Monday, February 24, 2014

5 Vampire Fairy Tales

Article by Ty Hulse's guide to Vampires in fairy tales. Some of these fairy tales are translated into English here for the first time.

"Light cannot banish the darkness, it can only hold it at bay, 
while making it impossible for our eyes to adjust to the night, 
to the darkness beyond the little circle of light..."

Vampire tales, tend to be short encounters with the dark world, only a very few of them are long and descriptive. This is good, because these tales can act as quick writing prompts to help inspire your own horror stories.

The Vampire and St Micheal

A young man who everyone makes fun of as a fool is traveling through a kingdom where the Princess becomes a vampire. In sorrow the king orders that every traveler reads prayers over her body in hopes that she can be cured. One by one the travelers are sent to her, and one by one their bones are cleaned up in the morning, until at last it's the boys turn.

Keep in mind:

There was very little difference between religion and magic in Europe. Indeed the Roman's thought of magic as simply being religious formulas turned to self serving ends. So the boy in this story very closely resembles the idea of what a wizard would be.

 Being a fool was a sign that he existed outside societies system and rules. Very much like a modern day nerd. This existing outside societies rules gave people magical powers, allowing them to become witches, shamans, etc.

St. Micheal in this story fits the idea of familiar spirits, such as witch's cats, or cunnings fairies.

Boyfriend Vampire

Once upon a boy and a girl, who loved each other, but the young man died and became a vampire, though the girl didn't know this. So that night, when she was alone in the house, the vampire came. But while vampires can enter unclean homes, the girls home was clean, so the vampire dared not enter.
So he called up to the girl's window in his familiar and loving voice, and so lured her out into the night. Although she was still undressed, he convinced her that it was urgent that she come with him, and so he took her hand and led her to his tomb.
"Come in," ordered a vampire.
"No, one heart, I'm afraid," she said.
Then he went in first, and called,  "Come on hurry!"
"Wait," the girl said, "I lost beads. It must be around here have fallen. "Then she began to run, and ran until he came to the house, the windows of which light was on. The girl on the bench came in and saw the dead man named Abram. Closing the door on the latch, she hid on the stove. A deceived vampire ran after her, and when he came to the house he banged on the window and shouted, "Abram, open the door!"
The corpse rose up to open the door.
The girl desperately looked around for some means of escape, and at last saw cock.
"Please crow, dear cock," the girl begged.
"It's still early to crow," the cock told her.
"Please, crow," the girl pleaded.
"Very well, because you are clean and of pure soul, I'll crow early for you," the cock agreed. So the cock crowed and Abram fell to the ground, unable to move at the sound.
So the girl was able to escape because she had always been good.

A Party With Vampires

In a poor village, the young boys and girls would gather for parties in abandoned houses. Here they would should so loudly and have so much fun you could hear them clear on the other side of the village. They danced about, and the boys did tricks to impress the girls and soon they were all shaking with laughter.
Late one night when they were partying, three unknown young men came into the party.
"Good evening," they greeted each other and joined to the general merriment. While others Balagura, one of the girls dropped spindle. It rolled under the feet of the guests, and when she bent to pick it up she noticed that the boys had hooves instead of feet (according to another version, she saw their tails).
What to do?
The girl whispered girlfriends, warning them that the boys were actually vampires. One by one the people began to slip away from the party to flee, but they forgot one girl who was napping behind the stove.
When they realized that she was missing the next day the girls and boys went to the empty home. As they approached, they saw her smiling face in the window and so breathed a sigh of relief.
The girl's sister ran forward, happy to see that her sister was alright, but when she got into the house she started screaming. Her sister's face had been sliced into a permanent smile, her head placed on a stake by the window. Her guts were hung about the room on nails.
The Girl Who Marries a Vampire

There once was a woman who fell in love with a young man who seemed perfect in every way. At last the two of them were married and the women went to the young man to his house. He led her into the kitchen, where he had a girl hanging from meat hooks, for the young man was really a vampire.
"Cook this girl for our supper," the vampire told his new bride.
The girl began to weep, and she refused to do as the vampire asked, so the vampire hung her up on meat hooks and well.
The vampire feasted for many days, but eventually his food ran out, so he went back to his now deceased brides home, and told the bride's little sister that his wife was sick and wanted to see her. So he led the sister back to his house, where he hung her up as well and feasted for a number of days. Eventually he was hungry again so he went back to his brides house and there he told the youngest sister that both sisters had become sick and wanted to see her.
Thu youngest sister, however, was suspicious of him, so when he led her to his house, she pretended to need to use the privy before he showed her the kitchen, and peeked about the house, where on she discovered the human bones. Scared she climbed out a window and fled straight away to the village to tell the people what she'd seen.
Soon the village came in a mob and found the vampire, and burned him and his house down.

