Thursday, June 6, 2013

ABC's of Vampiric Beasts

Day Four of Vampire Week is here, meaning we're over halfway done!  Today's post is a compendium, not of actual vampires, but of a wide variety of monsters, ghosts, and who knows what else, from all corners of the Earth.  These creatures aren't exactly what comes to mind when we think of a traditional, classic vampire, but they are associated with the larger vampire mythos, and share similar traits to the vampire made famous by Bram Stoker.

A big thank you goes to Rosemary Ellen Guiley.  The creatures below came from The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves and Other Monsters and most of the information is from that book as well, with some additional resources thrown in for good measure.  Please enjoy this lexicon of legend, and feel free to add any additional vampiric creatures of your own to the comment section!

Ataru The ataru is an Ashantiland vampire that drinks its victim's blood through the thumbs!  There are actually several vampiric creatures that favor the thumb for some reason...

Baital  A baital is a vampiric spirit from India, and is the more modern term preferred over the older term "vetala."  The baital takes on the form of a 4-5 foot tall half man/half bat (sound familiar?) and is known to both inhabit a corpse, and causing it to reanimate.

Civateteo  This is a Mexican vampiric witch, created when a noblewoman dies in childbirth.  Her evil spirit then rises to hold Sabbats at crossroads, and to take revenge upon living children by causing infantile paralysis and death.  The blaming of sickness and disease upon vampires is a theme that keeps showing up, and is reminiscent of the Mercy Brown story, where a misunderstood case of TB was blamed on a vampire.

Dodo  The Dodo is the spirit of a West African man who dwells in haunted forests, waiting to attack (and eat) its living victims.  It is a shape-shifter with an enhanced sense of smell who prefers to manifest as a snake or a Sasquatch-like creature.  Oh, and it can't cross running water.

Eretik  This Russian vampire is a little more on track with the Dracula imagery, but instead of merely drinking its victims' blood, the Eretik cannibalizes its victim.  When a suspected Eretik is disinterred, a tell-tale sign of its vampire-ness is the fact that it will be found lying on its stomach.  The only way to kill it is to stake it through its back with a stake made of aspen...or simply burn the body. 


I couldn't find any creatures for F-G, so enjoy this photo, from The Paranormal Network

Hantpare  I have a lot of friends who like to run or who are otherwise associated with local charity races.  For their sake, I hope they stay away from this Asian vampire who prefers to suck the blood from a person's running sores, as opposed to the neck!  Ugh.  Don't forget your moleskin.

Incus What's even weirder than sucking blood through a blister?  Sucking it through an antenna, of course!  The Vietnames incus does just that--uses the antenna that grows OUT OF ITS NOSE to suck its victim's blood.  And you thought mosquitoes were yucky...

Jaracaca  Like the dodo, the jaraca, from Brazil, manifests as a snake, but its not blood or even flesh that it craves.  The jaraca attacks nursing mothers, sucking their milk from their breasts.  Adding insult to injury, the beast simultaneously lodges its tail into the mouth of the hungry infant.

Kathakano  The kathakano is a vampire native to the island of Crete.  At first glance, the kathakano acts like an annoying drunk, hanging outside of pubs and bars, smiling.  If you encounter one of these alone, the smile is said to get bigger and bigger, exposing rows and rows of teeth.  It then spits blood into your eyes, blinding you. According to Rosemary, to kill it, not only do you have to decapitate it, but also boil the head in vinegar.  The link I've provided states that there is a LOT more to it than just that!

Lhiannan-shee  The lhiannan-shee is more fairy than vampire.  Manifesting as a beautiful woman from the Isle of Man, she attaches herself to a man and drains him of his life force, leaving him ruined.

Mullo  Mullos are actually really interesting gypsy vampires who rise from the dead for any number of reasons, including revenge and...well...sex.  These creatures can have sex with anyone they choose, and can also impregnate living women (the offspring being a dhampir). Unfortunately, they are insatiable and tend to leave their living partners physically weakened over time.  There are a ton of ways to "kill" mullos, but my favorite method is to steal their sock and fill it with dirt or rocks from their grave site, then throw it in a river.  The vampire will be compelled to search for the sock and drown.  Another interesting tidbit is that mullos have a lifespan outside of human interaction.  They can be members of the undead for as few as 40 days to as much as 3-5 years before dying of natural causes.

