Attention Buffy Wannabes: There Might Be a Vampire Hanging Out in SerbiaS

So I know you had plans to go see the Dingoes at the Bronze later and I don't want to ruin your night — especially because I heard that guy Angel is gonna be there and you know he likes you — but I talked to Giles and it looks like there's a chance that we might have to send you Serbia to take care of this vampire ghost that has the locals a little worried. I know you don't want to, but the fact of the matter is that you are the Chosen One, the one born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil — blah, blah, blah — and the villagers of Zarozje may need you.

Okay. Cosplay over (wink wink — we have to keep your identity a secret) and moving on to the real news. The local council in Zarozje, a small village in Serbia, have recently issued a warning to residents to keep garlic in their pockets and hang crosses in their front rooms out of fear that Sava Savanovic, a famous vampire in Serbian folklore who is said to have lived in the local watermill where he would kill and drain the blood of mill workers, has returned following the mill's recent collapse.

Though some claim that this is merely an attempt to draw tourists to the village, it's clear that the majority — a little a shamefacedly — believe in the legend. Says local Mico Matic, "One should always remain calm, it's important not to frighten him, you shouldn't make fun of him. He is just one of the neighbors, you do your best to be on friendly terms with him."

Municipal (watchers) council member Miodrag Vujetic was a little less lighthearted: "Five people have recently died one after another in our small community, one hanging himself. This is not by accident." Of course, he then goes on to add, "If Romanians could profit on the Dracula legend with the tourists visiting Transylvania, why can't we do the same with Sava?"

All in all, it seems as though most villagers are taking a better-safe-than-sorry way of looking at it. According to vampire legend expert and lecturer in Renaissance Studies at the U.K.'s University of Durham Richard Sugg, the fear created by these myths is very real and can cause issues with stress and nightmares. "The tourists think it is fun and the Serbian locals think it's terrifying," he says.

Think it's a Hellmouth?

Weird news: Vampire on the loose in Serbia [Salon]