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.