Cuntius, Johannes (Pentsch Vampire)

Cuntius, Johannes (Pentsch Vampire) Silesian vampire who behaved like a poltergeist and Incubus. The case was recorded by Henry More in An Antidote Against Atheism (1653).

Johannes Cuntius was an alderman who, at age 60, was kicked in the groin by one of his horses. He fell ill. Upon his deathbed, he proclaimed that his sins were too grievous to be pardoned by God, and that he had made a pact with the devil. When he died, his eldest son observed a black CAT run to his body and violently scratch his face. A great tempest arose and did not subside until he was buried. Friends of Cuntius prevailed in persuading the local church to bury him on the right side of the altar, an exceptionally hallowed spot.

Cuntius was dead only one or two days when rumors circulated around the village that an Incubus in his form was forcing itself upon women. Sexual molestations continued after burial, as well as poltergeistlike disturbances. Trampling noises resounded throughout his house at night, so severe that the entire house shook. Objects were flung about. Sleeping persons were beaten. Dogs barked all over town. Strange footprints, unknown to man or beast, appeared around the house.

The list of more disturbances was long. The Cuntius specter demanded conjugal rights with his widow and molested other women. It strangled old men, galloped around the house like a horse, wrestled with people, vomited fire, spotted the church’s altar cloth with Blood, bashed the heads of dogs against the ground, turned milk into blood, drank up supplies of milk, sucked cows dry, threw goats about, devoured chickens, and pulled up fence posts. Terrible smells and the sensation of foul, icy breath permeated the Cuntius house.

Signs of vampirism were visible around the grave: Mouse-size HOLES were found going all the way down to the COFFIN. If they were filled, they reappeared. The villagers at last had the body of Cuntius dug up. According to MONTAGUE SUMMERS in The Vampire in Europe:

His Skin was tender and florid, his Joynts not at all stiff, but limber and moveable, and a staff being put into his hand, he grasped it with His fingers very fast; his eyes also of themselves would be one time open, and another time shut; they opened a vein in his Leg, and the blood sprang out as fresh as in the living; his Nose was entire and full, not sharp, as in those that are ghastly sick, or quite dead: and yet Cuntius his body had lien [sic] in the grave from Feb. 8 to July 20 which is almost half a year. . . .

His body, when it was brought to the fire, proved as unwilling to be burnt, as before to be drawn; so that the Executioner was fain with hooks to pull him out, and cut him into pieces to make him burn. Which, while he did, the blood was found so pure and spiritous, that it spurted into his face as he cut him; but at last, not without the expense of two hundred and fifteen great billets, all was turned into ashes. Which they carefully sweeping up together . . . and casting them into the River, the Spectre never more appeared.

Further Reading:

  • Barber, Paul. Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1988.
  • Summers, Montague. The Vampire in Europe. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1929.

From: the Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley -a leading expert on the paranormal -Copyright © 2005 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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