Talk:Vampire pumpkins and watermelons

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Bunnicula[edit]

I know that this article is a hotbed of controversy, but I felt that adding information about the Bunnicula series of childrens' books could only help to ground the discussion of this article's merits in reality just a little bit more.

Is it true that the vegetables themselves were vampiric in Bunnicula? All I remember is that the vampire rabbit fed on the vegetables. Can you provide details; quotes maybe? —Triskaideka 16:47, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If the vegetables aren't vampiric themselves, this reference doesn't quite belong. I'm going to the local library tomorrow; I'll try to find a Bunnicula book. - mako 00:03, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's a story about a pet rabbit who (the story is told from the perspective of the family dog, I think) the dog thinks is a vampire. He suspects this because vegetables in the kitchen are turning up blanched white with all the juices sucked out of them. The dog (and cat?) enter into some sort of investigation, etc. I didn't have time to read it, as it's a pretty long junior-fiction type book. In fact I probably read it back in elementary school. Anyway, there's nothing about vampiric vegetables AFAIK, unless that's the major plot twist. Until proven otherwise, I'm removing the Bunnicula reference. - mako 22:29, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
One of the sequels -- The Celery Stalks at Midnight -- centers around alleged vampire vegetables. Dan 06:24, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

So, can we get rid of the disputed facts tag?[edit]

Seems pretty clear that this isn't something just made up, although the author of the book could have been fooled by the locals, that is discussed in the article. The actual scans of the book documented here seem to show that the source is valid. Wikibofh 16:20, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I'd move for that. I'd like to make sure that we're in proper accordance with copyright though, as that extract is significantly large enough to not be fair use (and is being hosted on my webspace). I still haven't asked the Gypsy Lore Society for clarification after all these months; my bad. - mako 01:30, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, me too. Removing. Bryan 05:05, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The article currently doesn't mention the idea that locals might have been fooling the writer.
It is significant that is only one source for the stories, and we don't want to describe it as if it's more well-verified than it is, so I have added the words "described by ethnologist Tatomir Vukanović" to the first sentence, to make this very plain.
Btw, another interpretation might be that the Roma people told/tell these stories in the same vein as stories about drop bears or hoop snakes - because they're funny. Agnostically, Singkong2005 talk 09:35, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm no expert, but the Roma seem(ed) to be pretty serious about their beliefs, and were known for being superstitious. The "fooling the writer" idea strikes me as too speculative to mention in the article. - mako 06:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree - it would constitute unverifiable original research and would therefore be inadmissible content. The fact that only Vukanović records it actually isn't that significant - the Roma of Kosovo were (and are) an extremely marginalised and oft-persecuted minority. Anthropological research among that particular group wouldn't be particularly fashionable now, let alone in the 1930s when Vukanović was working. He was very likely the only researcher asking such questions, so we shouldn't be surprised that he's the only source for the stories that he heard. -- ChrisO 07:38, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough - I certainly wouldn't want to put such a suggestion in the article if there's no source for it. But the fact that Vukanović is the only source is significant IMO, regardless of the reason for this. Not that we should make a fuss about it, but it should be described here as something recorded by Vukanović, so that the source is clear - I added ", described by ethnologist Tatomir Vukanović." which I think is probably adequate.
Mentioning the source in the first para also means less readers will have the initial reaction that I had, i.e. "This a hoax page, right?" --Singkong2005 talk 04:07, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

comment from an anon user:[edit]

This information is incorrect. The vampire watermelon was created by Terry Pratchett in his Discworld Series of books.

Please check your sources more carefully.

You might want to read the article a bit more carefully, as it gives a much older source. -- ChrisO 16:06, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
If you check the archives of alt.fan.pratchett, you will find Pratchett himself noting that vampirism in non-obvious objects is a common folk belief - and that includes watermelons. See his posting there of Nov 2 1998. search alt.fan.pratchett

factual dispute[edit]

All the so-called sources of this information trace back to a single source, Vukanovic. Who is this Vukanovic that his account is accepted as valid without any corroberation? Until an independed source than confirms this outrageous claim can be found it should be regarded with extreme skepticism.

So provide some counter-evidence, then. -- ChrisO 17:12, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
Like what? A list of sources that DON'T mention vampire watermelons. I'm sorry but the responsibility is on those who want the informtaion in the article to show that it is true or at least likely. So long as the entire claim rest on one corroberated source it is in doubt.
You still haven't provided any counter-evidence or even said what it is you don't like. It's purely your word (an anonymous person?) against a published author who was a respected authority on Roma folklore in the first half of the 20th century. On the whole, I'd be inclined to trust Vukanović... -- ChrisO 20:27, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
BTW, I'd suggest checking out Argument from ignorance, which explains rather well why your position doesn't stand up. -- ChrisO 21:56, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
You obviously don't understand my position if you think that article is relevent. Nothing in that article says that the lack of evidence for something makes it true. There is (so far) insuffiecnt evidence to conclude that there ever was such a legend as vampire watermelons. This does not make the legend false, but neither does it make it true. This article presents something which may or may not be true as if it is known to be true.
Counter-evidence in this case could be a source that denounces Vukanovic or in some way casts doubt on his credentials. Bryan 03:20, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
You don't find it odd that the only people who have ever heard of this legend beside Vukanovic are people who got their information from him? If I find a dusty old book that says that Antarctica is made out of cream cheese should I assume it to be true unless I can find another book that says "Antarctica is not made out of cream chease"? In spite of all the effort that has already been put into verifying the truth of vampire watermelons in folk lore only one source for the information has ever been found. If there really is such a folklore surely someone can find an alternative source. When you find it let me know.
Your own personal incredulity is completely irrelevant - it doesn't even begin to constitute counter-evidence. I suggest that you bring some actual evidence to the table rather than slapping a tag on any article you have trouble believing. -- ChrisO 19:01, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
It should also be noted that the Romani/Gypsy community has historically been the victim of prejudice, and as such, there is not a large body of research to draw upon. - mako 16:04, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
This is certainly true of the Romani community in Serbia, where they were (and are) not very well regarded. It's entirely possible that Vukanovic was the only researcher investigating Kosovo Romanies at the time. -- ChrisO 18:56, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

