Friday, October 3, 2014

The Legend of Jure Grando

Jure Grando was a peasant who lived in Kringa/Corridico, a small place in the interior of the Istrian peninsula near Tinjan/Antignana, Croatia. He died in 1656, but according to legend, came back as a vampire (štrigon) and terrorised his village until his decapitation in 1672.According to the legend, for 16 years after his death, Jure would arise from his grave by night and terrorise the village. The village priest, Giorgio, who had buried Jure sixteen years previously discovered that at night somebody would knock on the doors around the village, and on whichever door he knocked, someone from that house would die within the next few days.Jure also appeared to his terrified widow in her bedroom, who described the corpse as looking as though he was smiling and gasping for breath, and would then sexually assault her.When Father Giorgio eventually came face to face with the vampire, he held out a cross in front of him and yelled "Behold Jesus Christ, you vampire! Stop tormenting us!" At that moment tears fell from the vampire's eyes.The bravest of the villagers led by the prefect Miho Radetić chased and tried to kill the vampire by piercing his heart with a hawthorn stick, but failed because the stick just bounced off of his chest.One night later, nine people went to the graveyard, carrying a cross, lamps and a hawthorn stick. They dug up Jure's coffin, and found a perfectly preserved corpse with a smile on its face.Father Giorgio said: "Look, štrigon, there is Jesus Christ who saved us from hell and died for us. And you, štrigon, you cannot have peace!" They then tried to pierce its heart again, but the stick could not penetrate its flesh.After some exorcism prayers, the one villager, Stipan Milašić, took a saw and sawed the head off. As soon as the saw tore his skin, the vampire screamed and blood started to flow from the cut, and soon the whole grave was full of blood. According to legend, peace finally returned to the region after Jure's decapitation.