The fairy tale "The Young Man and His Vampire Brother" written by Yugoslav Romany.

Plot Summary Edit

The story commences with a man who has just re-married after his first wife passed away. His new wife does not like her husbands son so she gives her husband a choice, either the son goes or she goes. The husband, being in love with his new wife, sends the son off with twelve dinars. The boy sets off and comes across a town where there is a dead man laying in the market place. He finds out that no one wants to bury the dead men because he died before he payed any of his hefty debt. The young man feels remorse towards the dead man and decides to use the money his father gave him to pay off the dead mans debt and bury him properly. Having dealt with that, the boy proceeds on his way to the next town.

While going to the next town he runs into the man he had just buried in disguise. The dead man, who is now a vampire, offers to accompany the young man. In the next town the vampire convinces the boy to take the job of guarding the pasha's daughter, who has just passed away, for three days and nights. Every man that had guarded the girl had mysteriously died. The vampire gives the boy specific instructions to hold the Holy Script above his head and never take his eyes off it or he too will die. The boy listens to the vampire and nothing happens to him for two nights. On the third night however the vampire tells the boy to get into the coffin when the girl rises from it. He does as he is told and the girl, unable to return to her coffin, breaks out of the spell placed on her. The young man brings the awakened girl back to her father. The father, delighted, offers the boy his daughters hand in marriage and finds him and the vampire jobs.

After a while the boy decides he wants to visit home and sets off. On his way home he stops off at a tavern where he's cheated out of all of his money and possessions by two men in a game of cards. Left with nothing he takes a job as a Swineherd.

His wife waits for him for a long time, but eventually decides to go find him with the vampire brother. When they come across the tavern the vampire brother challenges the two men, who turn out to be vampires as well, to a game of cards. The vampire brother cheats and takes everything the two men own, including what they won from the young man.

After a long time they finally find the young man. They clean him up and return home. When they get home the vampire brother splits all of the money and possession they earned evenly. The vampire then splits the wife down the middle evenly with his knife, where a serpent then emerges from her split body. The vampire brother then proceeds to admit to the young man that he is in fact the dead man that the young man had buried a long time ago. The vampire tells the young man that he has repaid his debt to him by helping the boy get a wife, returning his foturnue back to him that the two vampires stole, and getting rid of the evil serpent that was in the wifes body. The vampire concludes it all by saying that he has only been given permission to be on earth for forty days and today is his last day. The vampire brother and the young man then part their separate ways.

Deeper thoughts Edit

This tale would most commonly be categorized under Vampire folklore in Eastern Europe. However it is interesting to compare many Eastern European folklore tales involving vampires to one another because often times they give different descriptions of the vampire character in the each tale. For instances in, "Bucket of Blood", the vampire in the tale has a savage thirst for blood which is a common trait associated with many vampires. Other traits the vampire in this tale has are the vampire is unable to enter any homes with crosses on the gates, the vampire come from the grave at night kills people and drink their blood, the corpse disappears before morning, and can be killed with an aspen stake. In another Eastern European folklore tale, "The Vampire", describes a different sort of vampire then these two tales as well. This vampire is described as an attractive young man who is well dressed. The vampire in this tale eats corpses, kills people, and can be killed with holy water. Unlike the vampires in "Bucket of Blood" and "The Vampire" in the tale "The Young Man and His Vampire Brother" is not described as a killer. His vampire traits are having come back to life from the dead, being cunning, and exploiting others. There are a couple of different common defintions of a vampire so it interesting to look at different folklore tales and see what type of vampire defintion is being used.

Sources Edit

"The Young Man and His Vampire"

RSSS 315 slidcast by Dr. Caffee

"The Vampire"

"Bucket of Blood"

"Vampire Legends in Slavic Europe" article


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