What’s your favorite demon so far?

Hello DotW readers:

From time to time, I’ll be checking up to see how people like this blog and what you want to see more of. So, I give you the first DotW (That’s pronounced Dot-Dub, btw) blog poll.

It’s your chance to have your say. I’m so interested in the results!

On Saturday, I’ll either do the long-promised Ghoul, or if I can find something more American for my U.S. friends, then I’ll do that.

Vampires we know and love #2: Strigoi

Think vampires are all the same? Think again! Vampires come in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins ice cream. So, this special DotW feature, Vampires we know and love, spotlights different kinds of bloodsucking fiends from around the world.

Strigoi

Surprise! Were you expecting a ghoul? That’s because I told you that’s what I was doing next in the Asmodeus post.

Why the change? One of the reasons I started this blog is because there’s been a lot of interest in the paranormal in fiction and movies lately, but I find that people tend to just kind of make stuff up instead of doing a bit of research. Don’t get me wrong, I love Twilight and True Blood, but when I hear that a movie has a vampire in it, I say “What kind of vampire?” Are we talking about a Tlahuelpuchi? A Kozlak? A Vetal? A Yuruga?” (Well, okay it’s not going to be a Yuruga.)

So I’m really excited about a movie that’s coming out soon, an indy movie from Romania called “Strigoi.” I’m even more excited because it’s a comedy. Website here.

Unfortunately, that’s all the info I have. Nothing on when it’s opening. But read about the Strigoi below, and watch the trailer when you’re done.

A section of Romania used to be Transylvania, so of course they’ve got some of their own vampire lore. Strigoi (Say it with me, “Strigoi.” Isn’t that great?) are restless dead who suck living blood. They are also living male witches. Bit confusing.

You can become a strigoi if you die having offended your parents (and they don’t forgive you), if a cat walks over your grave, or if you don’t get married before you die.

That last one is my favorite. And it’s the reason that some corpses were ‘married,’ post-mortem.

You can kill a strigoi in lots of different ways that involve mutilating the corpse yadda yadda yadda.

But there’s another way to deal with a strigoi, and it’s the one I completely recommend.

Get the corpse drunk.

Yeah, you read that right. What you do is bury a bottle of whiskey with the body. The strigoi will drink it, get confused, and stay put.

And isn’t that best for everyone involved?

Strigoi the movie

Mid-week Adventures in Demon Hunting 1: Blurry, grainy photgraphs

Several weeks ago, I, and my intrepid friend Jolaine, realized it was high time for this demonic researcher to get out from behind the computer and do some actual, true-to-life demon hunting.

We considered many possibilities. Should we plunge into the dark unknown of the Amazonian rainforest in search of the wild and bizarre? Should we risk our very lives by facing the dark predators of Scotland (not to mention the bagpipes)? Should we delve into historical documents to uncover the truth behind a four hundred year old mystery?

As this was the first expedition (and we wanted to be home in time to pick up some sushi and watch The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency), it was decided that we should ease into the initiative by going local. The expedition committee settled on a location only one province away: the Mythic Beasts exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cmc/mythicbeasts/mythicbeasts01e.shtml

We intrepid explorers donned our camo gear and pith helmets and headed out into an unknown world of strange, almost unbelievable creatures. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will uncloak these mysterious and exotic monsters for you, complete with outlandish claims and grainy photographs.

Grainy photograph #1: Mishipashoo/Mishepishu

The explorer Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec City, describes a Native ceremony in his journal of an 1613 journey up the Ottawa River:

“After carrying their canoes to the foot of the fall, they assemble in one spot, where one of them takes up a collection in a wooden plate, into which each one puts a bit of tobacco. The collection having been made, the plate is placed in the midst of the troupe, and all dance about it, singing in their style. Then one of the captains makes a harangue, setting forth that for a long time they had been accustomed to make this offering, by which means they are insured protection against their enemies, that otherwise misfortune would befall them, as they are convinced by the evil spirit…”

What is this evil spirit, our intrepid explorers had to ask themselves.

Keeping our eyes open, the answer was soon revealed.

Natives who lived in the Ottawa River area believed a monstrous creature lived in the nearby lakes. Without an offering of tobacco to ease its wrath, it would lash its huge serpent-like tail at any stray canoe, tipping its owner and its contents into the water.

This might sound not such a big deal to you or me, or many people who do casual canoeing these days, but the Natives carried their lives in canoes on their voyages. The loss of weapons, hunting instruments, supplies, or warm clothing, might actually mean death.

