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Vampires of the world

Вампиры народов мира
A vampire in European mythology was considered a dead man who rises from the grave and in the form of a bat sucks blood from sleeping people. And what kind of vampires did other nations represent?

Dahanavarom (Ancient Armenian mythology)

Даханаваром (Древнеармянская мифология) - Вампиры народов мира

In ancient Armenian mythology, Dahanavar was called a vampire who lived in the Altish Alto-tam mountains. He was generous to the inhabitants of his lands and never killed them, but he mercilessly cracked down on strangers by drinking their blood. There is a story allegedly written in 1854 by a certain Baron August von Axausen, which tells of two travelers who fell into the possession of Dahanavar. Knowing about the "tricks" of the vampire, travelers fell asleep in such a way that their legs were placed under each other's heads. Discouraged by the sight of a strange creature with two heads and without legs, Dahanavar left these lands and they heard nothing more about him.

Vetalah - Vampire-like Evil Spirit (India)

Веталах (Индия) – вампироподобный злой дух - Вампиры народов мира

In Indian mythology, there are legends about vetals - vampire-like evil spirits that are part of the retinue of the god Shiva. Vetales inhabit the dead and make them act like the living. The corpse ceases to decompose and walks around the world like a zombie. All these vetals need not to eat blood, brain and other organs of human flesh, but ... out of envy.

Chian-shek - ossified corpse (China)

Чиан-ши (Китай) - окостеневший труп - Вампиры народов мира

Translated from Chinese, "chian-shi" means "ossified corpse." His nails are black, long and razor-sharp. They became like that because chian-shek died long ago and was buried. The muscles of the arms are also numb, so the chian-shi walks with his arms extended forward. The muscles of the legs hardened after death, so it is difficult for the monster to walk. Chian-shek moves in weird leaps. They say that chian-shek travel alone or in groups all over China, sometimes they have to travel hundreds of miles to return to their hometown. Chian-shek, like zombies, are dead bodies that move and prey on people. These creatures feed on blood and can not get enough. They kill people and drink the blood flowing from them. Chiangshi's brain is dead, so they cannot think, see, and speak. They track their prey by smell or by breath. If you meet one of these monsters, you need to hold your breath, then you can get rid of him.

Lamia, Empusa, and Lemurs (Rome)

Ламиям, эмпузам и лемурам (Рим) - Вампиры народов мира

In Rome, ghosts sucking blood were called lamas, empuses, and lemurs. Among them is the night bird Strix, feeding on human blood and flesh. It is from the name of this bird that the Romanian word Striga is formed, like the Albanian Striga. Although the myths about these creatures themselves are mostly of Slavic origin.

Romanian "version" of the vampire

Румынский «вариант» вампира - Вампиры народов мира

The already mentioned striga is the Romanian “version” of the vampire. He looks like a ghoul, including the fact that he was born in a shirt or with some flaw, for example, with a tail or an extra nipple. In addition, he could be born too early or die a “wrong” death. A vampire is recognized by holes in the ground, an undecomposed corpse with a red face, or by the position of one of the feet, if it is in the corner of the coffin. Therefore, the graves were often opened (for example, after the death of a child for another three years) so that the dead person could be tested for a tendency to vampirism.

Kali - Gypsy Vampire

Кали - циганский вампир - Вампиры народов мира

The gypsies most famous vampire-like creature is called Kali. In fact, this is an Indian deity with fangs, hung with garlands of corpses and skulls and having four arms. Kali Temples are located near the places where cremation is performed.

Empus - a man with donkey legs (Greece)

Эмпус — человек с ослиными ногами (Греция) - Вампиры народов мира

Empus - a man with donkey legs - walked along the roads, attacking travelers who were late, but never entered the houses. Lamia is a woman with a body covered in snake skin and goat hooves on her legs. She was only interested in children. The reason is. that she herself was once the queen of Libya and the mother of a large family. But her children all died during the epidemic, and the inconsolable Lamia cursed the gods and the entire human race. Angry gods turned the beautiful queen into a monster. Since then, Lamia goes hunting every night, kidnaps children and drinks their blood.

Kappe - Vampire (Japan)

Каппе — вампир (Япония) - Вампиры народов мира

Kappe is a vampire living in the water. Kappe became drowned children. They were covered with green skin, they grew membranes between the fingers and a tortoise shell on their backs. Several rows of sharp teeth appeared in the mouth. Kappe dragged the swimmers by the bottom and drank blood, biting a vein under the knee or through the anus.

