POLAND: Vampire (TIME: Monday May 28, 1934) [M]

Trudging home last week through a cool birch forest, peasants of the Polish town of Ciechanow heard for the eighth time a horrible sound - the agonized scream of a little girl. Seven times in the past three weeks little girls, all between 3 and 6, had been found in meadows and clumps of forest stabbed in the stomach and bleeding badly. A horrid boy, they said, who grunted like an animal had attacked them with a knife, sucked their blood and disappeared. Two of the little girls bled to death before they could be hospitalized.

Poland, Bohemia, the Ukraine and White Russia are the traditional lairs of vampires, living dead that sleep in their coffins by day, rise by night to suck the blood of innocent persons. Every Polish peasant knows that the only way to keep a vampire in its grave is to decapitate it, or bury it face down at a crossroads with an oak stake through the heart. This particular vampire was especially hideous, for several of the little girls had been raped.

Last week when the peasants heard the child screaming in the birch forest they paused in fright for a moment, then rushed bravely to the rescue. And they caught the vampire, a wild-eyed, tattered boy stabbing wildly at a little girl.

Screaming, fighting like a wildcat, he was carried to Ciechanow police station and soon identified as Casimir Tocinski, 9. He was physically far more mature than his age. His mother, a halfwit, herds cows in summer, sleeps in the barns of friendly farmers during the winter. Her son was taken to Warsaw, where psychiatrists reported him "a complete idiot possessing nothing but animal instincts." 

In the back country farmers crossed themselves and knew that doctors could do nothing to help Casimir Tocinski.


Fanged Films

Canada, 2004
AKA White Skin / Cannibal
France, 1965

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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