Vampires we know and love #11: Kozlak/kuzlak: If I’m a vampire, blame my mom

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.

Kozlak/kuzlak: If I’m a vampire, blame my mom

There seem to be more vampires whose names start with ‘ku/ko’ than any other sound. Period. Hands down. Frankly, it’s just odd.

I wish I knew a little more about Eastern European languages so that I knew why that was, exactly. Because these ‘ku’ vamps all seem to come from Eastern Europe. Maybe it means something, or maybe there’s just something scary about that sound.

In any case, there’s the kosci, the kozlak, the krvopijac, the kubikajiri (that one’s a Japanese ghost, actually) and the kudlak.

The kozlak seems a good place to start.

Most vampires are created by some bad event. Selling your soul to the devil, being impious, being bitten by a vampire, etc. There are few ways that other people can turn you into a vampire. The most common one is other people not performing the right rituals the right way when you die.

This is not the way you become a kozlac in the Dalmacian region of Croatia. Nope. You become a kozlac if your mom doesn’t breastfeed you properly when you’re a baby. Somehow this just does not seem fair. Why blame mom? Like a new mother doesn’t have enough trouble, she’s got to worry about turning her kid into a vampire, too? Talk about stress.

If a baby dies from the lack of breastfeeding, or an adult who wasn’t breastfed the right way as a baby dies in a violent way, they come back as a kozlac.

The baby comes back as a troublesome ghost, throwing crockery, making animals sick, and generally making trouble in the community. It can sometimes manifest the physical form of a small flying animal. A bat or a bird.

If he’s an adult when he dies–by murder, violence, or suicide–then you’ve got a real problem. The physical body digs its way up out of the ground and ripping the throats out of its family. This is when that Franciscan monk you have tied up in the closet comes in handy. He can create amulets against the evil of the kozlac for protection. Also, he can help in the only way of killing it.

The monk has to find a hawthorn bush growing in the mountains, in a place where you can’t see the sea. He has to make a stake out of it, with which he impales the corpse. This breaks the link of the demon possessing the body. Then he has to cut off the head, stuff the mouth with garlic, rebury it… you know, the usual.