The (Supposedly) Real-Life Vampires That Have Appeared Throughout History

From decades ago to recent history, vampires have walked among us, or so the legends say. Check out these creepy stories of real-life vampires.

Peter Plogojowitz

Peter Plogojowitz (also spelled Petar Blagojevich) was a Serbian man in 1725 who died and was thought to have become a vampire after his death. The story goes on to say that he killed nine of his villagers after he became a vampire.

Peter Plogojowitz

His story is one of the earliest documented cases of vampire hysteria. Peter lived in a small village called Kisilova. Peter originally died from a sickness and nine people proclaimed Peter came to visit them on their death bed. While they were dying, Peter’s “victims” claimed that he throttled them at night, which ultimately led to their death.

Peter’s Wife

There are a couple different legends surrounding Peter’s wife. The first is that she claimed he came to visit her at night and asked for his shoes. After this happened, she moved to a different village because she feared for her safety.

Peter’s Wife

In another legend, Peter came back to his home where his wife lived and demanded food from his son. After his son refused, Peter murdered him by drinking his blood. The villagers dug up Peter’s body to look for growing nails, beard, and hair, which they believed were signs of vampirism. The villagers found all of these things and put a stake through his body.

Villagers’ Deaths

So what exactly did the villagers die from? There were reports of excessive exhaustion and blood loss. Once a person started getting sick, it took them 24 hours to die. While they lay in their bedrooms sick and unable to move was when they said Peter came to visit them.

Villagers’ Deaths

Sometimes he would come in the dreams and other times he would glide right into their rooms. The villagers said Peter would bite them and then suck their blood. The local apothecary tried everything to save the lives of these people but everyone died after they experienced a knock on their door.

Jure Grando

Jure Grando lived in Istria, which is now known as Croatia. According to historical records, he may have been the first real person that was described as a vampire. Jure died in 1656 due to a sickness, but the legend says he returned at night as a vampire.

Jure Grando

He kept terrorizing his village until 1672 when the villagers decapitated him. Jure reigned terror on the village for 16 years. The daughter and son of Jure ran away to Italy to escape their vampire father. So just how did Jure contact his victims? The story is pretty creepy.

Jure the Vampire

Legend says that Jure would knock on doors and night and that whoever was in that house when he knocked would die within the next couple of days. Jure also haunted his widow by appearing in her bedroom window then sexually assaulting her.

Jure the Vampire

The local priest, Father Giorgio, came face to face with Jure and said, “Behold Jesus Christ, you vampire! Stop tormenting us!” Some of the villagers tried piercing the vampire with a stick, some tried exorcisms, but the one that did it was sawing Jure’s head off his corpse. After that, he didn’t torment the village anymore.

The Village Today

Today you can visit the village of Kringa, where Jure used to live and terrorize people. Kringa is a small town that basically runs off of vampire tourism. In fact, you can even sleep in a room that is designed to feel like you are sleeping like a vampire as it is decorated Gothic style.

The Village Today

If that isn’t enough, make sure you buy souvenirs such as garlic candles, Jure Grando wine, and vampire themed cocktails. If you are really brave, you can visit the property where Jure used to live and that was owned by his family.

Elizabeth Bathory

Elizabeth Bathory is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most prolific female serial killer in history. No one knows exactly how many people she killed, but she is accused of killing and torturing hundreds of young women from 1585 to 1609.

Elizabeth Bathory

The highest number claimed was 650 by a serving girl. Over 300 survivors and witnesses gave their testimony about what they say. It was said she bathed in the blood of virgins to keep her youthful appearance. Many people put her on the same level as Vlad III the Impaler who Count Dracula is written after. So, what started it all?

Elizabeth’s History

Elizabeth grew up in Hungary at the Ecsed Castle. She was wealthy and grew up with an excellent social position, education, and massive wealth. She married Ferenc Nadasdy who was the chief commander of Hungarian troops. While he was at war, Elizabeth tended to the estates.

Elizabeth’s History

The rumors of Elizabeth’s killings went on from 1602 to 1604. They said she started to kill daughters of local peasants who were working in the castle, and then kill daughters of lesser gentry. Elizabeth would burn them, mutilate the bodies, bite flesh off their body parts, freeze, and starve them to death. The bodies were said to be buried in the cemetery and unknown locations.

Details of Elizabeth’s Tortures

Since Elizabeth was of high status, she got away with torture for many years. Apparently, her husband built her her very own torture chamber just how she wanted it. Some of the more common tactics Elizabeth used was thrusting needles under the fingernails of servant girls.

Details of Elizabeth’s Tortures

She would also tie them down and cover them with honey so ants and bees would attack them. According to history, her torturing got worse after her husband died. That was when her accomplices started abducting girls for her to torture. Elizabeth would bite flesh off of girls and even cook pieces of their flesh and feed it to them. Seriously disgusting.

Vlad the Impaler

Vlad III is said to have inspired the book called Dracula. Vlad III was the ruler of Wallachia and is best known for the evil deeds he did while he was in power. Pope Pius II and Meistersinger Michael Beheim both wrote about what Vlad the Impaler did.

Vlad the Impaler

The former wrote it in his Commentaries and the latter wrote it as a poem called Von ainem wutrich der heis Trakle waida von der Walachei (Story of a Bloodthirsty Madman called Dracula of Wallachia). In the poem, it told of Vlad having two monks impaled to help them go to heaven. Their donkey was then impaled because it was braying after its masters’ deaths.

