November 26, 2012

Vampire Fears Boost Garlic Sales in Serbian Village

November 26, 2012

Locals in the Bajina Basta municipality, western Serbia, are freaking out after the local council has issued a warning about the famous vampire Sava Savanovic being on the loose and thirsty for blood.

Sava Savanovic is a popular figure of Serbian folklore, known as the first vampire in Serbia. According to legend, he lived in an old watermill on the nearby Rogačica river, where he killed and drank the blood of peasants who came to the mill for their grains. Scary stories like this are not uncommon, but the people of Zarozje village, where the mill is located, actually believe their local vampire is real. They had no problem living near it, as Savanovic hasn’t hurt any of them for centuries, but now that his home has collapsed, they fear he may take revenge on them. ”People are worried, everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else and possibly other victims is terrifying people. We are all frightened,” mayor Miodrag Vujetic told the press.

The run-down mill was functional until the mid 1950s, when it was bought by the Jagodić family, who later turned it into a tourist attraction. The legend of Sava Savanovic attracted crowds of tourists from all over Serbia, and proved profitable for the local community, only the Jagodić were so frightened by its sharp-fanged inhabitant that they never came near it, not even to perform repairs. The mill collapsed recently, and that’s when everyone started panicking. Garlic sales are booming in Bajina Basta, as locals believe the smell will keep Savanovic at bay, and plans to restore the mill as soon as possible have been set in motion. Unfortunately, with winter just around the corner, repairs will have to wait till spring, so in the meantime the local council has issued a vampire warning and advised people to use garlic and put a Holy Cross in every room of their homes.

Mayor Vujetic said he understands why someone who has never lived in the region would laugh at their fears, but made it very clear that none of the locals have any doubt vampires are real. Reported accounts of strange growls, neither animal nor human, coming from the old mill, and of a dark tall individual standing next to it in the dead of night, don’t help matters much, either.