the Vampire Watermelon, revisited and researched
In December 2003, Wikipedia user Jwrosenzweig first asked:
I think this is totally bogus. Can anyone confirm this belief? Jwrosenzweig 21:03, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Since then a debate has raged on the veracity of the Vampire Watermelon; with several users clearly on the "this is totally bogus" side, and others willing to give it a chance.
I consider myself a casual user of Wikipedia. I only came across the Vampire Watermelon when it was posted to memepool on Sunday November 7th. Research by AlexG had traced the origins of the belief to a series of articles by one T. P. Vukanovic, who published his article "The Vampire" in the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. AlexG requested these materials from the British Library, but had not received them in over two months at last count.
As luck would have it, the UC Berkeley library has all of the JGLS (call number DX101.G6). Here are the relevant parts.
T.P. Vukanovic, "The Vampire."
Published in the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society in four parts; part one in Volume 36, parts two and three in Volume 37, part four in Volume 38.
Images are scans of photocopies of the originals, 8-bit PNG.
00 -- Inside cover of the index to the 36th volume.
01 -- Table of Contents to the 36th volume.
02 -- First mention of animals, plants, and agricultural tools.
03 -- Animal and vegetable vampirism discussed.
04 -- Agricultural tool vampirism continued, and some information on vampires for context.
05 -- Methods of vampire destruction. Footnotes were cut off during copying.
[I'm paranoid, so I went ahead and Coralized the image links. If they don't work for you for whatever reason, here's non-coralized links.]
KM is an abbreviation for Kosovo-Metohija.
A belief in vampire watermelons has existed among a portion of the Gypsy people.
I believe that posting these extracts falls under fair use. Nevertheless I plan to contact the GLS for clarification.
Last modified 11:31 UTC 10 Dec 2004