Thursday, March 30, 2023

10 More Things You Didn't Know About Vampires

By Ty Hulse

"In Popeca, vampires are said to be at their worst before Easter"

The blood drinking, milk curdling, lords of the dead who haunted the living in a terrifying parody of what people believed to be good and decent. 

It's important to remember that there isn't one type of vampire, but many regional variations. Irish vampires might ensnare someone's mind to get them to do as they wanted but in many other places vampires were more likely to crush someone to death. These "things" about vampires then are, as with all things regionally specific. 

1-December is the time of vampires, for there were a series of Holidays starting in November and ending in early January in which they were most likely to come out, sometimes in the form of owls, or mice, or many other animals. In Romania they would all go to the cross-roads and battle each other in a huge night long fight.

2-Vampires might also fight each other over hunting territory like any territorial animal. There are stories of one vampire chasing someone into another vampires territory, at which point the two vampires fight over who gets to feed on the victim for so long the sun came up and the vampires collapsed, returning to being corpses, allowing the person to escape. 

3-Romanian vampires would sometimes cut their victims faces into a permanent smile, putting them on stakes, and positioning them in such a way that they were most likely to scare the living. One girl thought her friends had survived a vampire attack and waved to greet them happily, only to discover the horrifying truth moments later. 

4-In many places there were people who were born as vampires. Really anyone who was born under weird circumstances could be a vampire. In 19th Century Greece if the elder child began to grow sickly a mother might suspect that their youngest was a vampire. These living vampires would send their souls from their bodies in the form of a bluish flame, an animal, or person, to search for blood. They would also drain cows of their milk and blight fields, just as any undead vampire would.

While they were outside their body they were vulnerable, for if anyone moved their body they would die.

In one story from Transylvania a women fed some poor soldiers some porridge. When they'd finished they went to find and thank their hostess, and in the attic they found her with seven other bodies laying down. Afraid they fled. Looking back they saw seven lights descending on the house. These were the souls of the vampires returning to their bodies.

5-People were more likely to accuse those they knew of being vampires than to accuse strangers. This is because vampires were most likely to attack family members and friends. They did this as a subversion of Christian covenants (evil starts at home).

6-If a vampire could kill his whole family, then the entire village within seven years they would be able to move to a new country, become human, and have another family which would become vampires on their deaths.

7-Some vampires might return to their families and continue to live as they had in life (secretly) they would chop wood, do field work, care for children, spin thread, whatever they'd done in life. Yet they were likely either abusive or dangerous to the neighbors, as women would at times ask their children to kill the vampire (the reason the children were asked isn't always given)

8-People would sometimes burn a suspected vampire, mixing its ashes into a drink to give life energy back to the people the vampire had stolen it from. Others would pass through the smoke of a burning vampire to gain protection against evil. If one bone of the vampire remained unburned, however, the vampire would grow back from it.

9-Vampires could enter unclean homes, homes without clean water, homes in which there was no one, or homes which weren't holy without an invitation. 

10-Many times vampires could ask objects inside a home to let them into the house. Agnes Murgoci wrote in her book on Romanian vampires that "All lamps may be put out and everything in the house turned upside down, so that if a vampire does come, it will not be able to ask any of the objects in the house to open the door."

 especially thread which was spun in the moonlight (at night). It was therefore dangerous to spin any or sew at night as that gave the vampire an ally within your house...

By the way it might interest you to know that many factories run 24 hours a day, so many of your clothes would be made at night.

With that pleasant thought, sleep well. 

11-If a vampire could make you sneeze three times in a row they would have power over you.

  A Worldbuilder’s Guide To Fairies and Fairy Tales (Writer's Guide to Myth and Lore) Kindle Edition