Sava Savanovic

In Serbian folklore, Sava Savanović is one of the most famous vampires besides Peter Plogojowitz. Local legend said he was lived in an old watermill on the Rogačica river, at Zarožje village. He killed and drank the blood of the villagers when they came to mill their grains. The watermill was bought by the local Jagodic family and they were too scared to use it as a mill – but discovered it was a goldmine when they started advertising for tourists to come and visit it – always during the day. However on November 2012 local council issued a public health warning that a vampire was on the loose after an old ruined mill said to once have been the home of the country's most famous vampire collapsed.

The poster reads 'First Serbian vampire: Sava Savanović'.
Local mayor Miodrag Vujetic said 'People are worried, everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else and possibly other victims is terrifying people. We are all frightened.'

Vujetic said villagers "are all taking precautions by having holy crosses and icons placed above the entrance to the house, rubbing our hands with garlic, and having a hawthorn stake or thorn."

The idea of the vampire most probably has part of its origins in the ancient perceptions of the restless dead. These have been blended with stories of other night terrors to form the vampire motif with which we are all so familiar. Coupled with this are notions of how the dead conducted themselves and conduct how they interact with and react to the living.

"In the dark forested mountains of Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Croatia, many people still believe in vampires and take them quite seriously," says Dr. James Lyon, Ph.D, a noted Balkan historian who has done extensive research on the folklore behind vampires.

Sava Savanovic has maintained his notoriety in modern Serbia. He was featured in a 19th century book "Ninety Years Later" written by Milovan Glisic, whose book inspired a 1972 horror film "Leptirica" (Butterfly), widely watched throughout all of former Yugoslavia. More recently, Savanovic appeared in an award winning book "Fear and Its Servant" written by Mirjana Novakovic.

Encyclopedia of the Undead by DR. Bob Curran;;;;

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