1861 - Martin Dumollard of Montluel, France, was convicted of murdering several young girls whose blood he drank. He was executed.
1872 - Vincenzo Verzeni of Bottanaucco, Italy, was sentenced to life imprisonment in two cases of murder and four of attempted murder. He confessed that drinking the blood of his victims gave him immense satisfaction.
1897 - Joseph Vacher of Bourg, France, while on a walking tour through the country, killed at least a dozen people and drank their blood from bites in their neck. He was finally captured, convicted, and executed.
1916 - Following a notice that Bela Kiss, of Czinkota, Hungary, had been killed in World War I, neighbors searched his property and found the bodies of 31 individuals, all of whom had been strangled. Each corpse possessed puncture wounds in the neck and had been drained of blood.
1920 - Baron Roman von Sternberg-Ungern, a nobleman in post-revolutionary Russia, drank human blood on occasion, seemingly in connection with a belief that he was a reincarnation of Genghis Khan. For his habits (and other reasons), he came into conflict with the new government and was executed.
1947 - Elizabeth Short of Hollywood, California, was murdered and her body dismembered. Later examination discovered that her body had been drained of its blood before the dismemberment.
1959 - Salvatore Agron, a 16-year-old resident of New York City, was convicted of several murders that he carried out at night while dressed as a Bela Lugosi-style vampire. In court he claimed to be a vampire. He was executed for his crimes.
1960 - Florencio Roque Fernandez of Manteros, Argentina, was arrested after being picked out of a line-up by 15 women who said someone had entered their bedroom, bit them, and drank their blood.
1963 - Alfred Kaser of Munich, Germany, was tried for killing a 10-year-old boy. He drank blood from the boy's neck after stabbing him.
1969 - Stanislav Modzieliewski of Lodz, Poland, was convicted of seven murders and six attempted murders. One witness against him was a young woman he attacked, who pretended to be dead while he drank blood from her. Modzieliewski confessed to thinking that blood was delicious.
1971 - Wayne Boden was arrested for a series of murders that began in 1968. In each case he had handcuffed the victim, raped her, and then bit her and sucked blood from her breast.
1973 - Kuno Hoffman of Hurnber, Germany, confessed to murdering two people and drinking their blood and to digging up and drinking the blood of several corpses. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
1979 - Richard Cottingham was arrested for raping, slashing, and drinking the blood of a young prostitute. It was later discovered that he had killed a number of women, and in most cases had bitten them and lapped up their blood.
1980 - James P. Riva shot his grandmother and drank the blood coming from the wound. He later said that several years earlier he had begun to hear the voices of a vampire, who eventually had told him what to do and promised him eternal life.
1982 - Julian Koltun of Warsaw, Poland, was sentenced to death for raping seven women and drinking their blood. He killed two of the women.
1984 - Renato Antonio Cirillo was tried for the rape and vampire-style biting of more than 40 women.
1985 - John Crutchley was arrested for raping a woman. He held her prisoner and drank much of her blood. It was later discovered that he had been drinking the blood of more willing donors for many years.
1987 - A jogger in a San Francisco park was kidnapped and held for an hour in a van while a man drank his blood.
1988 - An unknown woman picked up at least six men over the summer in the Soho section of London. After she returned home with a victim, she slipped drugs into his drink. While he was unconscious, she cut his wrist and sucked his blood. She was never arrested.
1991 - Marcelo da Andrade of Rio de Janeiro killed 14 young boys, after which he drank their blood and ate some of their flesh.
1992 - Andrei Chikatilo of Rostov, Russia, was sentenced to death after confessing to killing some 55 people whom he vampirized and cannibalized.
1992 - Deborah Joan Finch was tried for the murder of a neighbor. She stabbed the victim 27 times and then drank the flowing blood.
2001 - a 17-year-old boy named Matthew Hardman killed a 90-year-old widow, Mabel Leyshon, at her home in Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, north Wales, last November before stabbing her to death, cutting out her heart and drinking her blood.
1047 First appearance of the word "upir" in a document referring to a Russian prince as "Upir Lichy", or wicked vampire.
1196 William of Newburgh's "Chronicles". It records several stories of vampire like revenants in England.
1428 Vlad Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler, is born.
1477 Vlad the Impaler is assassinated.
1484 The Malleus Maleficarium, known as the witch hunter's bible, is written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. The topic of how to hunt and destroy a vampire is discussed.
1560 Erzsebet (Elizabeth) Bathory is born.
1610 Elizabeth Bathory is tried and convicted of killing several hundred girls. Her sentence is life imprisonment.
1614 Elizabeth Bathory dies.
1679 A German vampire text, "De Masticatione Mortuorum", is written by Phillip Rohr.
1727-1732 Arnold Paole unleashes his vampiric terror on the town of Meduegna.
