Who’s the best TV vampire of all time?

This blog counted down the best TV vamps of all time: http://www.paleycenter.org/tv-vampire-stakedown/

All your favorites (Well, mine, anyway) were in the running. The winner was Buffy’s Spike.

I liked Spike as a villain, personally. He went south for me when he went all good on Sunnydale. I like my vampires villainous, or at least morally ambiguous. Drusilla’s super crazy scared the O Negative out of me.

Then again, if Puppet Angel had been on the list, no contest.

Puppet Angel, why must you decapitate yourself with a sword?

These days, I’m loving me some Damon Salvatore. How about you? Do you agree with Spike? Have your say in the comments.

 

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Vampires we know and love special editon: Brahmaparusha

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.

Brahmaparusha

This Indian vampire is similar to the Bhuta, but really knows how to accessorize. They like to wear a tiara of human intestines on their heads. Also, they cut off the top of your skull and drink your blood from it. Somehow I don’t think Martha Stewart would approve.

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

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Vampires we know and love special editon: Yuruga

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.

Yuruga

I don’t have much on the Yuruga, but I had to include him anyway. Since there’s only one sentence, I’m going to quote directly from Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters. Ladies and gents, here’s what she has to say about the Yuruga:

“In Prussian Lore, a vampire who smells so bad it can be detected up to a mile away.”

I don’t know, I kind of think that would make hunting difficult…

Vampires we know and love 22: Eretik/eretica

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.

Eretik/eretica

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
The Vampire Encyclopedia

by Matthew Bunson

Vampires we know and love #13: Lobishomen

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.

Lobishomen

Despite the last syllable of their name, the lobishomen of Brazil are not men at all. A woman becomes a lobishomen by being bitten, and there must be a whole lot of them because lobishomen don’t kill, they just drink enough blood for survival. Once turned, the lobishomen will take any kind of blood they can, including children’s.

A slight side effect: lobishomen become nymphomaniacs, which is kind of awkward, since they are ugly hunchbacks with short legs and bristly hair all over their bodies. They have a yellow cast to their skin, except for their faces, which are pretty white.

Don’t try the old garlic trick on lobishomen. Use Wolf’s Bane instead, and that’ll keep the girls in their graves. For extra protection, mix Wolf’s Bane with sweet onion and put it on the doors and windows of your house.

Vampires we know and love #21: Upyr

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.

Upyr

Have you ever been visiting a graveyard and accidentally stepped on a grave, then apologized to the person buried there?

Okay, maybe I’m the only weirdo who does stuff like that…

Or maybe not. There’s something odd about the place where a person is buried, and I’m not the only person who thinks so. One of the ways a person (or animal) can turn into Russian Upyr is by ‘corpse jumping’, that is, walking over a freshly buried corpse.

But the Upyr is also a revenant, who was a witch in life, or just a person who committed suicide (If you don’t know your Catholicism, suicide is the only sin you can’t repent for because you’re dead if successful. A very bad thing.). The Upyr rises from its grave and kills whole families.

The Upyr is not to be confused with the Upor, the Upir, the Upier, or the Upior. These vampires will all appear in this blog if it/I last long enough.

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

The Greeks sure love their vampires, part 7: Empusa

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 empusa, who really does not like swearing.

Empusa

An empusa is one of the vyrkolakoi. She’s an elusive sort of creature. I had a lot of trouble finding information on her. She might be really good at hiding. Or maybe she doesn’t bother hiding at all…

According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley, an empusa doesn’t have a shape of her own, but is a demon who takes over corpses.

I have a problem believing that because Philostratus tells a story in The Life of Apollonius of Tyana about a certain young, handsome man from Lycia by the name of Menippus. This guy met a pretty young Phoenician woman and fell in love with her. He was going to marry her, but Apollonius saw through her disguise and made her admit that she was an empusa and was going to devour him right after their wedding night.

But the thing is, what corpse is so young and pretty that a handsome guy would want to marry her? None.

I’m more likely to believe the other origin story, that Empusa was an actually a demigoddess, the daughter of the witch goddess Hecate and the spirit Mormo (despite the fact that both of these people were females). This Empusa seduced guys like a succubus, then drank their blood while they slept.

Charming.

If you think that the sweet young chick you’ve just met is an empusa, try this simple test: Swear at her. Insult her. An actual empusa really does not like that.

Of course if she’s not an empusa, try explaining that one.

Sources

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

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

The Greeks sure love their vampires, part 6: Lamia

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.

Lamia

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.

Lamia (first version) by John William Waterhou...

Image via Wikipedia

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.

Sources

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

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley