Vampires Originated in Serbia, Not Romania

Vampires, which are the basis of many forms of folklore as they describe how these undead beings stalked and used their fangs to bite into the necks of their victims and draw blood from them, often resulting in those people then dying or turning into vampires themselves. Perhaps the most famous piece of literature featuring vampires was “Dracula,” which was written in 1897 by Bram Stoker and made into an American movie, which was released in 1992. Both pieces of works were inspired by Vlad the Impaler, who was born in Sighisoara, a city located in Transylvania, Romania.

For that reason, many have associated vampires with Transylvania and more generally with Romania. However, the origin of the word, “vampire,” is actually one of the few from the Serbian language that has evolved into widespread use worldwide. It was originally, “vampir,” initially used in the 1700s by Austrian officials in Vojvodina, an autonomous province in that country that is located about 60 miles northwest of the nation’s capital of Belgrade. “Vampires” was used to describe the exhumed bodies that were killed again by locals, symbolically but in reality in their minds. This was often done with a stake through the heart, something that is done to kill the fictional vampires of today.

Tales of vampires throughout Serbia quickly became numerous as panic started to set in as more and more locals were worried that those who they had thought had died really hadn’t and were instead harassing them in various ways.

So, the first vampire was not Dracula but was Petar Blagojevic, who was believed to have risen from his Serbian grave in order to kill locals and drink their blood. After his tomb was opened and he was discovered to have blood in his mouth, he was killed again, or so those there believed, with a stake.