One of the most famous cases of vampirism of the eighteenth century. Apparently, this was one of the best-attested and most detailed accounts and a document which gave the facts was signed by three army surgeons and counter-signed by a lieutenant colonel and a sub-lieutenant on January 7, 1732.
The Surgeons claimed the vampric manifestation concerned a young man named Arnold Paole who returned to his native Meduegna from service in Greece in the spring of 1727. He purchased a cottage and 2 acres of land and settled down, which aroused some suspicion among the inhabitants, who wondered why such a young man should retire from his active life in his early prime.
Though he was honest in his dealings and steady in his conduct, the locals nevertheless sensed a certain strangeness in his manner, though they could never exactly pinpoint what it was. As time passed, he courted a woman named Nina, the young daughter of a rich neighboring farmer. Despite their engagement, the girl always felt there was a shadow between them and she eventually asked him what troubled him so.
Paole told her that he was always haunted by fears of an early death. This omen was largely due to a strange adventure during his Army service in Greece. He told his fiancée that in those parts the dead returned to torment the living; by ill chance he had been stationed in a reputedly haunted spot and had experienced a visitation from an undead being. He was able to fend off the vampire and he had experienced no ill effects after the incident.
During the harvest, Arnold fell from the top of a loaded hay-wagon and was badly injured. After lingering for a short time, he died. In a few days his body was laid to rest, as they thought, in the village churchyard.
About a month later, reports began to circulate that Arnold had been seen wandering about the village after nightfall and several people whose names are entered upon the official report, complained that they were haunted by him and that after he had appeared to them they felt unusually weak. Shortly after, several of these people died, and a panic spread throughout the neighborhood during the following winter. After the cold and frantic winter, it was decided that the body of Arnold must be disinterred.
The party consisted of 2 military officers, two army surgeons, a drummer boy who carried their instruments, and the authorities of the village. It didn't take long to unearth the coffin, which was then dragged out of the ground. They soon kicked off the lid and they saw that the corpse had moved to one side, the jaws gaped wide open and the blue lips moist with new blood which had trickled in a thin stream from the corner of his mouth. Even the officers and surgeons accustomed to the horrors of the battlefield were visibly rattled. Paole looked, indeed, as if he had not been dead for a single day. In fact, upon examination, they found new, clear skin and new finger nails growing on the body.
Accordingly, they scattered garlic over the remains and drove a stake through his heart, and, it is said, the body gave a piercing shriek as warm blood spouted out. When they finished, the went about the work of exhuming Paole's four victims. The records gave no details as to what state these were found in. When all the necessary precautions were taken, the bodies of all five were burned.
It was thought that these actions would put an end to vampirism in the village, but that was unhappily not the case. About 5 years later, there was a fresh batch of deaths, apparently through loss of blood. This time, officials did not wait long to cope with the danger, immediately ordering the examination of all graves in the cemetery. Some extraordinary cases were found, with bodies exhibiting similar conditions; bodies untouched by decay, and indeed some looked to be healthy and plump. Several such bodies were found. It was then that the commission of inquiry was set up and the medical reports signed in 1732.
The primary source for this story is the book "The Vampire in Europe" by Dr. Montague Summers.