Mysteries » Misterije | 77 12th December1731andsentareport inwhichhewrote that he didn’t find the plague, but he did come across vampires. The locals were threatening to abandon the village if nothing was done, while the Austrians were aware that the border could not be maintained without an able-bodied population. That’s why they sent an entireexpeditiontoMedveđa, ledby Dr Johann Flickinger. What the expedition encountered there was far worse than the most imaginativenightmares.Atotal of seventeencorpseswereexhumed, twelveofwhichmatchedthedescriptionofavampire–theirbodieshadn’t begunrotting even threemonths after death, and their hair and nails seemed tohave grownback. Fearing arebellionamongthe locals,DrFlickingerorderedthatthevampiresbebeheaded and then burned.Their asheswere scattered intothe river,while thedecomposedbodiesof thosewho hadn’tsuccumbedtovampirismwere returned to their graves. After completing themission, Flickingerwrote the famous Visum et Repertum report, which was soon published in numerous European newspapers, causing a real vampire sensation and leading to the great popularity of horror literature and terrible stories about bloodsuckers. But it’snot just rural areas inSerbia that are fertile ground for stories of the creepy. Every city has its light anddark sides, and this is especially true for major cities. As much as they are known for their brightly lit squares, elegant buildings, monuments and parks, there are always dark, poorplaces, slumsandcaverns, neighbourhoods that even law enforcement officers were reluctant to enter, suitable for crime and horror. Belgradedoesn’tdiffer fromothermajorcities inthat respect.Various parts of the city have spawned their ownurbanlegends, andthebookBelgrade Noir, which was recently publishedbyAmericanpublisherAkashic Books, brings the storiesof fourteen Serbianauthors that arededicatedto the city’sdark side– fromthe central streets andmunicipalitieswithmysteries and crimes hiding behind elegant architecture, via the outskirts and dark industrialised areas, all the way to the brutalist architecture of NewBelgrade. Intheir stories, prominent local writers like Vladimir Arsenijević, Miljenko Jergović, Verica Vincent Cole, Mirjana Đurđević, Aleksandar Gatalica, Oto Oltvanji and othersdescribe theBelgradedistricts that,duetotheiratmosphere,appearance or history, provide constant inspiration for creativity in the fantasy, horror and supernatural genres. Jedan od najvećih pisaca naučne fantastike svih vremena, Artur Č. Klark, pominjao je Rtanj kao „pupak sveta“, ubeđen u to da njegov vrh emituje posebnu vrstu energije / One of the greatest sci-fi authors ever, Arthur C. Clark, mentioned Serbia’s Rtanj Mountain as the “navel of the world”, convinced as he was that a special kind of energy is emitted from its peak Rimski bunar na Kalemegdanu / Roman well on Kalemegdan Ko jeGoran? Objavio je roman Nakot (1993), kao i Od šapata do vriska, priče strave i fantastike (1996), Šilom u čelo, priče fantastike i strave (2000). Autor je i Bleferskog vodiča za horor (1995). Zastupljen je u Antologiji nove srpske fantastike. Priredio je nekoliko antologija horor, odnosno SF književnosti. Jedan je od najpoznatijih srpskih prevodilaca, priređivača, izdavača i pisaca žanrovske proze. Njegovu petu zbirku kratke proze Klopka i druge priče objavila je Laguna. WHO ISGORAN? He published the novel Nakot (1993), as well as FromWhispers to Screams, Stories of Horror and Fantasy (1996), and Sewing in the Head, Stories of Fantasy and Horror (2000). He is also the author of the Bluffer’s Guide to Horror (1995) and appears in the Anthology of NewSerbian Fiction. He has compiled several horror and sci-fi literature anthologies. He is one of Serbia’smost famous translators, editors, publishers and prose writers. His fifth collection of short stories, “The Trap andOther Stories”, was published by Laguna. FOTO: ISTOCK