Sava Savanovic – The First Vampire In The World


LEGEND

Sava Savanović was said to have lived in an old watermill on river Rogačica in village Zarožje, municipality Bajina Bašta. It is said that he used to kill and drink blood from millers coming to mill their grains.

Although he is usually said to have been the first Serbian vampire, there were claims that there is an earlier vampire in Serbian folklore, Petar Blagojević from Veliko Gradište, who died in 1724. Petar Blagojević and the affair surrounding him came to European attention at the time, under name Peter Plogojowitz, and was one of the earliest examples of vampire hysteria.

From several decades ago until today, the watermill has been property of the Jagodić family and is usually called “Jagodića vodenica” (Jagodići’s watermill). It was functional until late 1950s when it was closed and put out of work. Recently mill became tourist site and also there is tourist atractions in Valjevo and nearby villages.

IN CULTURE

Sava Savanović appears in the story Posle devedeset godina (After Ninety Years) written by Serbian realist writer Milovan Glišić, and in thehorror film Leptirica inspired by the story. He also appears in the novel Strah i njegov sluga (Fear and His Servant) writtne by Mirjana Novaković. Leptirica (Serbian Cyrillic: Лептирица, translation The She-Butterfly) is a 1973 former Yugoslavhorror TV movie based on the story After Ninety Years written by Serbian writer Milovan Glišić.Leptirica is considered one of the top Serbian and former Yugoslav horror films.  The opening scene shows an old miller in a mill listening to strange sounds coming from the woods. While he sleeps a millstone suddenly stops working and a strange human-like creature with black hands and long teeth and nails bites his neck.

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