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Dracula’s Serbian Cousin

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Filed under: Urban Legends

From Linda:

Vampire Threat Terrorizes Serbian Village
by Dragana Jovanovic, Belgrade
November 29, 2012

For the people in a tiny Serbian village there is nothing sexy or romantic about a vampire. In fact, they are terrified that one of the most feared vampires of the area has been roused back to life.

Rather than ‘Twilight’s’ Edward, the people of Zorazje fear that Sava Savanovic is lurking in their forested mountains of western Serbia.

They believe that he is on the move because the home he occupied for so long, a former water mill, recently collapsed. Savanovic is believed to be looking for a new home.

“People are very worried. Everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else and possibly other victims is terrifying people,” Miodrag Vujetic, local municipal assembly member, told ABC News. “We are all frightened.”

Vujetic said villagers “are all taking precautions by having holy crosses and icons placed above the entrance to the house, rubbing our hands with garlic, and having a hawthorn stake or thorn.”

“I understand that people who live elsewhere in Serbia are laughing at our fears, but here most people have no doubt that vampires exist,” he says. (more…)

LiteratEye #33: The Horror Story Byron Didn’t Write Made His Rep as a Vampire

Filed under: Literary Hoaxes

Here’s the thirty third installment of LiteratEye, a series found only on The Art of the Prank Blog, by W.J. Elvin III, editor and publisher of FIONA: Mysteries & Curiosities of Literary Fraud & Folly and the LitFraud blog.

LiteratEye #33: The Horror Story Byron Didn’t Write Made His Rep as a Vampire
By W.J. Elvin III
October 2, 2009

bela_200“Everywhere you look in entertainment these days, you see vampires.” It was cultural critic Johanna Schneller who stuck her neck out to make that observation, quoted in The Week magazine.

Vampires everywhere. Well, then, wouldn’t it be just the right time for a film focusing on suspicions that literature’s premier bad boy, George Gordon, Lord Byron, was a vampire?

Yes, of course, you say, the more vampires the better. And by the way, who is this GGLB character?

Byron is considered a poetic genius on par with greats like Milton or Dryden, but it is his orgiastic personal life that draws most of the attention he gets today. His work still sells – I just saw a six-volume set of his collected works on eBay. He wrote some exquisite, memorable lines – ‘She walks in beauty like the night’ – but the language of the bulk of it is undoubtedly foreign to modern readers.

It used to be, you described someone as “Byronic” and any literate person knew just what you meant. The brooding, mysterious, rebellious poet of later times is a knock-off of the image Byron created for himself.

He was the sort modern publishers hunger for, a master of manipulating his own image into a creation that fascinated the public, thereby enhancing sales of his books. Of recent authors, he calls to mind Ernest Hemingway, a writer who lived much of his legend but also made certain he got plenty of publicity as a result. (more…)