So I was rummaging through the book-boxes looking for something else entirely when I re-found something I hadn’t seen for years (as you do).
This time it was “The Natural History of the Vampire” by Anthony Masters. My copy’s a rather tatty paperback from Mayflower Books, published in 1974 and bought while I was still at school. Of course I promptly started to read this old friend again -
And was only a quarter of the way in when I snrked a tea backfire through the nose because of just one line…
Bulgaria was a typical example of a backward country very much a prey to bouts of terror concerning the undead. In 1863, for instance, there was a voracious epidemic of vampirism amongst the remote villages. Villagers burned candles at night and collected together in public places, in unity against their spectral enemy. They claim to have been besieged by Obours (vampires) who, according to Dudley Wright in “Vampires and Vampirism” (1914),
“…lit up the streets with their sparkles. Some of the most enterprising of them threw their shadows on the walls of the rooms where the peasants were assembled…"
After a bit of Google-fu (not involving internasal tea this time) it looks like sparkly vampires have a history after all.