isis unveiled: xii (forbidden ground)

“There are interesting particulars to be gathered in relation to vampirism, since belief in this phenomenon has existed in all countries, from the remotest ages. The Slavonian nations, the Greeks, the Wallachians, and the Servians would rather doubt the existence of their enemies, the Turks, than the fact that there are vampires. The broucolak, or vourdalak, as the latter are called, are but too familiar guests at the Slavonian fireside. Writers of the greatest ability, men as full of sagacity as of high integrity, have treated of the subject and believed in it.

Whence, then, such a superstition? Whence that unanimous credence throughout the ages, and whence that identity in details and similarity of description as to that one particular phenomenon which we in the testimony – generally sworn evidence – of peoples foreign to each other and differing widely in matters concerning other superstitions.

“There are”, says Dom Calmet, a skeptical Benedictine monk of the last century, “two different ways to destroy the belief in these pretended ghosts. …The first would be to explain the prodigies of vampirism by physical causes. The second way is to deny totally the truth of all such stories; and the latter plan would be undoubtedly the most certain, as the most wise.”

The first way – that of explaining it by physical, though occult causes, is the one adopted by the Pierart school of mesmerism. It is certainly not the spiritualists who have a right to doubt the plausibility of this explanation. The second plan is that adopted by scientists and skeptics. They deny point-blank.  As des Mousseaux remarks, there is no better or surer way, and none exacts less of either philosophy or science.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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