Death at the Wedding is a Russian vampire folktale published by W.R.S. Ralston, Russian Folk-Tales in 1873.
The story begins a soldier being allowed to go home on furlough. As he is walking back to his native village, he comes across a miller nearby that lived an old friend. Taking advantage at the chance to catch up with his friend, he soon realizes that it was getting dark. Getting ready to leave, his friend warns him about the dangers at night, that a curse was set upon the village by a warlock that recently died and pleaded the soldier to stay until the sun rises. This fair warning however did not affect the soldier at the slightest. Ignoring the warning of his dear friend, he ventures back again to his native village during the night.
Upon passing by a graveyard, the soldier was able to witness a fire from afar and there played the warlock who was supposedly dead. They greet each other as if they have met before, using terms such as "brother" to one another. The warlock invites the soldier to a wedding to which the soldier humbly accepts. After casually celebrating the wedding of the couple, the warlock grew tired and thus chase away all the guests as well as putting the dearly couple to sleep. The warlock then proceeds to drain the bloods of the couple from their hands into a vial and promptly leaves with the soldier.
The soldier cunningly starts to ask the warlock questions as to why he retrieved the bloods of the couple to which the warlock replied that it will cause them not to wake in the morning. Cluelessly, the warlock added the procedures to bring them back to life by making a cut upon their heels and have their own blood poured back into the wound. He also added the locations of the vials and which vial belonged to who to the soldier. By the quick of the tongue, he compliments the warlock that he must be impossible to stop. The warlock then proceeds to telling the soldier how to destroy his existence by burning him in a pile of aspen wood and making sure that all the creatures that will try to escape his body to be put back into the fire. When the soldier and warlock had reached back to the graveyard, the warlock intended to kill the soldier. They fought all night, to which the soldier was at his last breath only to be greeted by the sunrise. This caused the warlock to fall lifeless. Not wasting any moment, the soldier took the vials that were hidden and bolted to his native village to greet his relatives.
Acting clueless to his relatives, they mentioned a terrible event that had caused the couple to die. The soldier then asked to be lead to the house of the couples. Upon arriving to the houses, the rich families both were mourning the deaths of the two. The soldier offered a solution to reviving them but only at a price to which the families agreed. Soon behold, the two couple wake and the soldier was greatly rewarded. He then bolts to the elder of the village to inform the steps to ending the warlock. The elder had comply with no hesitation with the solder's request after catching wind of his miracle performance. All preparation was ready, aspen wood had then been gathered and all villagers were ready with weapons to chase the creatures that'll escape the body. The ritual became a success and the soldier received many thanks from the community.
The folklore is but one of many that started the tale of what we see now as a vampire. Over each generation, vampires start to change, from ugly looking creatures with no morals, to today where they share human emotions such as love. These changes are progressed through the readers, or fans, who taken an interest in these mythical and mysterious creatures. As stated by one of the seven thesis from "Monster Culture" by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, "Fear of the monster is really a kind of desire". A being who can be immortal and holds super human capabilities as well as outer forces such as transformation creates the jealously to become one of them.
- Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. "Cultural Studies." Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, "Monster Culture (Seven Theses)" - Cultural Studies.
- Leighton, Steve. "Real Vampire Website: For Real Vampires and People Wanting to Learn about Real Vampires." Real Vampire Website: For Real Vampires and People Wanting to Learn about Real Vampires. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.
- "Death at the Wedding" Undead: Vampires and Ghosts.