Vampire case of Arnaut Pavle

One of the first vampire cases that is mentioned in literature was the case of Arnaut Pavle mispronounced Arnold Paolo. Yet again, another case of assimilation by Austrian authorities and I have to explain it. Arnaut is Turkish diminutive for Albanians which was adopted widely in Serbia and Pavle (Paul) was from Medvedja (Medvegia) district near Trstenik. Arnaut Pavle is a nickname of a soldier in military at the time.

Pavle was a well-natured soldier and in 1727 he got home from war with Ottomans, settled down as a farmer and had relationship with a local girl. But neighbors noticed that his character has changed slightly when he gets back. He became fearful and jumped at any shadow. Privately he told his girlfriend that his regiment was a subject of a vampire attack and he among few other soldiers were sent to find and slain the monster. Pavle was the one to find the grave; he unburied it and attacked the vampire. After a struggle he managed to kill the monster but before he killed him, vampire managed to cover Pavle in blood and grave earth. After that Pavle washed himself but he still feeled contaminated and sensed some unclean shadow watching him. His girl told him not to be foolish but Pavle remained jumpy. A week later he fell under the wagon and got killed.

Few weeks later a number of people said that they saw him in their bedrooms. Few days after four of those people were found dead from unknown disease. Pavle was the one to blame. 40 days after his death, Pavle’s grave was dug up and found his body undecayed, covered in fresh blood, finger nails has fallen off, but the new had grow, his hair was longer… Those were the signs that Pavle is a vampire. People quickly found the white-thorn stake and stabbed Pavle thru his heart. Pavle made a laud groan and that was the greatest evidence. Also, all four of his victims was staked just to be sure they will not become vampires.

However, that was not the end. In 1731, seventeen people died evoking memories on arnaut Pavle. 20 years old girl Stana confessed on her death bed that she secretly rubbed herself with the blood of supposed vampire. She was sick for three days and then she died. When unburied her body was undecaying, full of fresh blood, fingernails came away, but the new ones grow underneath… All other people died in that period were unburied and had the same condition. All of them were in vampire condition and were staked and after that burned.

This and other stories of that time provoked vampire scare and name of arnaut Pavle was yet again in the center bringing fear.

There are two sources that describe these events. One version is from Visum et Repertum which has some flaws and the second is a bit more dramatic story by Herbert Mayo that describes same events but with some more drama which is used here.

Arnaut Pavle is once again a subject of local and vampire community talks. In 2016 several people including my good friend Ivan Nešić started to renovate building of old school in Medveđa where they plan to make a museum. You guessed it right; one of the main subjects will be Arnaut Pavle. If you are interested how they progress visit their Facebook page Old School Medveđa. Ivan already wrote about Arnaut Pavle and here is one of his articles but, bear in mind that you will need to translate it because it is written in Serbian Cyrillic, but Google translator works great.

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