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May 29th, 2003

The Vampire A to Z.

taken from here:

Mara:

A Slavic vampire, also found in the legends of the Kashube people of Canada. Said to be the spirit of an unbaptized dead girl, she is considered to be a terrible night visitor who crushes and oppresses her victims. In the Slavic legend once the Mara drinks the blood of a man she will fall in love with him and will return to plague his slumbers till his death. She is also said to be fond of feeding on the blood of children.

Brahmaparush:

A vampire from India that enjoys consuming human beings. This creature would drink a victims blood through its skull, than eat the brain from the skull and finally proceed to wrap the victims intestines around its body and perform a ritual dance.

Adze

A vampire spirit that dwells in tribal sorcers among the Ewe, a people inhabiting parts of southeastern Ghana and southern Togo in Africa. The Adze flies around in the form of firefly but, if caught, changes into a human. It drinks blood, palm oil and coconut water and preys on children, especially handsome ones.

Vrykolatios

A vampire species found on the island of Santorini. They are described as fiends which banquet on the living.

the site is pretty neat. i figure you could use these myths in a similar way to people using fairy tales, and faerie myths, as well as ancient greek stories and so forth. anyhow, there's a whole heap of different vampires on the site. these are just a few that caught my eye, though my favourite is the adze.

Causes of Vampirism

In the older lore, vampires where usually people who had died unnaturally (such as falling off a wagon, murdered, etc.) and couldn't face true death yet, had been killed by a vampire, or an animal had walked over their grave. Also, witches, were-wolves, and cruel or evil people became vampires after death. It was believed that children born with cauls, teeth, or feet first were going to become vampires, as well as any child who died before baptism. In modern lore, a vampire can bite his victim one to three times, or perform a blood exchange (suck his victim dry and replace the victim's blood with his own) to make the victim a vampire.

?

well, i'm not so sure i follow this logic since it paints early generations as just plain stupid, but still:

Before anyone understood the process of decomposition, it was believed that any corpse that became bloated, showed blood at the mouth, grew long hair and nails, "moved" or had a ruddy complexion was a vampire. It was popular to exhume bodies to make sure the dead stayed dead. When a corpse was believed to a vampire, the exhumers would take a stake made of ash, hawthorn, or maple and pound it into the corpse. Then the head would be cut off. At this point, one had several options. The decapitated body could be burned, its ashes spread to the winds, or the corpse could be buried on the opposite side of stream. If the stake and cut measures didn't work, the moving water would stop it. At least for the people who lived on the right side of the stream...

My. God.

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