You cannot justify dubious information simply by saying that it's hard to verify.

Your own personal incredulity is completely irrelevant
The problem is that it should take more than one report to make somthing an accepted fact. Someone needs to either find coroborating evidence or the article needs to be rewritten to make it clear that we don't really know for certain that any such legend ever existed, but citing as evidence in favor of it one scholarly report while also pointeing out that no other independent source for the information has yet been found.
See my comment above. -- ChrisO 18:56, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
The standards for determing that something is true do not change just because the evidence is scarce. If the validity of this legend is unkownable because of the scaracity of research then the article should reflect that.
Have you actually provided any evidence to suggest that Vukanovic may not be a good source? If you're still just using "this strikes me as dubious" as the basis for this dispute, then I'm afraid I have to agree with ChrisO - that's not sufficient basis to actually have a dispute over. For example, I can counter with the argument "this strikes me as perfectly plausible" and that's pretty much that. The evidence is all already presented in the article, including the fact that Vukanovic is pretty much the only source, so I just don't see the problem here. Bryan 15:45, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Is agreeing with me such a bad thing? ;-) But you're right, of course... -- ChrisO 17:31, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

The title of the whole paper is "The Vampire", and it does indeed talk about all aspects of vampirism, not just vegetables and melons and tools. I do not think that our anonymous friend would argue that the vampire legend does not exist, even though this is the only "serious" paper I can find about vampirism.

I spent some more time yesterday skimming the JGLS. Vukanović is listed as a "Corresponding Member" of the Gypsy Lore Society and an address is given in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Grabbing a random bound volume off the shelf, he had written the following:

  • "The Gypsy Population in Yugoslavia" (1963), JGLS 42:10
  • "Ritual Communion Among Gypsies in Serbia" (1964), JGLS 43:22
  • "Gypsy Pilgrimages to the Monastery of Gračanica in Serbia" (1966), JGLS 45:17

You can see that these are anthropology-type articles, and "The Vampire" is also written from that perspective. Therefore there is little reason to believe Vukanović was not being honest in his accounts. The GLS memberlist also includes most of the world's big-name universities, so surely somebody would have complained if something sketchy was published.

In any case, some factual errors have crept into the article that need to be corrected. I may try to NPOV the skepticism further; perhaps that will appease our anonymous friend. I will also archive past talk, as this page is getting large. - mako 16:16, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks Mako. I think the article is much improved by your changes. I've started a stub article on Vukanović at Tatomir Vukanović, so I'll add your list of articles to the bibliography there. -- ChrisO 17:31, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


The wording needs changing! it should say that it is a superstition not a traditioon, because there is no proof that a watermellon becomes a vampire!

Blood...[edit]

So what is the 'blood' on the Vampire watermelons (such as the one pictured)? Is it melon juice, bruises on the melons skin or something? I'm not a melon expert so I don't know if the appearance of red liquid is normal!

PJB :-) 15:00, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Why don't you get a melon, keep it for 10 days, and find out? Assuming it doesn't bite you ;) - mako 07:04, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't want to risk it (even if they don't have teeth!). I'm assuming it's probably just bruises on the flesh or leakage or something, especially if it appears after 10+ days in the open. Plus it probably doesn't matter...except to its victims (Insert over-the-top evil laugh)
PJB 18:30, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Prejudice and bias[edit]

The previous version of this article marginalized vampire pumpkins and displayed blatant and flagrant favouritism toward the vampire watermelon minority even though pumpkins represent the clear majority of plant-based vampires and were given prominence in the primary sources. I have now corrected this oppressive injustice. I understand some of you come from sheltered backgrounds but please open your minds and do not allow traditional prejudices prevent your acceptance of vampire pumpkins as equal to vampire watermelons. Bwithh 02:41, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Word, man! Power to the pumpkins! 69.135.180.37 02:45, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

WOW[edit]

So then this article really isn't vandalism???? Missmissy 01:20, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Proving that truth can be (and often is) even less believable than fiction. -- Derek Ross | Talk 19:18, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, for certain values of "truth" anyway... See Crushing by elephant for another example of an unbelievable-but-true article; I'm currently working on an article on Fox tossing which probably falls into the same category. -- ChrisO 19:30, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh come now, executing criminals via animals is at least plausible, whereas this article seems completely implausible. Though Fox Tossing sounds like it is in the same straits as this article. Titanium Dragon 07:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
See for yourself - it's at Fox tossing now. You be the judge. :-) -- ChrisO 20:15, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

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