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 #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

Vampires we know and love #18: Pelesit and Polong: Vampires in my pocket

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.

Pelesit and Polong: Vampires in my pocket

Aw! Mini vampires! They’re so cute! Or, maybe not.

The Pelesit and Polong are a tiny Malaysian vampire tag-team, each smaller than your index finger. The Pelesit goes into the ring first. It turns into a cricket to enter a house and find an unsuspecting sleeper. When it does, it cuts a hole in the person’s skin and uses its amazing cricket powers to call for its Polong partner in crime, by, er… chirping (I guess that’s why it needs a partner).

The Polong–who looks like a tiny woman–then crawls under the person’s skin and takes possession, making him/her die, raving like a lunatic.

But there’s another factor in the Pelesit/Polong combo: their master, a Malay magician, a jinjangan. The Polong that does the actual dirty work isn’t born, but created, to serve a wizard (or witch), and then sent after a certain target individual.

If you’d like to create your own Polong at home, naturally I’ve got the recipe. First, get yourself the blood of a murdered man (have fun with that), put it in a bottle, and recite secret charms over it. After seven or fourteen days, a bird-chirp will announce the birth of a Polong of your own. Feeding of your Polong is simple. It wants you. Cut your finger and put it in the bottle every day. This will sting a little.

The Polong has a couple weaknesses. Apparently it can’t take the heat because black pepper will drive it away. A good Muslim Imam should also be able to make a Polong that’s infected a person confess the name of its owner. But they lie sometimes, so don’t always trust what they say.

If you want a Pelesit to go with your Polong, that’s harder. My sources give two different methods, but they both have two things in common: an anthill and the tongue of an infant (not attached). R. O. Winstedt says it can only be created by women, and that she has to go into the forest, turn her back to the moon and her front to an anthill, recite a charm and catch her own shadow. With patience, a child appears. She has to grab its tongue. The rest of the kid then disappears. It turns into the Pelesit.

William Walter Skeat, in his Malay Magic: being an introduction to the folklore and popular religion of the Malay Peninsula (1900), says that the method is this:

Go to the graveyard at night and dig up the body of a first-born child whose mother was also first-born, and which has been dead less than forty days. On digging it up, carry it out to an anthill in the open, and there dandle it… After a little while, when the child shrieks and lolls its tongue out… bite off its tongue and carry it home. Then obtain a cocoa-nut shell from a solitary ‘green’ cocoa-nut palm, and carry it to the place where Three Roads Meet, light a fire and heat the shell till oil exudes, dip the child’s tongue in the oil and bury it in the heart of the three cross roads… Leave it untouched for three nights, then dig it up and you will find it has turned into a Pelesit.”