Creencias en el siglo XIX (citas en inglés)

Written by John Doe on sábado, 20 de febrero de 2010 at 09:27

"The belief in bloodsucking spectres, also called vampire», is very old. The modern Greeks, according to Tournefort's Relation d'un Voyage du Levant (1st vol., p. 32), call such monsters broucoloxas ; but even the ancient Greeks had their empousai; and the lamiae and lémures of the Romans originated from the same superstition. In 1732, great commotions were caused in Hungary, and particularly in Servia, by the general belief in human vampires, so that investigations were instituted by the government. The common people believed that the bodies of persons who died under sentence of excommunication for sorcery or other crimes, did not decay, but devoured their own flesh, and, during the night, left their graves, and sucked the blood of persona with whom they had been connected, so as to kill them." Enciclopedia americana (1832)

"This popular belief in Vampires is not confined to Crete and Greece; but, as most of my readers will be aware, is very widely spread : they are found in Dalmatia, Hungary, Moravia, and other countries.
During the middle ages, a belief in ravages committed by similar monsters, was not confined to poets, in our own island, but formed an article of generally prevalent superstition among the people, and, like the equally absurd belief in witchcraft of more recent times, was shared with them by the clergy.
William of Newbury, who flourished in the twelfth century, relates that, in Buckinghamshire, a man appeared several times to his wife, after he had been buried. The aid of the church was called in, as is still done on similar occasions by the Greeks. The archdeacon and clergy thought it right to apply to the bishop (of Lincoln), who learnt that such events were of frequent occurrence in England, and that the only known remedy was to burn the body, which, on opening the grave, was found in the same state as on the day of its interment. The same author mentions a similar story, the locality of which was the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, where the body was cut in pieces and burnt. Another Vampire was burnt at Melrose Abbey. He had been a very worldly priest, and so fond of hunting that he was commonly called Hundeprest. A still worse case occurred at a castle in the north of England, where the Vampire so frightened all the people, that no one ever ventured out of doors between sunset and sunrise, " Ne forte oberranti monstro sugillandus occurreret." The sons of one of his supposed victims at length opened his grave, and pierced his body, from which a great quantity of blood immediately flowed, and plainly proved how many persons had been his victims.....
(The Morlacchians seem to have found the burning or boiling described by Calmet and Ricaut unnecessary : " When a man dies suspected of becoming a Vampire or Vukodlak, as they call it, they cut his hams, and prick his whole body with pins, pretending that, after this operation, he cannot walk about. There are even instances of Morlacchi, who, imagining that they may possibly thirst for childrens' blood after death, intreat their heirs, and sometimes oblige them to promise, to treat them as vampires when they die.") " Robert Pashley, Travels in Crete (1837)

"The other superstition to which we have adverted, is still more extensively received than that just described. It is called Vampirism, and prevails very much amongst the common people in Poland, Hungary, and Turkey; but is happily unknown to the British islands. A vampire, is one who has died, but leaves his grave occasionally, to torment, and sometimes to seek the blood of the living. An instance of the most lamentable nature indeed, of the effects of this horrible delusion, was witnessed in Illyria by the collector of these ballads. He was staying at the house of a rich Morlac, and one night he was merrily conversing with his host, when their attention was attracted by a dismal cry, which issued from an adjoining chamber, where the wife and daughter had been together in bed. The former exclaimed, "A vampire, a vampire— my poor girl is dead." The young woman had already fainted in her mother's arms. As soon as she was somewhat recovered, she declared that she saw the window open, and a ghastly figure, in a winding-sheet come in; that he threw himself upon her, and bit her neck. By the description of the person, it was concluded that the vampire was a man named Wiecznany, who had been buried fifteen days before. Consternation filled all hearts, and a resolution was entered into, to disinter the body of the vampire, and burn it.
' At the break of day,' continues the writer, ' the whole village was in motion : the men were armed with guns and short swords; the women carried red irons, and the children were loaded with sticks and stones. In this manner they proceeded to the church-yard, amidst the most tumultuous cries and execrations on the vampire. As every body wished to have a hand in the affair, the exhumation went on but very slowly, and numerous accidents, no doubt, would have taken place, were it not for some old men, who had influence enough to contrive that the work should be left to two men only. As soon as the winding-sheet which enclosed the body was lifted up, a horribly piercing cry arose, which made my hair stand an end. It proceeded from a woman who stood near me—" He is a vampire—the worms have not touched him;"—and the exclamation was re-echoed by a hundred voices. The head of the dead man was now broken into fragments ; the father and relations of the poor patient being amongst the foremost to strike, whilst some of the women received on their handkerchief some of the red.liquor that oozed from the body, and which was to be rubbed to the girl's neck.'—pp. 148—150.
The body was afterwards burned before the door of the Morlacs, where the unhappy girl lay pining away. Such is the omnipotence of the imagination—she daily grew worse—she resisted every description of influence which was applied to her body or mind ; and on the eleventh day after the suppposed visitation, she breathed her last."  The Monthtly review, vol. 6 (1827)

 SnowWhite (Cypherx)

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John Doe

Blogger. Ex estudiante de antropología de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Mis "héroes" son James Frazer,Mircea Eliade, Joseph Campbell y Vladimir Propp.

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