Arnold Paole

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Arnold Paole was a Serbian soldier in the Austrian army who became a famous vampire after his death. He was born in the early 1700s in Medvegia, north of Belgrade. He served in the Turkish army.

While stationed in Turkish Serbia, he claims that he was attacked by a vampire. After the vampire bite him, Paole killed it. Feeling cursed, he tried to reverse the effects of the vampire attack by eating soil from the vampire’s grave and smearing himself with the vampire’s blood.

He came home from Medveda in the spring if 1727. The townspeople welcomed his returned, as he was a good-natured and honest man.

He ended up purchase several acres, settled down, and farmed. One day at the farm, Paole fell from a hay-wagon, which cracked open his head. He lingered a few days before he finally died.

After his burial, strange reports began to circulate, claiming that Paole had been seen in various locations about town. The people of the village called on their leaders to look into a possible vampire case, especially as he claimed to have been attacked by a vampire.

Within a month of his death, four people came forth reporting that Paole had attacked them. All four victims died soon after.

About 40 days after Paole’s burial, his grave was opened. Officials from Belgrade stood by to watch the exhumation. Paole’s body was found without decomposition and with blood trickling from his lips. He was declared a vampire on the spot.

Paole’s body was staked. According to stories, it screamed and gushed with blood. The body was decapitated and the body was burned.

The bodies of  the four people who claimed Paole had attacked them were also exhumed and found not yet decomposed. They were also staked and burned.

In 1731, a few years later, 17 Medveda citizens died of a mysterious illness. Two of the dead were in Turkey, in a place where Paole was during his term as a soldier. One reported that she had eaten meat from a sheep that Arnold Paole had slaughtered.  The authorities hired a contagious disease expert to investigate; he found nothing more than malnutrition being the cause of death of the townspeople

A second wave of vampirism reached Vienna, and the Austrian Emperor ordered Regimental Field Surgeon Johannes Fluckinger to conduct an investigation. The body of a man reported to attacking a young girl at night was dug up; it was staked and burned when it was found in the same condition as Arnold Paole. Fluckinger ordered the townspeople to dig up all of the people who had died within the past recent months; forty were exhumed and 17 were found in the same state as Paole. Those were staked and burned.

Supposedly Paole had vampirized several cows that were later killed and fed to the townspeople, which caused the people to become vampires.