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In Catalan mythology, Comte Estruch—whose real name was either Arnald Estruc or Wilfred Estruch—was a 12th-century Catalan wealthy noble.
The legend says that King Alfonso II of Aragon sent the old noble Count Arnald Estruc to fight paganism and witchcraft at Llers Castle (Alt Emporda) where the Count was killed in 1173. Having led an un-Christian life, after his death the Count become a demonic being. Count Estruch sucked blood from the villagers in the area and seduced and impregnated young women. After nine months, these women would give birth to monstrous newborns who were dead at birth.
Conde Estruch terrorized the villagers for several years until finally the monster was found and killed by an elderly nun. Other versions say that a hermit of Jewish origin that made the Count rest using ancient rituals associated with Kabbalah. The castle was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). This legend is the oldest vampire tale in European history and is one of the few Spanish myths associated with vampirism.
This legend was popularized in the novels of Salvador Sainz (Estruch, El cine Dracula), and in a few short stories by the same author (Les filles d'Estruc, L'hote d'Estruc, Strigoiaca, L'anneau d'Estruc, Les caves Marcia....).
- Dossier Vampirismo de Tali Carreto Revista Freek, Cádiz (20 de febrero de 2006)
- El gran libro de los vampiros de Angel Gordon, Morales y Torres editores.
- Vampiros, mito y realidad de los no-muertosde Miguel C. Aracil, Editorial Edaf, S.A.
- Vampiros: magia póstuma dentro y fuera de España de Jordi Ardanuy. Barcelona, Luna Negra, 1994.
- Salvador Sáinz : Estruch, 1991.
- Salvador Sáinz : El cine de Dracula, 2007.
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