Aswang - Creature (Philippines)

Асванга — существо (Филиппины) - Вампиры народов мира

Aswang is the creature into which the murdered young girl is transformed. In the afternoon, aswangs look like beautiful girls with loose hair, in wreaths of flowers. They lure young hunters and children into the forest, where the rays of the sun do not fall, where they bind their victim with vines and drink her blood. At night, asvangs turn into large black birds. They sit on the roof of the houses and launch into the chimney a long and hollow, like a proboscis mosquito, tongue. With this language, they pierce the veins of the sleeping and suck their blood.

Ghoul is an unpleasant creature (Arabian Peninsula)

Гуль — неприятное создание (Аравийский полуостров) - Вампиры народов мира

The ghoul is an unpleasant creature into which the black sorcerer turns after death. During the day, ghouls hide in dark caves and clefts of rocks and go hunting at night. He attacks the travelers, rips his throat and drinks blood. If you manage to catch a child, eat him, leaving only the bones. If the ghoul is not lucky in the hunt, he will not disdain to dig out the corpse from the grave and gnaw off a hefty piece.

Tlahuelpuchi (Central America)

Тлахуелпучи (Центральная Америка) - Вампиры народов мира

Along with the "classic" vampires, there are still tlahuelpuchi. Unlike the "undead", the tlahuelpuchs are even quite alive. They are born in families leading their own kind from the priests of ancient bloody cults. Thirst for blood manifests itself somewhere from the age of thirteen. Blood is required from one to four times a month. To hunt, tlahuelpuchs fly in the form of a giant bat. Typically, all victims of the tlahuelpucci necessarily die - the vampire drinks all the blood to the drop.

Ghoul (Slavic)

Упырь (Славянский) - Вампиры народов мира

If you believe the Slavic myths, a ghoul (they called the vampires “vampires” “with a light hand” by Pushkin, who wrote a poem of the same name in 1836) could be anyone who was born in a “shirt”, with teeth and a tail, who was conceived on certain days, who died a “wrong” (unnatural, premature) death, who was excommunicated and over whom the wrong funeral rituals were performed. In order for the dead man not to become a vampire, a crucifix should be put in his coffin, and some object under his chin (so that the dead man would not eat the funeral shroud). You could also pin the clothes of the deceased to the coffin or put sawdust there. It is believed that vampires are terribly fond of counting something, so while the awakened dead counts each of these sawdust, he simply dies. In addition to this, it is possible to pierce the dead body with spikes or stakes (hence the tradition of driving a stake into the grave), thus nailing it to the ground. Another sure and well-known remedy against vampires is garlic.


Упырь (Славянский) - Вампиры народов мира

Like the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, vampires have a long history in Germany, and the German vampire is very reminiscent of a Slavic vampire. By the tenth century, Slavic expansion reached the lands along the Yates River and swept the eastern part of Germany. Slavic and Germanic peoples were mixed. Their myths were mixed too. Thus, the mythical vampire of these peoples acquired many common features. The most famous of German vampires was the nachtterer, or “night captor,” the vampire of northern Germany. The equivalent to him in southern Germany (Bavaria) was a bluesauger, literally "bloodsucker." This term is colloquially called unpleasant people. In literary sources, the vampire appears under the names "nakhttoter", "knight of the night", "neointoter" or "killer of nine." Like the Slavic vampire, the nakhttserer was again returning (recently dead, returning from the grave to attack the living, usually his family and acquaintances).

As well as the Slavic vampire, the nakhttserera gave rise to unusual circumstances surrounding death. A person who died suddenly as a result of suicide or accident was a vampire candidate. Like in Poland, a child born in a cap (a membrane that covered the face of some children) was sentenced to become a vampire, especially if this cap was red. Nachttzerer has also been associated with epidemic diseases. When a group of people died from the same disease, observers often recognized the one who died first as the cause of death of the others. There was a belief that if one removed the person’s name from the funeral clothing, he would return as a vampire.

The Nachtcerers were known to have the habit of chewing their own limbs in the grave (faith probably arose from the fact that they found bodies that were victims of predators after burial in shallow graves without a coffin). So, their faces were not touched, and their hands and other limbs were missing or torn to pieces. The vampire's activity in the grave continued until he stopped eating his own body and his clothes. Then the vampire rose and, like a ghoul, ate the bodies of others, often in the company of a woman who died in childbirth. Their activity could be identified by the sucking sound, which was attributed to the woman who is breastfeeding the child. When their coffins (those who were sufficiently wealthy buried in one) were opened, the nakhtseerers were found lying in puddles of blood, because the vampires poured themselves to such an extent that they could not keep all the blood they consumed.

To protect themselves from the attack of a vampire, people took various measures. Some put a lump of earth under the vampire's chin, others put a coin or stone in his mouth, while still others tied a handkerchief around his neck. In extreme cases, people cut off the head of a potential nakhttserer and stuck a spoke into his mouth to attach his head to the ground or to fix his tongue.

Some faith in the vampire persisted in rural Germany. Affons Schweigert explored the Blutzauger in Bavaria in the 80s. He discovered that faith in a vampire not only continues to exist, but that there are also some unique aspects of this faith. In appearance, the bluesauger was pale and, according to the description, resembled a zombie. In Bavarian folklore, people became vampires because they were not baptized (Bavaria is part of Germany, where the Roman Catholic Church was dominant), practiced witchcraft and targeted an immoral lifestyle or committed suicide. They could also become vampires by eating meat or eating an animal that was killed by a wolf. During the burial, if the animal jumped over the grave, this could also lead to the return of the deceased in the form of a vampire. The same outcome was if a nun stepped on the grave.

If a blutzauger appeared in the community, residents were advised to stay at home at night and coat the doors and windows with garlic and hang hawthorn around the house. If someone had a black dog, then it was necessary to watch her, draw on her another pair of eyes, from which the vampire would run. To completely kill the vampire, they advised to pierce his heart with a stake, and put garlic in his mouth.

Beliefs and customs regarding vampires in Germany and Eastern Europe were the subject of several books as early as the 17th century (although no one used the term “vampire” in these texts). Notable works were: “De Masticatione Mortuorum” (1679) by Philip Rohr, who discussed the habits of the Nachttzerer, and “De Miraculis Mortuorum” by Christian Frederic Garman (1670). At the beginning of the 18th century, a whole stream of reports of vampires from Eastern Europe began to leak into Germany. Active debate in universities flared up. Although Germany was unable to avoid vampiric hysteria (epidemics were recorded in East Prussia in 1710, 1721, and 1750), the vampire problem seems to have arisen from widespread newspaper reports about the investigation of vampirism in Serbia in 1725, and especially the investigation of the Arnold Paul case in 1731-1732. The popularized version of the Arnold Paul case became a bestseller at the book fair in Leipzig in 1732.

Arnold Paul (or Paole) was the hero of one of the most famous vampiric incidents in the 18th century. It arose in the midst of a wave of vampire attacks that swept central Europe from the end of the 17th century until the middle of the next century. These cases in general, and Paul's case in particular, were the main reason for the lively interest in vampires in England and France at the beginning of the 19th century.

Paul was born at the beginning of 1700 in the Bear, in the region of Serbia, located north of Belgrade, which later became part of the Austrian Empire. He served in the army in those parts, which were called "Turkish Serbia", and in the spring of 1727 he returned to his hometown. Paul bought several acres of land and settled on it, farming. He liked a young woman from a nearby farm, was engaged and was about to get married. He had a good disposition, was honest, and the townspeople gladly welcomed him upon his return. However, a certain gloom prevailed in his personality. Finally, Paul told his fiancé that his problem was related to the war. In Turkish Serbia, a vampire attacked him. In the end, he killed the vampire, following him to his grave. He also ate some of the earth from the vampire’s grave and washed his wounds with the blood of a vampire to cleanse himself from the effects of his attack. However, he is still in fear of being “spoiled” by this attack. A week later, Paul was the victim of an accident that led to his death. He was immediately buried.

Three weeks after his funeral, reports of Paul's appearances spread. Four of the people who reported this died and panic seized society. The community leaders decided to act to suppress the panic. On the 40th day after the funeral, the grave was opened. During the exhumation, two military surgeons were present. They made a conclusion about the unnatural decomposition of the body - the body looked as if he had just died. It seemed that under the old skin there is new, and the nails continued to grow. The body was pierced, and blood gushed out of it. Those who were present decided that Paul was a vampire. When pierced, he made a loud moan. Paul’s head was cut off and his body burned. But this is not finished. Those four who died after telling about what they saw Paul were subjected to the same ritual in order to avoid their return as vampires.

In 1731, in the same area, about 17 people died of symptoms of vampirism within three months. The townspeople hesitated with actions until one girl complained that a man named Milo, who had recently died, attacked her not in the middle of the night. The news of the second wave of vampirism reached Vienna, and the Austrian emperor ordered an investigation by regimental field surgeon Johannes Flackinger. Appointed on December 12, Flackinger went to the Bears to collect eyewitness accounts. Milo’s body was dug up and found to be in the same condition as Arnold Paul’s body. They pierced the body and then burned it. How is it possible that vampirism, which was eradicated in 1727, is back again? It was found that Paul infected several cows. By order of Flackinger, the townspeople continued to dig up the bodies of all who died in recent months. Forty of them decomposed, and 17 were in the same condition as Paul's body. They were all pierced with stakes and burned.

