Vampire Folklore

The Vampire of Melrose Abbey 1 of 10

One of the most famous vampire cases was chronicled by 12th Century writer William of Newburgh. He wrote of a vampire that haunted Melrose Abbey in England.

  • The vampire was a former priest who had neglected his holy vows and wasted his days on nefarious activities.
  • After death, the priest arose from his grave and attempted to enter the monastery, but failed every time. Instead, he took to wandering the countryside and visited a woman to whom he was formerly a chaplain. The woman reported the visits to the monks at the monastery.
  • Several monks kept watch over the graveyard where the priest was buried. One monk kept watch while his fellow brothers were asleep, and he witnessed the dead priest rise from the grave. The monk hit the dead priest with a battle axe and sent him back into the grave. The ground closed over the corpse, and the grave returned to looking undisturbed.
  • The monk recounted his story to his fellow brothers. In the morning, they opened the grave and examined the corpse. The axe wound was as he had said, and the coffin was covered in blood. They burned the body and scattered the ashes.