By Augustine Calmet.
Some advantage of instances and arguments may be derived in favor of vampirism, by saying that the ghosts of Hungary, Moravia, and Poland are not really dead, that they continue to live in their graves, although without motion and without respiration; the blood which is found in them being fine and red, the flexibility of their limbs, the cries which they utter when their heart is pierced or their head being cut off, all prove that they still exist.
That is not the principal difficulty which arrests my judgment; it is to know how they come out of their graves without any appearance of the earth having been removed, and how they have replaced it as it was; how they appear dressed in their clothes, go and come, and eat. If it is so, why do they return to their graves? why do they not remain amongst the living? why do they suck the blood of their relations? Why do they haunt and fatigue persons who ought to be dear to them, and who have done nothing to offend them? If all that is only imagination on the part of those who are molested, whence comes it that these vampires are found in their graves in an uncorrupted state, full of blood, supple, and pliable; that their feet are found to be in a muddy condition the day after they have run about and frightened the neighbors, and that nothing similar is remarked in the other corpses interred at the same time and in the same cemetery. Whence does it happen that they neither come back nor infest the place any more when they are burned or impaled? Would it be again the imagination of the living and their prejudices which reassure them after these executions? Whence comes it that these scenes recur so frequently in those countries, that the people are not cured of their prejudices, and daily experience, instead of destroying, only augments and strengthens them?
This is taken from Phantom World, originally published in 1850.
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