Romanian Government to ban vampire slaying.
As the Romanian government hurries to improve law-enforcement sophistication in its campaign for European Union membership, villagers in the Transylvania region are resisting police crackdowns on their traditional practice of vampire killings, according to a March Knight Ridder News Service report. Vampires (unlike Hollywood conventions using crosses and garlic) are just people who go bad upon death and cause continuing grief to family members unless they are re-killed. The body is dug up; the heart is removed with a curved sickle and burned (but it will likely squeak like a mouse and try to escape unless held down); and the ashes are mixed with water and drunk. Villagers are outraged that some may face criminal charges for disturbing the dead, which carries a three-year prison sentence. [Monterey Herald-Knight Ridder, 3-24-04].