"Jure Grando Alilović was a villager in Istria (a region of Croatia) who may have been the first real person described as a vampire in historical records. He was referred to as a štrigun, a local word for something resembling a vampire and a demon."-Istrapedia
[The picture on the right-a vampire that resembles that of how villagers describe Jure Grando]
History and legend
"Jure Grando was a peasant who lived in the small village of Kringa, just outside of Tinjan, Croatia. He died in 1656, leaving behind a widow and a wake of terror that haunted Kringa for the next 16 years.
Every night for those 16 years, the good people of Kringa would hear knocks throughout the city in the middle of the night. The knocks were warnings, a promise that someone who lived in a house that had its door knocked had little time left on this world.
Giorgio, the village priest who had buried Jure, soon put it all together. Inexplicably, Jure Grande had returned from the dead to haunt and terrorize the people in his town. That wasn’t all he did.
Every night, Jure would visit his widow. His rancid corpse and ghastly face, which looked like he was smiling and gasping for breath at the same time, would terrorize and rape her every night, forcing what he thought was her marital duties on her well after his death.
16 years later, the villagers began growing tired of living in a constant state of fear every night. Giorgio eventually confronted Jure, wielding his cross and yelling “Behold Jesus Christ, you štrigun (vampire)! Stop tormenting us!” And at that moment, tears began falling from his eyes as he retreated.
A couple nights later a brave prefect named Miho Radetić assembled a group of villages to confront and kill Jure. They found and chased him, and Miho stabbed Jure in the chest with a hawthorne stick.
It failed, with the stick bouncing off his chest as Jure retreated once again.
The next night, a group of nine villagers snuck into the graveyard with crosses, lamps and a hawthorn stick. They tip toed their way to the grave of Jure Grando and dug up his coffin. They opened it, shocked to find the perfectly preserved corpse of Jure with a smile on his dead face.Giorgio then looked upon the corpse and said “Look, strigon, there is Jesus Christ who saved us from hell and died for us. And you, štrigon, you cannot have peace!” Giorgio took the hawthorn stick and slammed it into the heart of Jure, but it would not pierce his flesh!They quickly tried to exorcise the corpse of Jure Grande, but it didn’t work. One villager named Stipan Milasic decided to take things into his own hands. He quickly found a saw and tried to saw off Jure’s head. As soon as the saw cut his skin, Jure’s popped open and a blood-curdling scream escaped his mouth. Blood flowed from his wound and began flooding the graveyard, as the blood of his victims returned to the earth.
Finally, peace had been returned to Kringa."-The legend of Jure Grando, the first person recorded as a vampire
Historical records and writings
Carniolan scientist Johann Weikhard von Valvasor wrote about Jure Grando`s life and afterlife in his extensive work The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola when he visited Kringa during his travels. This was the first written document on vampires. Grando was also mentioned in writings by Erasmus Francisci and Johann Joseph von Goerres (La mystique divina, naturelle, et diabolique, Paris 1855),
whose story was much more elaborate, full of fantastic details to make the story more interesting and sensational. In modern times, Croatian writer Boris Perić has researched the legend and written a book (The Vampire) on the story. There`s also a play made in Pula about Jure Grando and his life.
Kringa is an old medieval village in the middle of Istria. It once had few thousands of people living there, but they all fled and now there are only 365.
The reason of fled is unknown.The village is now famous for Jure Grando.
"Today, Kringa has embraced the story of Jure Grando and have opened up a vampire themed bar aimed at attracting tourists to the town. The Juraj Dobrila gymnasium in Pazincreated a short film called "Vampire of My Homeland" (Vampir moga zavičaja) based on the writings from Valvasor.
The folklore related to the štrigun has recently been documented and examined by numerous scientists at the University of Zagreb."-Modern times-Wikipedia-Jure Grando
This is a link to a few short documentaries and films about Jure Grando: