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.
The Mexican Tlahuelpuchi is a vampire, but it doesn’t rise from the dead–it’s one of the vampires that are born, not made. People who are Tlahuelpuchis are born cursed, with the ability to shift into many different animal forms, but for some reason with an affinity for becoming turkeys (talk about a curse). They aren’t born with intense craving for the blood of infants from 3-10 months old. That comes later, during puberty. They have to feed only once a month–and if they miss a meal, they die.
Tlahuelpuchi are overwhelmingly female, though there are some males. But that’s okay because it doesn’t take two Tlahuelpuchi to make a baby Tlahuelpuchi. It’s just one of those weird things that happens sometimes.
Once they identify their infant victim, a Tlahuelpuchi will turn into a pet (or a turkey) to stay close to the baby. Before they can enter the house, they have to perform a ritual by flying over the house, first from north to south, then east to west, forming a cross pattern. This unlocks the house for them, and they slip in to do their dirty work.
Signs that you might be dealing with a Tlahuelpuchi:
a) one of your household pets is giving off a phosphorescent glow
b) there’s a turkey flying over your house.
If you note either of these signs, haul out your onions and garlic and decorate the threshold of your house. Also, put an open pair of scissors near the baby’s crib. Tlahuelpuchi are scared of sharp metal.
To catch the Tlahuelpuchi–and I’m not making this up–take off your pants, turn a leg inside out and throw them at the vampire (I don’t think skirts work here). This will stun the Tlahuelpuchi (it would stun me, too), and then you can kill it. You can also tie knots in three corners of a white handkerchief and put a stone in it, with the same effect. A third alternative is putting your hat on the ground and driving a knife through it.
Apparently the pants thing works best.
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
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley