Huet, Pierre-Daniel (1630–1721)
A celebrated French bishop of Avranches who collected
some early reports of vampires. Huet was born on February 8,
1630, at Caen. He was educated at a Jesuit school and by a Protestant
pastor and became a great classical scholar. In addition
to editing Origen’s Commentary on St. Matthew, he studied mathematics,
astronomy, anatomy, ocular research, and chemistry
and learned Syriac and Arabic. With Ann Lefèvre, he edited 60
volumes of Latin classics.
Huet took holy orders in 1676 and became bishop of Soissons
in 1685 and later bishop of Avranches. He died on February
26, 1721. In his Memoirs (translated, 2 vols., 1810) there are
many interesting passages relating to the vampires of the
Hudson, Thomson Jay Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
752
Greek archipelago. ‘‘Many strange things,’’ he states, ‘‘are told
of the broucolagnes, or vampires of the Archipelago. It is said
in that country that if one leads a wicked life, and dies in sin,
he will appear again after death as he was wont in his lifetime,
and that such a person will cause great affright among the living.’’
Huet believed that the bodies of such people were abandoned
to the power of the devil, who retained the soul within
them for the vexation of mankind.
Father François Richard, a Jesuit employed on a mission in
the islands, provided Huet with details of many cases of vampirism.
On the island of St. Erini (the Thera of the ancients) occurred
one of the greatest chapters in the history of vampirism.
Huet states that the people of St. Erini were tormented by vampires,
and were always disinterring corpses to burn them. Huet
states that this evidence is worthy of credence, having come
from a witness of unimpeachable honesty who saw what he
wrote about. He further says that the inhabitants of these islands
cut off a person’s feet, hands, nose, and ears after death,
and they called this act acroteriazein. They hung the severed
parts around the elbow of the dead.
The bishop appears to have thought that the modern
Greeks might have inherited the practice of burning bodies
from their forebears in classical times, and that they imagined
that unless the corpse was burned the soul of the deceased
could not rest.
Huet died February 26, 1721.

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