Arnold Paole (died 1726) and Peter Plogojewitz (died 1725). Both cases are unbelievably similar.
Arnold was a Serbian outlaw, who allegedly killed sixteen people postmortem in his village of Meduegna. Peter was a Serbian peasant who night-stalked about nine people in his village of Kisilova. Both deaths precluded a sudden spate of mysterious 24 hour illnesses in their respective villages, and thus were automatically assumed to be vampires, preying on their fellow villagers. Both men had claimed to have been previously attacked by vampires, and both claimed to have followed all the precautionary measures after such an attack–bathing in the blood of the vampire, and eating the dirt from his grave. Following the attribution of the attacks to vampirism, the villagers went into mass-hysteria mode, demanding that both the bodies be exhumed for examination.
The documentation of the Austrian police who became involved allows a thorough understanding of what happened to poor Arnold and Peter after they had been targeted. In Arnold’s case, Contagious Medicus Glaser (essentially, an infectious disease specialist) studied the mysterious deaths, and concluded that they were resultant of the malnutrition in his area, as well as the unhealthful effects of severe Eastern Orthodox fasting. However, the villagers weren’t having it, and insisted on digging up the bodies. Glaser’s observations proving Arnold’s vampirism, and the extremely similar ones made in Peter’s case, have been proven to be merely the observations of a decomposing body, including hair, nail, and toenail growth (skin sagging back or peeling off), the bodies were engorged, presumably on blood (bloating), and there remained “fresh” uncoagulated blood at the mouth (a possibility in decomposition, or perhaps bodily fluids). Peter’s body was sprang on, staked, and burned. Arnold’s was decapitated and burned.
History of Vampires (Documentary):
Two Famous Vampire Cases in History
Reviewed by Elvis G.