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.
One of the Russian words for vampire, eretik/eritika, sounds a whole lot like the word ‘heretic,’ doesn’t it? It might be because the idea of vampirism is associated with the loss of your soul, sort of a trade of eternal life in heaven for a shaky eternal half-life on Earth (There might even be an interesting connection with Judas Iscariot, the guy who betrayed Jesus, but I might look at that in another blog post sometime).
We’re pretty used to concept of vampirism being a sort of plague spread by passing the infectious blood of a vampire to a human after the human blood is sucked out. It’s classic, portrayed in many a fine novel/movie/tv show.
But actually, that’s not how the granddaddy of all fictional vampires was born. Dracula wasn’t made, he was born, by rejecting God. (He did then have the power to create vampires, fyi.)
Same with the eretica, a woman who sells her soul to the devil for the power of sorcery during her lifetime. After death, she becomes a vampire. During the day, ereticy (that’s the plural) look like hags in rags. When night falls, they gather and perform vampiric rituals.
Do not look at an eretica. They all have the evil eye, which means that if you do, you’ll die a slow, withering death.
The Vampire Encyclopedia
by Matthew Bunson