1734 The word "vampyre" enters the English language. 1748 - The first modern vampyre poem, "Der Vampir", is published.
1813 A vampire appears in Lord Byron's The Giaour.
1819 John Polidori's "The Vampyre," is the first vampire story in English is published.
1847 Bram Stoker is born.
1872 In Italy, Vincenzo Verzeni is convicted of murdering two people and drinking their blood.
1897 "Dracula" by Bram Stoker is published in England.
1924 Fritz Haarmann the "Vampire of Hanover" is arrested, tried and convicted of killing more than 20 people in a vampiric crime spree.
1931 Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, is released.
1932 The movie "Vampyr," directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, is released.
1936 "Dracula's Daughter" is released.
1943 "Son of Dracula", stars Lon Chaney, Jr., as Dracula.
1962 The Count Dracula Society is founded in the United States by Donald Reed.
1964 "The Munsters" and "The Addams Family"; television shows with vampiric characters.
1965 Jeanne Youngson founds The Count Dracula Fan Club.
1970 Sean Manchester founds The Vampire Research Society."In Search of Dracula" by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu is published.--Stephan Kaplan founds The Vampire Research Centre.
1976 The first of the Vampire Chronicles, "Interview With the Vampire", by Anne Rice is published.
1979 Frank Langella stars in the remake of Dracula.
1980 Richard Chase, the so-called Dracula Killer of Sacramento, California, commits suicide in prison.
1985 "The Vampire Lestat" by Anne Rice is published and reaches the best seller list.
1988 "The Queen of the Damned" is published by Anne Rice.
1991 Vampire: The Masquerade," the vampire role-playing game is released by White Wolf.
1992 "Bram Stoker's Dracula" directed by Francis Ford Coppola opens. --Andrei Chikatilo of Russia, is sentenced to death after killing and vampirizing 55 people.-"The Tale of the Body Thief" by Anne Rice is published.
1994 The film version of Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" opens with Tom Cruise as the Vampire Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis.
1998 Blade is released into theaters. Pandora by Anne Rice is published. The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice is published.
1999 Vittorio the Vampire by Anne Rice is published.
In the early 1730s, a band of Austrian medical officers were summoned to the Serbian village of Medvegia. An investigation was underway concerning the strange deaths of several villagers. The locals claimed the deaths were caused by vampires. The first of these vampires was Arnold Paole, a man who had died several years earlier by falling off a hay wagon.
It was obvious to the villagers that Paole was a vampire. When they had exhumed the corpse, "they found that he was quite complete and undecayed, and that fresh blood had flowed from his eyes, nose, mouth, and ears; that the shirt, the covering, and the coffin were completely bloody; that the old nails on his hands and feet, along with the skin, had fallen off, and that new ones had grown; and since they saw from this that he was a true vampire, they drove a stake through his heart, according to their custom, whereby he gave an audible groan and bled copiously."
More attacks had been occurring since the final death of Paole. A woman named Stanacka had "lay down to sleep fifteen days ago, fresh and healthy, but at midnight she started up out of her sleep with a terrible cry, fearful and trembling, and complained that she had been throttled by the son of a Haiduk by the name of Milloe, who had died nine weeks earlier, whereupon she had experienced a great pain in the chest and became worse hour by hour, until finally she died on the third day."
In their report, Visum et Repertum (Seen and Discovered), the officers told not only what they had heard from the villagers but also, in admirable clinical detail, what they themselves had seen when they exhumed and dissected the bodies of the supposed victims of the vampire. Of one corpse, the authors observed, "After the opening of the body there was found in the cavitate pectoris a quantity of fresh extravascular blood. The vasa [vessels] of the arteriae and venae, like the ventriculis cordis, were not, as is usual, filled with coagulated blood, and the whole viscera, that is, the pulmo [lung], hepar [liver], stomachus, lien [spleen], et intestina were quite fresh as they would be in a healthy person." The medical officers were thoroughly baffled by the autopsy results and did not venture opinions. The mystery of the vampires of Medvegia went on unsolved throughout the 1700s
In order to improve her complexion and also to maintain her failing grasp on her youth and vitality, she slaughtered six hundred innocent young women from her tiny mountain principality...
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, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania), and had emerged to assume a role of relative eminence by the first half of the 13th century. Abandoning their tribal roots, they assumed the name of one of their estates (Bátor meaning 'valiant') as a family name. Their power rose to reach a zenith by the mid 16th century, but declined and faded to die out completely by 1658. Great kings, princes, members of the judiciary, as well as holders of ecclesiastical and civil posts were among the ranks of the Báthorys.
