This post is part of Bad Girls month!
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, Lamia, who used to be the queen of Libya.
Zeus was the king of the Greek gods and boy, you did not want him to have a crush on you. Sure, it sounds great to have a boyfriend who could snap his fingers and give you the world, but he was fickle and his wife was the jealous type.
Seriously, if Zeus thought you were cute, you were between a rock and a hard place. You couldn’t say no to the king of the gods, but his wife was bound to find out about it. It happened over and over. Zeus would have an affair on Hera, his wife. Then she would find out about it and do something evil to the woman he had an affair with. Typical jealous woman (Ancient Greeks didn’t think much of women in general).
In Lamia’s case, the punishment was really bad.
Lamia was the queen of Libya when she caught Zeus’s eye. She bore him a bunch of children.
As these things go, Hera found out about her husband’s affair and she decided to punish Lamia by killing her all children except Scylla, who would later be turned into a monster herself.
Lamia went crazy, turned into a monster, and started killing other women’s children and sucking their blood.
Her folklore gradually developed so that in addition to sucking the blood of babies, she also had sex with men and killed them. She may or may not be a beautiful woman who can also transform into a snake.
The word lamia eventually became plural, and instead of being a single person, ‘lamiae’ are a group of female vampires who prey on kids.
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley