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Between 1744-1753 Samuel Johnson and William Oldys, who had been the literary secretary to Edward Harley, 2nd earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, from 1738 until his death in 1741, edited "The Harleian Miscellany: A Collection of Scarce, Curious, And Entertaining Pamphlets And Tracts, as well In Manuscript As In Print, Found In The Late Earl Of Oxford's Library, Interspersed With Historical, Political, And Critical Notes." It included "Travels of Three English Gentlemen" (ca. 1734), the 1st English reference to a "vampyre." But the 1st printed mention of the being was in a 1689 book by Johann Weikhard Freiherr von Valvasor which described the "Glory of the Duchy of Carniola" (now Slovenia), including an account of Giure Grando, a reanimated corpse who was finally killed by chopping off his head, which “began to scream as if he were still living, and the grave filled with blood.” The word may have been derived from the Turkish "ubir," a supernatural being who subsisted by feeding on the blood (or other life essence) of living creatures. If a corpse was jumped over by a dog or cat it would become an ubir.
Very interesting history. Thanks for posting it!
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