Adopting an exalted name did not alter some basic familial preferences among lesser lights however, and in order to consolidate more tenuous clingings to influence there was considerable intermarriage amongst the Báthory family, with some of the usual problems of this practice produced as a result. Unfortunately, beyond the 'usual problems' some extraordinary difficulties arose (namely hideous psychoses) and several "evil geniuses" appeared, the notorious and sadistic Erzsébet the most prominent of them.
Truly, she was evil enough to be recognized as one of the original "vampires" who later inspired Bram Stoker to write the legend of Dracula -- but unlike Stoker's story, she was real.
Unusual for one of her social status, she was a fit and active child. Raised as Magyar royalty, as a young maid she was quite beautiful; delicate in her features, slender of build, tall for the time, but her personality did not attain the same measure of fortuitous development. In her own opinion her most outstanding feature was her often commented upon gloriously creamy complexion. Although others were not really so equally impressed with the quality of her rather ordinary skin, they offered copious praise if they knew what was good for them, as Erzsébet did not accept unenthusiastic half-measures of adulation; and she was vindictive.
She was only 15 when she was 'married off' for political gain and position to a rough soldier of (nevertheless) aristocratic stock and manner. By reason of the marriage, she became the lady of the Castle of Csejthe, his home, situated deep in the Carpathian mountains of what is now central Romania, but which then was known only as Transylvania. Located near no exciting urban center, the castle was surrounded by a village of simple peasants and rolling agricultural lands, interspersed with the jagged outcroppings of the frozen Carpathians.
While the picturesque setting embraced a bucolic tapestry of ideal small fields, meandering stone walls, quaint cottages, a few satisfied brown cows, and goats with tinkling bells about their necks scampering amongst the chickens, life here was uneventful. The castle was typical for its day and place: cold, dun, gloomy, damp, dark; unlike the cozy thatched houses of the peasants below.
While her husband was pursuing his passion, the soldier business, and off on various campaigns, for Elizabeth -- who did not wish to amuse herself in the out-of-doors where those loutish peons were grubbing in the mud -- life became poundingly boring in very short order. Being an energetic teenager, although one with a view and experience of life which was 'special,' she set about finding novel amusements to occupy her days.
Her tastes were of a certain slant, and consequently she began to gather about herself (as her ample financial resources readily accommodated) persons of peculiar and sinister arts. These she welcomed into her presence, affording them commodious lodging and lavish attention to each of their most singular needs and interests. Among them were those who claimed to be witches, sorcerers, seers, wizards, alchemists, and others who practiced the most depraved deeds in league with the Devil and too painful to mention even in a story such as this. They taught her their crafts in intimate detail and she was enthralled. But learning such unspeakable things was not enough.
War in the 16th century was a brutal affair. While fashionably fighting the Turks and attempting to gain information from prisoners captured, her husband employed a horrid device of torture: clever articulated claw-like pincers, fashioned of hardened silver; which, when fastened to a stout whip would tear and rip the flesh to such an obscene degree that even he, a cruel man, abandoned the apparatus in disgust and left it at the castle as he departed on yet another heroic foray.
Elizabeth was not alone in her 'unusual' interests. Aware of Elizabeth's complex preoccupations, and amused by them, her aunt had introduced her also to the pleasures of flagellation (enacted upon desolate others of course), a taste Elizabeth quickly acquired. Equipped with her husband's heinous silver claws, she generously indulged herself, whiling away many lonely hours at the expense of forlorn Slav debtors from her own dungeons. The more shrill their screams and the more copious the blood, the more exquisite and orgasmic her amusement. She preferred to whip her 'subjects' on the front of their nude bodies rather than their backs, not only for the increased damage potential, but so that she could gleefully watch their faces contort in horror at their most grim and burning fate.
Her husband died in 1604 (some say 1602) of stab wounds imposed on him by a harlot in Bucharest whom he had not paid, and Elizabeth immediately dreamed of a lover to replace him, since she never cared for him in the first place -- so much for her mourning. However, the mirror showed her that her prurient indulgences, as well as time, had taken their toll on her appearance. Her 'angelic' complexion had long since faded to something less than perfection; she had reached 43. Her desire for a lover did not fade; she raged deep within, cursing time.
Such a simple interest as a new husband was not to rule the day, it was merely a detail. With the demise of her husband, prowling highly placed men began to smell a ripe opportunity to seize the power and influence encapsulated in the Báthory name; likely by acquiring her and then eliminating her. As well, she was next in line to become King of Poland, and she wanted the job. This seeming anomaly was possible within the governing constructs of the time, and the office of queen held no political weight. At the same time, she was educated beyond all those around her, reading and writing four languages while the prince of Transylvania was an illiterate boor (who bathed regularly -- every year on his birthday).