The creature’s name was Mishipashoo/ Mishepishu, or “great water lynx.” It had the unlikely head of a large cat, a serpent’s tail, razor spikes on its back, and horns on its head.

Gentle readers, at great risk to OUR VERY LIVES, your intrepid explorers bring you an unfocused, grainy photograph of the Mishipashoo. Are you sitting down?

Norval Morriseau, "Mishepishu"

Samuel de Champlain, Charles Pomeroy Otis, Edmund Farwell Slafter, Voyages of Samuel de Champlain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_de_Champlain
http://ottawariverkeeper.ca/river/ottawa_river_creatures_real_or_imagined_the_story_of_mishipashoo

Mid-week demonic update: Scary cute

[Здравствуйте, komarovskiy.net!]

Once more I’ve got to thank Jolaine for the mid-week demonic update…

What a good little boy he is… See, so charming and happy… Come a little closer… It’ll be fine…

Scary? Cute? I can't decide...

It’s a jumping spider. Psst, if you check out the link, you’ll see the photo has been altered a bit. I like the cute version.

According to wikipedia, “Jumping spiders are active hunters, which means that they do not rely on a web to catch their prey. Instead, these spiders stalk their prey. They use their superior eyesight to distinguish and track their intended meals, often for several inches. Then, they pounce, giving the insect little to no time to react before succumbing to the spider’s venom.”

Very soon I’ll write a series of posts on the demon-stalking Jolaine and I did a couple weeks ago.

tcw

Demonspotting 1: Asmodeus/Asmodai

Demonspotting: This DotW feature is your field guide to all things hellish and demonic.

Asmodeus/Asmodai

A charming fellow, Mr Asmodeus. He has a long and varied history–and it’s all very dark.

Hmmmm, come here you sexy thang.

Hmmmm, come here you sexy thang.


For the Hebrews, Asmodeus was one of the seraphim, who, led by Satan, rebelled against God and so were thrown from heaven to become demons. Asmodeus is a player in the Book of Tobit, where he’s attracted to the hot young thing Sarah, Raguel’s daughter. Well, Asmodeus convinces Sarah not to let any man touch her, which is a bit of a problem since Raguel keeps trying to marry her off. Seven times. Sarah kills each one of these guys before they can get busy. And yet men keep lining up to marry her for some reason. Tobit, the hero of the story, marries Sarah and burns a fish heart and liver in their tent on their wedding night. The stench is so bad it makes Asmodeus flee to Egypt, where an angel binds him.

Asmodeus is the demon of lust. But for a lusty demon, he puts the ‘ug’ in ‘ugly’. In de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal (1863), he is shown with three heads, ogre, ram, and bull, the feet of a rooster, and with wings. He also rides a dragon.

But he’s a very busy demon, so he’s also got his hands in the revenge and gambling businesses.

It’s said that King Solomon tricked Asmodeus into building a temple for him. And he may have been married to Lilith, the demon queen of lust.

If you happen to be conjuring Asmodeus, here’s his sigil, that you want to wear on a pendant so that it hangs over your heart:

Asmodeus' lamen (The management takes no responsibility for those who actually try to conjure this, or any other demon)

Asmodeus' lamen (The management takes no responsibility for those who actually try to conjure this, or any other demon)

When preparing to conjure Asmodeus (And really, don’t. Just don’t.), take off your hat, and do not sit down at any time during the ceremony. Apparently if you’ve got something on your head, Asmodeus gains the power to deceive you, but if you don’t he’ll tell the truth. As soon as you see him, ask “Art thou Asmoday?” If you’ve got the right guy, he’ll say so, and he’ll bow to you. (You might be able to say “Are you Asmodeus?” and it’ll still work, but I’m going by the Lesser Key of Solomon here, translated 1904 from medieval documents. That’s what it says, and why would you want to mess with this stuff? Go with the tried-and-true, I say.)

Some people say you should beware of Asmodeus in November, when his power is stronger. Or, between January 30 and February 8.

Frankly, I think you should beware of anyone with three heads at all times.

Come back next Saturday for a little ghoul on ghoul action. And watch for a mid-week update on Wednesday.

Other demons you might like

Sources

Mid-week demonic update: Like a bat out of heck

I’m so cute… You can trust me… My friends and I don’t want to suck your blood… Really…

The Honduran white bat is “near threatened” on the Endangered species list. They look like little flying cotton balls with yellow piglet noses and ears, no doubt to lull you into a false sense of security.

Cottonballs--they don't want to suck your blood. No, really.

These little guys don’t live in scary bat caves. They build these leaf-tents. They organize in harems–so what you’re looking at is a male and his females. Ooooh, evil harems.

You can trust them. They won't hurt you at all. White! See, they're white.

My info says they are one of the few species of tent-building bats that don’t fly away the second they’re disturbed. Come a little closer, they say…

See those little brown marks on the leaf? That’s where they bit the crap out of it. Who’s to say they won’t do the same to you…

Make sure to come back Saturday for Asmodeus. With a name like that, you know he’s got to be evil. And at least he has the decency to look ugly.

Source: CuteOverload

Vampires we know and love #1: Baobhan sith

It’s the Demon of the Week blog one week anniversary! Thanks to everyone who visited last week, all 219 of you, and especially to those folks who signed up for the newsletter, the RSS feed, or who left a comment!

New this week, check out the resources page, where you can see the books I get this stuff out of.

I hope you enjoy this week’s demon, the Baobhan Sith. There’s lots more to come. I counted the posts I’ve written and discovered that I’ve got 102 demons, and only scratched the surface. So, consider signing up for the RSS feed or the newsletter so you never miss a demon.

– Teresa
———————–
Think vampires are all the same? Think again! Vampires come in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins ice cream. So, this special DotW feature, Vampires we know and love, spotlights different kinds of bloodsucking fiends from around the world.

Baobhan Sith

Scottish vampire fairies. Okay, that is so cool, let me say it again: Scottish. Vampire. Faeries.

So, once upon a time, there was a group of four hunters in the Scottish highlands who made camp for the night. As soon as dark fell, they build up their fire, and one of them starts to play some music. Someone wishes they had partners to dance with and–oh boy–out of nowhere come these über hot young women dressed all in green and they dance up a storm.

Well, the guy playing music notices something odd about his friends dancing; they’re bleeding. Terrified, he goes and hides between the hooves of the horses, knowing their iron shoes will protect him.

In the morning, he finds all his friends have been killed and drained of blood.

The baobhan sith don’t have fangs, by the way, just sharp fingernails.

In addition to iron, they can’t take sunlight.

Next week on DotW

Demonspotting–all things hellish–brings you Asmodeus. And watch for a mid-week update on Wednesday.

A good year for werewolves

On December 14, 1598 in Paris, a tailor was burned at the stake.

This guy could have given Sweeny Todd a run for his money. He was known as the Chalons werewolf, and he had a taste for flesh–any kind, so long as it was young.

His MO was to lure kids into his shop (You have to figure there was some candy involved because what kid would go into a tailor’s shop?), where he’d slit their throats and then chop them up like meat. You can guess what he did with them after that.

You’re probably wondering where the ‘werewolf’ part comes in–right here.

Apparently it wasn’t enough for this guy to keep barrels of drying bones in his basement, he was rumored to have roamed the woods outside Paris in the form of a wolf. Just for fun, he’d attack people and rip out their throats.

After his trial and execution, something even stranger happened.

This guy’s crimes were judged to be so awful that the court ordered all records of them, and of the trial, to be burned.

Now that would all be odd enough, except for one more little thing… Actually, make that two.

Our Demon Tailor was not the only werewolf around that time. 1598 was a bumper year for les loups-garou in France.

One Jacques Roulet had been caught with the fresh blood of a fifteen year old boy under his fingernails, earlier that year in Angers, less than 300 km outside Paris, to the east. Roulet was sentenced to death, but he appealed and was sent to an insane asylum for a couple of years instead.

And an entire family of werewolves, the Gandillons, were identified in St. Claude, in the Jura region, also that year. They were all burned at the stake, despite the fact that only one of them was proven to have killed somebody.

Now here’s the thing. If you plot Angers, the Jura region, and Paris on a map, you’ll notice something. It makes a nice little triangle. If you had a car (which would wouldn’t have in 1598), you could get to each of these places in a single day.

Now maybe the tailor was just your average serial killer, Roulet merely crazy, and the Gandillons had rabies. Or each of these people were visited by someone just passing through…

Since those court documents were destroyed, we’ll never know.

Next week on Demon of the week–Vampires we know and love: Baobhan sith. Scottish vampire fairies (So cool!)

– Teresa

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