The Deceived Vampire

An Armenian folk tale about a vampire who offers to help a young man rescue his sister from a king who has kidnapped her.

What you should know

Vampires in Armenian lore were typically children who died without becoming part of the community, thus they were liminal beings, with both male and female parts. They tended to be twisted monstrosities, that loved to haunt and rape both men and women in their sleep. Though like all vampires, they drained people's blood from them as well.

These vampires had a magical jacket which allowed them to turn invisible, and if this jacket was burned they would die.

Sorcerers often used the unclean dead or nature spirits to help them win fights.

There was once an impoverished brother and sister whose parents died. So the brother told his sister, "Let us go out into the world, for there is nothing for us here"
So they left home and wandered the world for some time. Eventually they came to a forest where they built a small house. Here the young man hunted for their food, while his sister made clothing, and performed other household chores.
So time passed, with one day waning into another, and before they knew it three years had passed.
Then one day the young man told his sister,  "I'm going to go into town to sell the many skins I've hunted over the years so that we can at last have money."
As he journeyed to town he strew ashes on the ground behind him so he could find his way home again. Eventually he came in a royal city, where he very soon sold the skins of animals, so that he could buy more hunting supplies, clothes, and many good things.When he was done he returned home to his sister.
A few days later he returned to the city, once more laden with furs. So wonderful were his furs that it wasn't long before people began to talk to him, and they soon learned of his beautiful sister in the woods. When the servants of the king followed him to learn more they saw that the young mans sister was indeed beautiful, so they went and reported what they had seen to their lord.
Now the king, the was still unmarried, so when the young man returned to town he went into the woods asked the man's sister to come and live with him as his concubine.
Indignant at the suggestion of becoming a concubine the sister rejected the king. She tried to flee, but the Kings servants had horses and soon caught her and drug her by force to the king's castle.
When the boy returned, he was unable to find out what had happened to his sister, though he looked for a long time. So he was left to live alone and sad in the forest.
 The beautiful maiden was no less sad day, for she was the kings prisoner,  and he pressed her every day to agree to be his wife, but she refused all his requests steadfast. Though all the time he wooed, her the king tried to keep the girl a secret, but vampires go nearly everywhere and learn nearly everything.
One of these vampires went to the young man in the woods.
"Hello," the vampire greeted the young man. "I've just come from the royal castle, where I wait every night watching your beautiful sister. Ha, ha, but she is so beautiful that we vampires wait at her bedside all night, but we can do nothing for she always is careful to wear a crucifix around her neck. So I've decided to tell you that she was taken to the palace against her will by the King, but I will help you free her if you promise to let me spend a night with her."
Stunned at the news that his sister was still alive, and unable to think of a way to free her by himself he agreed to these terms.
"Go to the castle and challenge the king to a duel," the vampire told the young man. "Although he has never lost a fight, I will stand invisible beside you during your duel and aid you so you will win."
The young man went to the royal palace, and there he insulted the king and challenged him to a duel.
The smiling king replied, "Do you know who I am?" I'm the greatest warrior in the world. I have never lost a battle, so who are you to challenge me?
The young man, however, would not be put off, so he challenged the king again.
The king, not wanting to kill the girl's brother just yet, agreed only to wrestle the young man. When the two of them got into the right to fight, the king tried to throw the boy, but he could not budge the boy, no matter how hard he tried. Then all at once the king found himself lifted up into the air, before being tossed down with so much force he sank down into the hard ground. A second time the king was lifted into the air, and a second time he was thrown so hard that he had to climb up out of the crater created by his fall. The young man knocked the king down again, and held, him fast. He then told the servants that if they valued the kings life they would go and fetch his sister.
When his sister was brought back to him, the young man asked her what he should do with the king, and she told him to forgive the man, for while he was wicked love was often blind. Hearing that his sister forgave the king the young man did as well. When they were leaving, however, the king threw himself at the girls feet, begging her to be his wife. He promised that if she agreed, she and her brother would be happy forever after. Feeling bad for him she consented, and so a date for the wedding was set.

Yes, but what of the vampire!

The young man had made a deal with the monster, a deal he had never intended to keep. That night the vampire came to the youth; "remember your promise," the vampire whispered.
"I remember," the young man assured the vampire. "Come into my sisters room."
The vampire entered into the room, but arrangements had already been made. The sister had been covered in holy water so that the vampire was stunned the moment he touched her, and garlic was scattered about so that he lost his invisibility. Unable to move, the vampires jacket was burned and his soul was sped to the after life, as is the soul of every Christian man after death.
The wedding was held with great splendor now, and the royal couple lived a long time in happiness and peace.