Monday, March 23, 2015

Real Stories of Vampires from Transylvania


Across the Forest: Documentary in Transylvania from Justin Blair on Vimeo.

The traditional vampire story has its origins in the folk beliefs of the Slavic Orthodox Christians. It was believed that any Orthodox who converted to Catholicism or any heresy was cursed. The sign of this curse could be observed after death if the body refused to be decomposed. This belief is still very popular in traditional Orthodox countries, but it has gone even further to a belief in actual vampires who would rise from their graves at night to steal the life blood and energy from people. One way villagers dealt with this issue was by driving a stake through the heart of the suspected vampire and decapitating it, among other things. This extreme ritual is still a fairly common practice in villages of one of the largest Orthodox countries in the world - Romania.

Two American filmmakers went to Transylvania to collect stories of vampires (strigoi in Romanian), werewolves and ghosts in the documentary Across the Forest. They find that belief in these creatures still exist in the small villages of the Carpathian mountains. This documentary showcases interviews with Romanian villagers who share their experiences about vampires.

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