Vampires we know and love #7: Civateteo

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.


Hmmm… Okay, one of my ultra-reliable standard sources, Guiley, says that the civateteo are Mexican vampire witches, noblewomen who died in childbirth and return to attack other children in revenge.

But Wikipedia and other sources say that the civateteo (Cihuateteo, Ciuteoteo, Ciuateoteo or Civateteo; singular Ciuateotl or Cihuateotl) go back way further. The Aztecs considered childbirth a form of battle, and those who were lost in the war became revered warrior spirits who accompanied the setting sun. Revered, sure, but also feared, these women spirits came back to hurt children, cause disease, and seduce men.

Is it possible that the Aztec legend survived all this time and morphed (like a were-legend) into this other form? There are enough similarities to make a real case for it.