There are a lot of vampires in Greek folklore. In fact, where we have one name for undead creatures who inhabit corpses and suck the blood of the living, they have a crapload of them. I’ll feature one of them today, the callicantzaros, who have the dubious distinction of not being very scary–most of the time.
The good news is that you’re safe from the callicantzaros for fifty weeks of the year. They live in the underworld pretty much all the time, so from January 8-December 24, you just don’t have to worry about them.
Now for the bad news… The callicantzaros don’t live in the underworld all the time. For two weeks every year, they get unleashed on the unsuspecting earth and are allowed to do what they please. Since they’re vampires, what they please is not very pleasant for the rest of us.
Even more bad news is that the callicantzaros have really long talons where their fingernails should be.
So, if you happen to be out late on New Years and you run into someone with really pointy fingers, try offering her a manicure before she heads back to Hades. It could save your life.
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley