Vampires we know and love #15: Nelapsi: The vamp with a lotta heart

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.

Nelapsi: The vamp with a lotta heart

In the Czech Republic and parts of Slovakia, having a lot of heart can be a bad thing. It means that when you die, you’ll become a nelapsi, an incredibly powerful vampire. The nelapsi can rise from the grave because it’s got two hearts and two souls, so when one stops beating and the other departs, the secondary ones start up. Too bad they’re so evil.

Like the Nachzehrer, the nelapsi has a fondness for church bell towers. But instead of ringing the bell and everyone who hears it dies, the nelapsi looks down from his perch and anyone he sees dies. Not only powerful, the nelapsi is also vicious, drinking human blood (after falling on and smothering its victims), killing livestock and massacring entire villages.

The best defense is a good offense. Bury any corpse with coins, Christian iconography, or fill the mouth and nose with poppy seeds or millet. Also good to scatter seeds along the path to the cemetery.

Even before you get to the cemetery, you need to take some precautions. Remove the body from the house head-first. Bunson says you should avoid hitting the head on the threshold of the house as you leave, but Guiley and Maberry disagree, saying you should make sure that you do. You would think that the classic principle of treating the corpse with the respect it deserves would apply here. But Maberry’s says hitting the body on the head knocks the bad luck loose, so that makes sense.

Once you have your potential nelapsi ‘safely’ in the coffin, you can also pin down the hair so that it can’t eat the flesh it needs to gain the strength to rise–its own flesh, that it. To be extra sure, strap the jaw shut with fabric or leather.

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Vampires we know and love special mid-week update: Incus

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.

Incus

Don’t confuse this with an incubus, that’s a different thing entirely.

The incus is not only one of the three smallest bones in your body, a hammer-shaped guy in your ear, but also a Vietnamese vampire. It grows antennae out of its nose that it uses to suck your blood.

Eww.

Did demons attack a school in Trinidad?

Okay, this is kind of freaky.  17 female students fell ill in a school in Trinidad last week. They rolled on the floor, spoke in tongues, and one of them even tried to kill herself.

Apparently a follower of the Orisha religion had threatened a teacher a week earlier, saying she’d ‘deal with’ the administration.

Read more here: http://guardian.co.tt/news/general/2010/11/11/panic-after-devil-attack-school

You know what this sounds like to me? Salem witch trials. According to wikipedia, the girls affected by the so-called witchcraft “girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture, and contorted themselves into peculiar positions.”

Just sayin’.

Need a career change? How about exorcism*?

According to MSNBC, the Catholic Church in the U.S. has a shortage of trained priests to perform exorcisms.

On November 12 and 13th, the Catholic Church held a special training session to instruct priests how to perform the rite. Over 110 bishops and priests attended, hoping to learn more about how to cast out demons from the bodies of possessed people.

The article states that an exorcism includes “includes sprinkling holy water, reciting Psalms, reading aloud from the Gospel, laying on of hands and reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Some adaptations are allowed for different circumstances. The exorcist can invoke the Holy Spirit then blow in the face of the possessed person, trace the sign of the cross on the person’s forehead and command the devil to leave.”

Neal Lozano, author of Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance” says one Catholic exorcist gets about 400 requests per year. But the rite is rarely performed–that same exorcist performs only two or three exorcisms yearly.

Read the full article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40151974/ns/us_news/?gt1=43001

*Women need not apply.

The Greeks sure love their vampires, part 8: Mormo

Williamblake

Image via Wikipedia

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 mormo.

Who is the mormo?

There isn’t much information on the mormo and maybe that should frighten us a little.

Some people say that the mormo (or Mormolyceae) is just another word for the empusa. In the Satanic Bible, Anton LeVey said that Mormo was the witch-queen Hecate‘s boyfriend, and the king of the ghouls.

For Aristophanes, the mormo was just a kind of bogeyman, used to scare children, and that it had one leg made out of bronze, another out of cow (or donkey) dung.

Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure I don’t want one in my house.

Sources

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Tempestarii: Magical weathermen

Witches concoct a brew to summon a hailstorm.

Image via Wikipedia

The Tempestarii are a race of beings who control the weather from their magical land of Magonia. Because they live in the clouds, naturally they can’t grow crops. So, they cause magical storms–the crops ruined by these storms are in fact taken back to Magonia on great sky-ships.

In Medieval Europe, fake wizards would pretend to be able to control the Tempestarii, and charge the population a certain portion of the crops to keep these weather pirates away.

In 815, in Lyons, France, such a storm occurred. The local population discovered three strangers just after it, and immediately realizing they were Tempestarii who had fallen from their ship, threw them in prison. The local Roman Catholic bishop, Agobard, argued them out of jail before the livid population stoned them to death.

Sources

Henry Charles Lea, A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, Harper & brothers, 1887

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempestarii (Please note that–at the time of writing–the Wikipedia article confuses the Tempestarii and the fake wizards who took money to keep them away. But I used it as a source, so I’m referencing it here.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agobard

Vampires we know and love #19: Vampires: Soucouyant/Soucriant: Great balls of fire

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.

Soucouyant/Soucriant: Great balls of fire

There are a couple of vampires who turn themselves into balls of fire to hunt. The Soucouyant/Soucriant of the Caribbean (my sources say especially either Trinidad or Dominica in the Lesser Antilles) is one of them. In its flaming form, the Soucouyant attacks people, draining their blood. The Soucouyant rarely kills, just leaves victims comatose. If it does happen to go the extra mile, the victim will rise as a Soucouyant herself.

By day, the Soucouyant is that little old lady who lives next door. (So, I hope that if she does actually kill by mistake, she kills a woman, or else some dude will have an extra nasty surprise.) The Soucouyant has to make sure she gets back into her skin every morning before dawn. If the rays of the sun hit her, her energy will disperse and she won’t be able to re-form, though she won’t be dead either.

To protect against this vampire, sprinkle rice or flour in front of the door to your house. Like other vampires, the Soucouyant has to stop and count the grains before entering. This will keep her occupied until the sun hits her.

If you can manage it, try to find the skin left behind and sell it to your local magic practitioner. In Obeah (Caribbean magic), these skins are used in charms and potions. If you manage to find the skin while the vampire is out of it, you can prevent her from crawling back inside by sprinkling it with either salt (Maberry) or hot pepper (Guiley). Just to be safe, you can season it up with both.

Sources

Vampire Universe: The Dark World of Supernatural Beings That Haunt Us, Hunt Us, and Hunger for Us
Vampire Universe: The Dark World of Supernatural Beings That Haunt Us, Hunt Us, and Hunger for Us
(Paperback)
by Jonathan Maberry

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley