Posted by: coastcontact | December 2, 2012

Vampire’s Arrival Could Help Tourism

An Associated Press story by someone with an unusual name (by American standards), Dusan Stojanovic.

The article is abridged.  Of course using the appropriate font.

Villagers in Zarozje, Serbia aren’t taking any chances now that Serbia’s most  famous vampire, Sava Savanovic, is rumored to be looking for blood

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/vampire-loose-serbia-article-1.1211539#ixzz2DvCHvsB1

ZAROZJE, Serbia – Get your garlic, crosses and stakes ready: a bloodsucking vampire is on the loose. Or so say villagers in the tiny western Serbian hamlet of Zarozje, nestled between lush green mountain slopes and spooky thick forests. They say rumors that a legendary vampire ghost has awakened are spreading fear – and a poten­tial tourist opportunity ­through the remote village.

A local council warned villagers to put garlic in their pock­ets and place wooden crosses in their rooms to ward off vampires, although it appeared designed more to attract visi­tors to the impoverished region bordering Bosnia.

Many of the villagers are aware that Sava Savanovic, Ser­bia’s most famous vampire, is a fairy tale. Still, they say, better to take it seriously than risk succumbing to the vampire’s fangs.

Vampire legends have played a prominent part in the Balkans for centuries – most prominently Dracula from Romania’s Transylvania region. In the 18th century, the legends sometimes triggered mass hysteria and even public executions of those accused of being vampires.

Sava Savanovic, described by the Zarozje villagers as Serbia’s first vampire, reputedly drank the blood of those who came to the small shack in the dense oak tree forest to mill their grain on the clear mountain Rogatica river.

vampire watch

Milka Prokic stands at twilight on Friday with a garland of garlic and a wooden stake, in the village of Zarozje, near the Serbian town of Bajina Basta.

“If Romanians could profit on the Dracula legend with the tourists visiting Transylvania, why can’t we do the same with Sava?”

Richard Sugg, a lecturer in Renaissance Studies at the U.K.’s University of Durham and an expert on the vampire legends, said the fear could be very real. Stress can bring on nightmares, which makes peo­ple’s feelings of dread even worse. “The tourists think it is fun – and the Serbian locals think it’s terrifying,” he said.

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