Transylvanian Vampires

Folktales of the Living Dead Retold

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About the Book

Authentic vampire tales exist in Transylvanian folklore—yet the Transylvanian vampire is nothing like the bloodthirsty count of Bram Stoker’s imagination or the romantic hero of popular fiction. The Romanian tradition reflects the norms of peasant life and wisdom embedded in age-old communities. This book consists of 21 narratives developed from brief accounts recorded by local anthropologists and historians from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The goal is to capture the major themes found in the existing sources. The book also includes translations of 17 brief folk stories about Vlad Ţepeş, known as Dracula. Contrary to the prevailing fictive image, these stories portray Vlad as a wise although strict ruler and a proud defender of his country’s autonomy. An introduction discusses the Transylvanian village and its rich folk traditions, making explicit the comparison to the historic and to the fictional Dracula.

About the Author(s)

Adriana Groza teaches in the Rhetoric and Writing Department at San Diego State University. She was born in the Romanian province of Transylvania, but now lives in San Diego, California.

Bibliographic Details

Adriana Groza

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7702-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1492-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
Part I: Village Morality and the Danger from Vampires
• The Daughter of the Priest 15
• The Wedding Day 19
• The Mysterious Suitor 26
• The Promise 32
• The Two Girls 38
Part II: Vampires Among Us
• The Dinner Guest 45
• The Pet 50
• The Strange Attraction 54
• The Parents with Two Sons 60
• Two Widows 67
Part III: Interlude—How to Recognize a Vampire 73
Part IV: Identifying and Eliminating Vampires
• The Soldiers and the Old Woman 93
• The Cursed Family 100
• Dangerous Promises 106
• The Vampire’s Revenge 111
• The White Flower 116
• The Red Flame 121
Part V: Vampires as Friends and Lovers
• The Vampire’s Friendship 127
• The Drunkard 133
• The Journey Together 137
• For Now and Forever 141
• The Vampire and the Thief 147
Part VI: Seventeen Folk Stories About Vlad Ţepeş (Compiled by Ion Stăvărus, translated by Adriana Groza) 151
On Historical Sources 173
Bibliography 179
Index 183