Maintaining her youth and vitality became central to this developing plot; the absolute divine right to power she understood was hers to keep and protect would be essential to the attainment of all that she sought. Vanity, sexual desire, drive for political power all were seamlessly blended into a central primordial passion. If she lost her youth, she could forfeit all.
Her mood deteriorated markedly and one day, as she viciously struck a servant girl for a minor oversight, she drew blood when her pointed nails raked the girl's cheek. The wound was serious enough that some of the blood got onto Elizabeth's skin. Later, Elizabeth was quite sure that that part of her own body - where the girl's blood had dropped - looked fresher somehow; younger, brighter and more pliant.
Immediately she consulted her alchemists for their opinion on the phenomenon. They, of course, were enjoying her hospitality and did not wish to disappoint, so, fortunately, they did recall a case many many years before and in a distant place where the blood of a young virgin had caused a similar effect on an aged (but generous) personage of nobility and good grace.
With such clear evidence at hand, Elizabeth was convinced that here was a brilliant discovery; a method to restore and preserve her youthful glow forever, or at least until she got what she wanted. The advice of her 'beauty consultant,' a woman named Katarina, concurred that her clever realization was most surely sound.
Elizabeth reasoned that if a little was good, then a lot would be better: she firmly believed that if she bathed in the blood of young virgins -- and in the case of especially pretty ones, drank it -- she would be gloriously beautiful and strong once again.
For years, Elizabeth's trusted helper in her various secret pleasures had been Dorotta Szentes. Now with her, and other 'witches' to help carry the load, Elizabeth roamed the countryside by night, hunting for suitable virginal girls as raw material for her difficult quest.
When back in the castle, each batch of young girls would be hung, alive and naked, upside-down by chains wrapped around their ankles. Their throats would be slit and all of their blood drained for Elizabeth's bath, to be taken while the heat of their young bodies still remained in the thickening and sticky crimson pool.
And every now and then, a really lovely young girl would be obtained. As a special treat, Elizabeth would drink the child's blood: at first from a golden flask, but later, as her taste for it increased, directly from the stream, as the writhing and whimpering body hung from the rafters, turning pale.
Although she had held off her political foes, after five years of this enterprise Elizabeth at last began to realize that the blood of peasant girls was having little effect on the quality of her skin. Obviously such blood was defective and better blood was required.
In early 17th century Transylvania, parents of substantial position wished their daughters to be educated in the appropriate social graces and etiquettes, so that they might gain the 'right' connections when ripe. Here was an opportunity.
In 1609, Elizabeth established an academy in the castle, offering to take 25 girls at a time from proper families, and to correctly finish their educations. Indeed, their educations were finished.
Assisted by Dorotta Szentes (known also by the graceful diminutive "Dorka") these poor students were consumed in exactly the same beastly fashion as the anguished peasant girls who preceded them. This was too easy, and Elizabeth became careless in her actions for the first time in her dreadful career. During a frenzy of lust, four drained bodies were thrown off the walls of the castle.
The error was realized too late, for villagers had already seen, collected, and begun to identify the girls. The disappearance of all those young women began to be solved; the secret was finished.
Word of this horror spread rapidly and soon reached the Hungarian Emperor, Matthias II, who immediately ordered that the Countess be placed on public trial. But, her aristocratic status did not allow that she be arrested. Parliament at once passed a new Act to reverse this privilege of station (lest she slip from their hands) and Elizabeth was brought before a formal hearing in 1610. Interestingly, no authority seemed inclined to offer any form of attention to these matters when merely peasant girls had been the subject of Elizabeth's blood-letting for five years previous.
By the final count, 600 girls had vanished; Elizabeth admitted nothing. Dorka and her witches were burned alive, but the Countess, by reason of her noble birth, could not be executed. Katarina was somehow seen as another victim, and was set free.
So, Elizabeth was damned to a death while alive. Sealed into a tiny closet of her castle -- and never let out -- she died four years later.
Written in 1679 by the theologian Philip Rohr, De Masticatione Mortuorum translates as 'On the Chewing Dead'. Rohr was based in the Holy Roman Empire, and his text discussed the common folklore that some corpses returned to life, eating both their funeral shrouds and nearby bodies - a process known as manduction. The chewing dead were part of a larger body of vampire mythology, which Rohr's text contributed to significantly. De Masticatione Mortuorum (or to use its full title Dissertatio Historico-Philosophica de Masticatione Mortuorum) is now cult among the modern 'vampire' community, and a favourite name for death metal bands.