An extraordinary story is reported from Prussian Poland. It appears that among the Poles and Hungarians the myth of vampires still finds credence.
A country squire at Roslasin, in Posen, died some months ago, his death being speedily followed by that of his eldest son and the dangerous illness of several of his relatives, all which cases occurred as suddenly as they seemed unaccountable.
The deceased was at once suspected of being a vampire, rising from his grave, and sucking the blood of his surviving friends. To prevent further mischief his second son determined to chop off the corpse’s head, for which enterprise he obtained the assistance of some equally superstitious peasants at a very high price.
The head was to be laid with the feet, while an assistant collected the blood dropping from the neck in a vessel to give to the relatives to drink. The deed was delayed by the interference of the parish priest, but was in the end effected at night, not, however, without an unasked witness.
The case is now before the Prussian Court of Appeals. The local court had sentenced the desecrators of the churchyard to three months imprisonment, and it seems likely that they will still have to pay that penalty for their superstition.
The Manchester Evening News, May 23, 1871.