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Jure Grando (Giure Grando) was a villager, an Istrian peasant, who lived in Kringa, a small place in the interior of the Istrian peninsula. He died in 1656, and was decapitated as a vampire in 1672. He was the first classical vampire to be mentioned in documented records.


Story

According to the legend, 16 years after his death, Jure would arise from his grave by night and terrorise the village. The village priest, Giorgio, discovered that by night, without any particular order, somebody would knock on the doors around the village, and on whichever door he knocked, someone from that house would die within the next few days. Giorgio was the priest that had buried Jure sixteen years previously. Jure appeared to some villagers and once appeared to a terrified widow in her bedroom. She described the corpse as looking as though he was smiling, and gasping for breath. When Giorgio eventually came face to face with the monster, the priest held out a cross in front of him and yelled "Behold Jesus Christ, you vampire! Stop tormenting us!" At that moment tears fell from the vampire's eyes. The bravest of the villagers chased and tried to kill the vampire, they caught him and tried to pierce his heart with a hawthorn stick, but they failed because the stick just bounced off of his chest.

After that, nine people went to the graveyard, carrying a cross, lamps and a hawthorn stick. They dug up his coffin, and found a perfectly preserved corpse with a smile on its face. They tried to pierce its heart again, but the stick could not penetrate its flesh. After some exorcism prayers, the most valient of them, Stipan Milašić, took a saw and sawed his head off. As soon as the saw tore his skin, the vampire screamed and blood started to flow, and soon the whole grave was full of blood.

After that, peace returned to Kringa, peace that still rules the streets of this small half-deserted Istrian town.


References

Johann Weichard von Valvasor (or Janez Vajkard Valvasor in its slavic version) wrote about his life and afterlife in his well-known book Die Ehre des Hertzogthums Crain(The Glory of Carniola County). The book was published in Nürnberg in 1689 and represented a colossal work of art divided into 15 books and 4 volumes, with 3523 pages of large format and 533 illustrations of which many show the lifestyle and scenery of Istria, which is in present day Croatia, at that time.

Jure Grando was also mentioned in writings by Erasmus Francisci and Johann Joseph von Goress (La mystique divina, naturelle, et diabolique Paris 1855), whose story was much more elaborate and sensational, full of fantastic details, made up to make the story more interesting.


Source

Wright, Dudley (2006) (in English). The Book of Vampires (Second Edition ed.). Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc.. pp. 49-50. ISBN 0-486-44998-X.