Flavius Josephus responds to Egyptian-born historian Apion, who recounts in his book Aegyptiaca a story about Antiochus discovering a man imprisoned in the Temple being fattened up for sacrifice by the Jews.
The tale of William of Norwich, whose abduction and murder in 12th-century England is blamed on local Jews (who were relative newcomers to the area). Encouraged by the Bishop of Norwich, a local monk named Thomas of Monmouth writes a multi-volume work about the boy—who became known as St. William of Norwich and in later years was credited with miracles.
The tale of the murder of "Little Saint Hugh" in 13th-century England led to the first time that a death penalty charge for ritual murder was ever issued by a civil government.
The tale of little Simon of Trent, who in 15th-century Trento in Italy was abducted and killed on Easter Sunday, shortly after inflammatory sermons had been delivered there by an itinerant Franciscan preacher. Eighteen men and women—the entire Jewish population of the town—were arrested and charged with murdering the child in order to use his blood for Passover matzah.
The tale of 14-year-old Eszter Solymosi, who in 1882 disappeared from her Hungarian village while out on an errand. The 5-year-old son of the local sexton was bribed to say that he had seen members of his Jewish community drain the girl's blood, and fifteen Jews were arrested and charged. Although all fifteen were eventually exonerated, Eszter's grave site is an occasional site of anti-Semitic pilgrimages even today.
The story of the spectacular Kiev show-trial in 1913 of Menahem Mendel Beilis, who was accused of kidnapping and stabbing to death a 13 year-old boy. Even the chief of police suspected that Beilis had been framed, and sacrificed his own career to exonerate him. After the trial, Beilis became a Jewish hero and celebrity, and even traveled to America to play the New York Yiddish theater circuit!
The tragedy of the town of Kielce in Poland, to which a small number of Jews returned in 1946 after the nightmare of the Holocaust—only to fall victim to the accusation of a 9- year-old boy who claimed to have been abducted and held in the local Jewish community center. In the ensuing riots, 42 Jews were killed and 40 others injured, and residents of the town were ordered to bury the dead and attend the funeral. The so-called Kielce Pogrom was one reason why almost all remaining Jews fled Poland.