Nachzehrer  To the people who inhabited the historic region of Silesia (around Poland), one of the biggest vampiric threats came from the Nachzehrer...but the victim might never actually SEE his/her attacker.  Instead of physical attacks on the living, the Nachzehrer engaged in 'sympathetic' attacks.  While still in its coffin, the beast would eat its own clothing and flesh, which would cause close relatives to die of sickness.  It could leave its coffin, but apparently only to visit belfries to ring the bell...causing anyone to hear it to die, and to tie cows' tails together.  Inexplicably, the beast slept with one eye open and holding its own thumb.

Owenga  A Guinean spirit attracted to spilled blood.  To prevent these evil spirits from roaming, any spilled blood must be cleaned up immediately, and any clothing or objects stained with blood must be immediately destroyed by burning it or throwing it in the sea.  Being a woman, I would have been especially worried about living in this area in less modern times, lol.

Palis  This is a Persian foot-licking vampire demon.  Seriously.  From Persian-Islamic lore, the palis attacks at night and kills by licking the soles of its victims' feet, in the process, draining them all of their blood. The palis, which is not very smart, can be thwarted through the use of salt, but also can be easily tricked. There's a popular legend about two men traveling through the desert who managed to trick the beast. When they went to sleep, they lied down with their feet touching the other's...sole to sole. The beast came upon them in the night, but it could find no soles to lick. In frustration it cried out something along the lines of traveling 1033 valleys and never having met a man with two heads. 

Quaxates  This is another vampire from Mexico, who makes women cry before he bites them.  I would assume this would be true of just about ANY vampire, but is a defining characteristics of this specific entity.

Ramanga  The Ramanga were from Madagascar and were actually beneficial.  Their main purpose was to lap up the spilled blood and eat the discarded fingernail clippings of the royal family, so that evil sorcerers couldn't get ahold of them and use them against them.  Apparently, they needed these creatures in Guinea to keep away the Owenga.

Snow Woman  The Snow Woman (Yuki-onna) from Japan isn't really a vampire; she's a demon with vampiric qualities.  Those qualities are that she marries a human man, and then saps him of all strength, killing him, much like the lhiannan-shee.  She gets her name from another favorite past time:  She appears to exhausted travelers during snowstorms and kills them when they fall into her welcoming embrace.

Snow Woman from Scoop.it

Tin-tin  Bluntly put, the tin-tin is a rapist from Ecuador.  He whistles to lure young girls, then takes them to his cave where he rapes them, leaving them alive but pregnant.

Uahti  The Uahti are also rapists.  Hailing from the Amazon region, these grotesque beings are described as being short, with large bellies, toeless feet, and giant penises who abduct and rape both men AND women draining their life force.  Their presence is announced with a flurry of vampire bats.

Vjesci  The Vjesci is related to the Nachzehrer, and also comes from the same region where the Kashub people resided.  A vjesci, however, could be identified at birth.  Any baby born with a caul over its face was thought to be a vjesci and so to prevent the child from turning upon death, the caul was burned and the ashes fed to the child at the age of seven (kinda like how Mercy Brown's heart ashes were fed to her brother). Also similar to the Nachzehrer, a vjesci could be identified upon death if the left eye was left open.  That's where the similarities end, however.  The vjesci actually physically attacks its victims, sucking blood from a wound directly over its victim's heart.

Sorry; couldn't find anything for W.  Have any suggestions?

Xiang shi  The concept of this entity takes a little time to wrap one's head around it...but its a Chinese demon entity and not explicitly a vampire.  In Chinese lore, every person has two souls:  the po and the hun, which is the higher soul.  Either one of these souls can stay with the body after death, but if the po stays, the body is at risk of being possessed by evil spirits or demons...including the Xiang Shi.  The demonic being isn't the corpse itself, but lives within the host corpse, keeping it alive by sucking the blood or eating the flesh of living hosts or even other corpses.  It is distinguished by its red eyes.

Yuruga  Every online search for this particular entity basically cites and contains ONLY the information from Rosemary's book, lol.  So, anyway, the Yuruga is an example of a vampire legend from Prussia.  The Yuruga allegedly smells so repulsive that its stench can be smelled from a mile away--a trait useful for vampire hunters and would-be victims, but awfully unfortunate for, and counter-intuitive of the vampire's sensitivity to smell that was discussed yesterday.

This is interesting...another Theresa apparently had a similar idea!
The Real Lost Boys

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