Flackinger wrote a full report on his activities, which he presented to the emperor in early 1732. Soon, his report was published and became a bestseller. By March 1732, reports of Paul and the Bear vampires were circulated in France and England. Due to the status of documentary evidence, they became the object of future study and reflection on vampires, and Arnold Paul became the most "famous" vampire of the era. Paul's case was a reference point in the studies of the House of Augustine Calme and Giuseppe Davanzati - two Roman Catholic scholastics who prepared books on vampirism in the middle of the same century. (based on the materials of JG Melton "Encyclopedia of Vampires").


In the spring of 1866, the American ship Atlantic sailed in the waters of the Indian Ocean. It was a fairly large whaling ship with a displacement of 290 tons.

A team of 30 people was engaged in the usual work of cleaning and tying a whalebone and preparing barrels for fat. AND....

May 23 was a sunny day and a light breeze blew. A cook named James Brown was cleaning the pan while sitting on the deck. Twenty-five-year-old Portuguese was not tall, but athletic in build with thick dark hair and brown eyes. His body was covered in abundance with tattoos in the form of anchors, eagles, hearts pierced by an arrow. It often happened that sailors scolded and even fought among themselves. This was a common thing, because the ship went to sea for a year and the sailors managed to annoy each other to death. So on this day, James Foster, stepping out onto the deck, hooked Brown with a sharp tongue. A fight ensued. No one even tried to separate them. Foster pulled out a knife and wounded Coca in the chest. Only after that, James Gardner and John Soares, who were working nearby, separated the brawlers and dragged the wounded Brown into the cubicle. Fortunately, the wound was not deep and soon the cook was able to resume his duties again.

Once on a ship two sailors Foster and Gardner disappeared. They were not seen on the deck and for dinner they also did not go out. Late in the evening the whole team began to search for them. Captain Benjamin Wing, grabbing a lantern, went down into the hold, where the finished products were stored - barrels of whale fat and bundles of whalebone. A terrible picture terrified him - Brown bent over Gardner's lifeless body and eagerly sucked blood from a wound in his throat. Nearby lay Foster's dead body ... completely bloodless.

The captain ordered the sailors to seize Brown, who was very strong, and the team took a lot of effort to tie him and lock him in a closet. When examined on the bodies of the victims, huge wounds in the neck were made by a knife, and it became obvious that James Brown sucked blood from them! The captain forcefully pacified the sailors, ready to throw the vampire overboard. The Atlantic Whaler was heading for Boston's home port.

The trial of the vampire took place on November 13, 1866, at which James Brown was convicted of double manslaughter. During the process, he was calm, not saying a word in his defense. The court sentenced: hanging by death, but on January 3, 1867 received a pardon from US President Johnson, who replaced the sentence with life imprisonment. Brown was imprisoned in Charleston prison for a long 22 years.

The prison, which is a gloomy granite building, was located in Massachusetts. It was not possible to escape from there. Cells with high ceilings had small windows, from where the prisoners saw only a piece of the sky. The courtyard, which was occasionally taken out for life prisoners, was surrounded by high walls.

At first, Brown was placed in a common cell, but because of the constant fights with his cellmates, he was transferred alone. Once, for one day, he had to hook a robber and a murderer, who was also sentenced to life imprisonment. Brown dealt with the inveterate felon, and in the same way as with the sailors from the Atlantic, having sucked blood from the victim. The vampire was again tried, so he received another life sentence.

Brown brought a lot of trouble to the guards and in 1889 he was sent to an even more stringent and better guarded prison in Ohio. But here, the vampire did not miss the moment to attack the guards. His violent behavior, bouts of rage, attempts to cling to any throat with any teeth proved that the prisoner moved his mind. On this basis, he was transferred to the madhouse of Washington. After nothing is known about him, it is believed that he died there. However, in the archive for unknown reasons there is no record of the death of James Brown.

In those days, American newspapers were full of headlines about Brown as a real vampire, who in prison was deprived of the opportunity to drink the blood that served him as food, and so he went crazy.

A real case of vampirism was recorded in Rhode Island in 1892. Interestingly, the vampire from Exciter was also called Brown, only George. Newspapers wrote that his family, his wife and two adult daughters, died suddenly. The causes of their death were not established, so after a while it was decided to exhume the bodies buried in the local cemetery. On March 17, a specially created commission noted the death of Hilda’s nineteen-year-old daughter from bleeding, red bite marks on the girl’s neck testified to this, and, having died two months ago, she did not decompose at all. They were going to start a criminal case against George Brown on the fact of the murder of their relatives. But, without waiting for the arrest, the vampire disappeared without a trace. It remained a mystery how he did this, because a guard was on duty at his house.

Stories about vampires of the same name have been retold hundreds of times in print. On the American continent, notes were increasingly appearing that some people showed a pathology - the desire to drink human blood. Similar distortions were studied by the Austrian psychiatrist Richard von Kraft-Ebing, who attributed them to the category of sexual disorders.