastern Europe of vampirism and it sparked further incidents to come into light. The village is now presumed to be one of another name, given time and different rulers of the area, but also the last name is also presumed to be different now. Interesting how science can so quickly prove this to be nothing but the peoples; fear yet with a historical documentation like this incident so many things have changed over time to make the story somewhat disappear. Maybe like it was meant to be forgotten.
In the present town that people now believe to be the same village as where Peter once lived there exists different stories of vampires that some believe derived from this previous tale. Although the new stories don’t mention a stake being driven through any chest and the vampire is now in a woman’s form. Weird how the story changes over time and maybe even a little bit more eerie how so much of the supposedly historical information is questioned. Then again is was almost three hundred years ago.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat