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Legends of Vampires

January 19, 2010 , Posted by byu at 12:37 AM

There are legends of vampire-like creatures from as far back as 125 AD, when one of the first known vampire stories occurred in Greek Mythology. But the word Upir (an early form of the word later to become 'Vampire') appears for the first time in written form in 1047 in a document to a Russian prince as Upir Lichy or 'Wicked Vampire'.

Vampire legends originated in the far East and made their way west with caravans along the silk route to the Mediterranian. From there they spread up into the Slavic lands and the Carpathian Mountains. The Slavic people has the richest vampire legends in the world. They were originally more related to the Iranians, and they migrated to where they are now around the 8th century. Almost as soon as they arrived the Christianization process began, and vampire legends survived as myths. Later the Gypsies migrated westward from the northern part of India (where they have a number of vampire myths as well), and their myths mingled with those of the Slavic people already there. The Gypsies arrived in Transsylvania shortly before Vlad Dracula was born in 1431. The vampire here was the ghost of a dead person, which in most cases had been a witch, mage or a suicider.

Vampires were feared creatures, because they killed people but at the same time looked like people; the only differences were, that they didn't have a shadow, nor did they reflect in a mirror. Besides this, they could change their shape into a bat, which made them impossible to catch. At daytime the vampires slept in their coffins, but at night they lived from drinking human blood as the sun's rays were deadly for them. The most common method was by midnight to fly through a window, in the shape of a bat and bite the victims neck and suck it dry for blood. The vampires couldn't enter a house if they hadn't been invited, but as soon as they had, they could reenter as often as they liked. The slavic vampire wasn't only dangerous because it killed people (many human beings did that), but also because the victims, after death turned into vampires. The vampire's strongest side was, that it was almost immortal; only some very special rites could kill them such as: putting a stick through their heart, beheading, or burning the body. This type of vampire is also the most well-known type, owing especially Bram Stoker's Count Dracula.

Other types of vampires:

Asasabonsam are african vampires. They are normal vampires except that they have hooks instead of feet. They tend to bite their victims on the thumb.

Baital is an Indian race of vampires their natural form is half man, half bat, standing roughly one and a half meter tall.

Baobhan Sith:
The Baobhan Sith (buh-van she) is an evil Scottish fairie who appear as a beatiful young woman and will dance with men they find, until the men are exhausted; they then feed upon them. It can be killed by cold iron.

Bruja is the spanish name for a witch, it was very similar to the Italian Strega and the Bruxa from the neighboring Portugal. It was a living woman who was able to transform herself into various kinds of animals and attack children.

Ch'Iang Shih:
In China there are vampire-like creatures called Ch'Iang Shih; they are created by having a cat jumping over the corpse of a dead person. They appear livid and may kill with poisonous breath in addition to draining blood. If a Ch'Iang Shih encounters a pile of rice, it must count the grains before it can pass on. Their immaterial form is a sphere of light, much like Will-O-the-Wisps.

In Ireland many druids speak of Dearg-Dues which has to be killed by building a cairn of stones upon the grave. The Dearg-Dues can't change their shape.

Ekiminus are Assyiran malignant spirits (half ghost, half vampire) caused by no proper burial. They are naturally invisible and are capable of possessing humans. They can be destroyed by using wooden weapons or by exorcism.

The Cretan vampire Kathakano is much like the originals, but it can only be killed by chopping its head off and boiling it in vinegar.

These are Bulgarian vampires and are also known as Obours. They look like normal vampires, but have only one nostril and a pointed tongue. A krvopijac can be immobilized by placing roses around their graves. It can be destroyed by letting a magician order it into a bottle and throwing it into a bonfire.

Lamias were known in ancient Rome and Greece. They were exclusively female vampires, which often appeared half human, half animal (most often a snake and always the lower part) form. They ate the flesh of their victims as well as drinking the blood. Lamias could be attacked and killed with normal weapons.

Nosferatu is another name for the original vampire, which is also called vampyre.

Rakshasa is a powerful Indian vampire and magician. They usually appear as humans with animal features (claws, fangs, slitted eyes, etc.) or as animals with human features (feet, hands, flattened nose, etc.). The animal side is very often a tiger. They eat the victim's flesh in addition to drinking their blood. Rakshasas may be destroyed by burning, sunlight or exorcism.

This is the Romanian vampire. Strigoiuls are much like the original vampires, but they like to attack in flocks. They can be killed by putting garlic into its mouth or removing its heart.

This is a lesser known European race of vampires. The general way they feed is by having sexual relations with the victim, exhausting them and then feeding on the energy released during sex. They may enter homes uninvited and can take on the appearance of other persons. They will often visit the same victim more than once. The victim of a Succubus will experience the visits as dreams. The male version of a Succubus is an Incubus.

These vampires have origin in Poland and Russia and is also called Viesczy. They have a sting under the tongue instead of the fangs. They are active from noon to midnight and can only be destroyed by burning. When burned, the body will burst, giving rise to hundreds of small, disgusting animals (maggots, rats, etc.). If any of these creatures escape then the Upierczi's spirit will escape too and will return to seek revenge.

Serbian vampires, also called Mulos. They normally appear as people wearing white clothes. They are active both day and night and can assume the shape of horses and sheep. They eat their victims as well as drinking their blood. They can be killed by cutting off their toes, or by driving a nail through the neck.

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