Props to Fra Moretta for sending along a news item concerning a modern-day manifestation of the vampire belief.
Many might of you might recall Serbia and Yugoslavia's former president, Slobodan Milošević (1941-2006) and his, uh, let's say, unsavory reputation. He died of a heart attack while on trial for war crimes. But in 2007, he received a heart attack of a different kind:
Serbian vampire hunters have acted to prevent the very remote possibility that former dictator Slobodan Milosevic might stage a come-back - by driving a three-foot stake through his heart.A few interesting items of note. Firstly, the hunters used the same length of stake that Arthur Holmwood does on Lucy Westenra in Dracula (1897). Yeah, that was a three footer, too. Second, as I've pointed out before, Serbia is the vampire's heartland. Third, they tried to drive a stake through his heart. In 2007. Yikes.
Technically speaking, Miroslav Milosevic (no relation) drove the stake through Slobodan's grave. Not sure whether it 'hit the spot'. I'm sure he had good intentions. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the gesture was a bizarre political protest - by a member of the Resistance from Pozarevac, no less - or whether he genuinely believed in the stake's purpose in accordance with vampire tradition. But interestingly enough, impaling the a vampire's grave to prevent it rising is founded in tradition, as is the choice of hawthorn for the stake...
Update: ok, so I was right about the 'political protest' angle. Tanja, a contributor on a JREFF thread dedicated to the news story, exposed it with her translation of a Bosnian news source. Miroslav was indeed making a (ahem) point. I love the local constabulary's reaction to Miroslav's intent to stake the Slobmeister. It's a pisser.