Stories of Vlad III

Stories of Vlad the Impaler come from when he was plundering Transylvania. These as eyewitness information from the events, which historians figured because of the accurate details and dates of the raids. The people described him as a “demented psychopath, a sadist, a gruesome murderer, a masochist.”

Stories of Vlad III

Other stories come from manuscripts that originated in the South Slavic language. These stories have details about his murderers as well as his ventral government in Wallachia, which was strong at the time. It also describes how Vlad looked, which says “was not very tall, but very stocky and strong, with a cold and terrible appearance, a strong and aquiline nose, swollen nostrils, a thin and reddish face.”

Why Impaling?

So why did Vlad III use impaling as a method of execution? The main reason he used it was to cause terror in the people who opposed him and he did not have very many resources.

Why Impaling?

According to Florin Curta, who is a professor of medieval history at the University of Florida, he said, “He had to do a lot of things with very limited resources. He actually used efficient methods to fight against the enemy without having that many men at his disposal.” So Vlad III was actually pretty crafty and used “psychological warfare” against the Ottomans.

Salome

Salome was the daughter of Herod II and Herodias and lived from 14 to 62 or 71 AD. Her name is derived from the word “shalom,” which means “peace.” She was anything but peaceful.

Salome

In fact, she was actually the opposite of peaceful. Salome is most famous for demanding the head of John the Baptist, and then actually receiving it. She is considered a vampire and seductress because of how she is depicted in the New Testament. She first married Philip the Tetrarch who then died in 34 AD. She went on to marry Aristobulus of Chalcis and became the queen of Chalcis and Armenia Minor.

Salome and the New Testament

In Mark 6:21-29 it says the daughter or Herodias danced in from of Herod and Herodias in the celebration of a birthday. The mother had a chance to receive the head of John the Baptist. Herodias did not like John the Baptist because he did not approve of Herod’s marriage.

Salome and the New Testament

When the king asked the dancing girl, Salome, what she wanted as she could have anything, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Since the story, Salome has been portrayed in art as a dangerous female seductiveness. The symbol of Salome appears through paintings, sculptures, plays, literature, and vocal music.

Friedrich Heinrich Karl “Fritz” Haarmann

Frtiz was known as the Vampire of Hanover and the Butcher of Hanover in Hanover, Germany. His crimes include the mutilation, dismemberment, sexual assault, and murder of at least 24 young men in boys between 1918 and 1924 in Hanover.

Friedrich Heinrich Karl “Fritz” Haarmann

Fritz was put on trial and found guilty of 24 of the 27 murders he was accused of. So what was his preferred method of killing? Biting his victims through their throats. Seriously gross. This is why he was known as the vampire of Hanover and also the Wolf man. He wasn’t just like this as an adult, his troubles started when he was a child. So what happened?

Fritz’s Childhood

Fritz was trouble from the start and his mother spoiled him from the very beginning. He hated his father and Fritz did not have a good relationship throughout his life. At 15 years old, he went to a military academy and suffered from lapses of consciousness.

Fritz’s Childhood

He was discharged after spending five months in the service. When Fritz was 16, he started committing sexual offenses against young boys. He was diagnosed as “incurably deranged” and sent to a mental institution. He escaped the institution and got engaged to Erna Loewert. It only gets weirder from there.

Military and Crimes

Fritz went back into the military because of compulsory service and excelled this time. He was a great marksman and was actually happy during this time. He ended up having dizzy spells that caused him to be discharged.

Military and Crimes

He was unable to work because of being classified as disabled by the military. He became a con artist and even went to prison a few times for assault, embezzlement, and larceny. He later became a police informant to keep the police from being interested in his criminal activities. Eventually, the police started to trust Fritz as an informant because of the arrests they made due to his information.

Murders

The boys Fritz murdered were age between 10 and 22. Most of them were teenagers. Fritz would lure them into his apartment where he would give them something to eat or drink and then bite their Adam’s apple, which he called a “love bite.”

Murders

Sometimes he strangled his victims. He then cut up their bodies and through them in the Leine River. Once Fritz was caught, there were rumors saying he sold the flesh of his victims on the black market. None of the rumors were confirmed but he was known to deal in contraband meat. No one could actually pinpoint where Fritz got his meat from, and it still remains a mystery.

Arrest

Fritz was arrested on June 23 after a boy he was arguing with said that Fritz had kidnapped him and held him against his will. Once Fritz was arrested, police searched his one room apartment.

Arrest

They found the bedding, floors, and walls covered in blood. His neighbors told the police how Fritz carried sacks out of his apartment. Fritz had kept all of the possession from his victims, which the police found in his apartment. Fritz eventually confessed to the murders described them as “rabid sexual passion.” Fritz said he killed 50 to 70 people, but the police could only charge him with 27 murders. After he was found guilty, he was beheaded by the guillotine on April, 15, 1925.

Modern Day Vampires

Modern day vampires are a little less scary as they only feed from willing victims. According to an article from The Washington Post, there are 5,000 people in the U.S. who identify as vampires. There are vampires who need to drink blood where others can survive off of energy. So what happens if they do not get their human blood?

Modern Day Vampires

One vampire explains, “Without feeding the vampire will become lethargic, sickly, depressed, and often go through physical suffering or discomfort.” Some vampires find their donors through friends who donate for various reasons, such as doing a favor, compensation, or sexual favors. But they do exist, and probably won’t come out to you right away because of the stigma surrounding them.