(BELGRADE, Serbia) — For the people in a tiny Serbian village there is nothing sexy or romantic about a vampire. In fact, they are terrified that one of the most feared vampires of the area has been roused back to life.
Rather than Twilight‘s Edward Cullen, the people of Zorazje fear that Sava Savanovic is lurking in their forested mountains of western Serbia. They believe that he is on the move because the home he occupied for so long, a former water mill, recently collapsed. Savanovic is believed to be looking for a new home.
“People are very 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,” Miodrag Vujetic, local municipal assembly member, told ABC News. “We are all frightened.”
Vujetic said villagers “are all taking precautions by having holy crosses and icons placed above the entrance to the house, rubbing our hands with garlic, and having a hawthorn stake or thorn.”
“I understand that people who live elsewhere in Serbia are laughing at our fears, but here most people have no doubt that vampires exist,” he said.
According to legend, Savanovic would kill and drink the blood of the peasants who came to grind their grain at his watermill on the Rogacica River. Tour groups from around the Balkans would come to see the mill. But even tourism had its limits.
“We were welcoming tourists, but only during the day. Nobody ever overnighted there,” said Slobodan Jagodic, whose family owned the mill for over 60 years.
“We were too scared to repair it, not to disturb Sava Savanovic,” said Jagodic. “It’s even worse now that it collapsed due to lack of repair.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN