Quantcast

Vampire on the loose in Serbia? Some call talk push for tourism, others tout lore

By Dusan Stojanovic

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Dec. 1 2012 10:53 p.m. MST

In this Nov. 30, 2012 photo a billboard showing an impression of the legendary ghost Sava Savanovic. The poster reads "First Serbian vampire", near the village of Zarozje, near the Serbian town of Bajina Basta. Get your garlic, wooden 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 the lush green mountain slopes and spooky thick forests. Rumors that a legendary vampire ghost has returned are spreading panic throughout the town. An official warning telling villagers to put garlic in their pockets and place wooden crosses in each of their rooms, the tools that should keep away the vampires did nothing but fuel the fear. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Associated Press

ZAROZJE, Serbia — Get your garlic, crosses and stakes ready: A bloodsucking vampire is on the loose.

Or so say villagers in the tiny western 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 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.

"The story of Sava Savanovic is a legend, but strange things did occur in these parts back in the old days," said housewife Milka Prokic, holding a string of garlic in one hand and a large wooden stake in another, as an appropriately moody mist rose above the surrounding hills. "We have inherited this legend from our ancestors, and we keep it alive for the younger generations."

Some locals say it's easy for strangers to laugh at them, but they truly believe.

"Five people have recently died one after another in our small community, one hanging himself," said Miodrag Vujetic, a local municipal council member. "This is not by accident."

Vujetic, however, said "whatever is true about Sava," locals should use the legend to promote tourism.

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

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS