Writer Boris Peric at the Literaturhaus in Switzerland

Boris Peric has been investigating the issue for many years and the story about the Croatian Vampire Jure Grando from Istria (Kringa) inspired him to write a book 'The Vampire'.

The first document on Grando, dating back to the 17th century, was written by his contemporary Janez Vajkard Valvasor, a Slovenian travel writer and historian. In his 15-tome work, 'The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola', which was published in 1689 in Germany, Valvasor tells the story heard when he visited Kringa.

According to the legend, for 16 years after his death and burial Grando terrorised his former fellow-villagers, notably his widow. At night he wandered the area knocking on the doors of houses, many of whose inhabitants later died, it said. The lustful demon paid regular visits to his widow, forcing her to continue fulfilling her marital duties.

Eventually, in 1672, a group of nine local men decided that they had to put an end to the menace. Upon opening his grave they saw Grando, his body intact, smiling at them.

After the first attempt to drive a hawthorn stake through his corpse failed because the wood rebounded, the bravest of the nine eventually managed to decapitate the body, bringing to an end Grando's reign of terror, the legend said.

Heiko Haumann will talk about the historical aspects of the most famous representative of the Transilvanian culture, the ancestor of the 'modern' vampires – grof Dracula.