We often say that reality is stranger than fiction. And it is not for less, since a large part of the stories that were told to scare children (when stories were told to know the past, explain the present and predict the future), start from real rituals that tried to prevent the deceased from walk among the living again to carry out their bloody revenge for an unjust or premature death.
8 spooky legends of different origins about vampires
Here is a compilation of various legends that have to do with the myth of vampirism. You will be able to verify that these are not invented stories that have been told for a short time, some are ancient.
8. The Tale of the Ch’iang Shih
Let’s travel to China, whose folklore has depicted vampires with large hooked claws and red eyes. The name ch’iang shih means something like “body jumper” and refers to the evil spirits of people who had died tragically and who, according to tradition, had been buried with their feet bound; hence they moved by jumping.
7. Vampires during the Plague
In the years of the plague there was a rumor that vampires roamed the streets of cities and towns feeding on the bodies of the deceased that this highly contagious disease carried. When someone who was believed to have practiced vampirism died, he was buried with stones stuck in his mouth and throat.
6. The Ekimmu
The legend of the Ekimmu dates back to 4000 years before Christ. It is a myth of the ancient Sumerians and Babylonians according to which an ekimmu (or spirit of a person killed prematurely, violently or whose body has not received a proper burial) returns to the world of the living. The reason
Not having been able to cross the gates of the underworld. In retaliation, the ekkimu will roam the land of the living in search of victims to suck their blood.
5. The Legend of the Ka
Although it seems incredible, in Ancient Egypt there were also legends about vampirism. According to tradition, the Ka was one of the parts into which the soul was divided. Product of the hand of the artisan God Jnum, who used his wheel with the precision of a potter to shape this part of the soul, the Ka was given to the pharaohs and gods as soon as he was born . One of these deities was the goddess Sekhmet, known for her taste for blood.
According to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, when someone died, food was to be placed in their grave for the Ka. If he did not receive these food offerings, he would leave the grave to go in search of victims and thus feed on his blood. In addition, if the needs of the Ka were not met, the deceased could not access eternal life.that waited after death.
4. The Man with the Sack
This figure, used to threaten the little ones with behaving well if they did not want the “Man with the Sack” to take them away and not be heard from again, is based on the “sacamantecas”. Although it is not quite a story about vampires (there is no known “sacamantecas” with fixation for blood for consumption), it does have to do with supposed magical qualities that, for centuries, were attributed to the red liquid.
The “sacuntos” were unscrupulous men who abducted children from Spanish villages to kill them, extract their fat, use it as a base for cosmetic products and sell them to wealthy people.
3. The Walking Dead
Throughout northwestern Europe, dolmens (the famous constructions made of large rocks typical of the Stone Age) were placed on top of tombs in order to preserve the dead inside so that they did not rise. The myth of the dead who rise from their grave has had its maximum expression in western popular culture thanks to the seventh art with the zombie genre.
- If you like horror movies, you will be interested in: The 15 best horror movies in history.
2. Vlad the Impaler
This is the famous legend of Vlad Tepes, “Vlad the Impaler”, “Vlad Draculea” or, directly, “Dracula”; depending on who tells the story. The Transylvanian prince was also a great adept at consuming blood , especially that of the adversaries who died by his sword. According to legend and several historical writings that also attest to it, Prince Vlad used impalement as a method of punishment for enemies and traitors of his court.
Source of inspiration for Bram Stoker and his romantic horror novel Dracula, Vlad Tepes has been the germ of the entire myth of vampirism that has come down to our days , at least in Western culture.
1. The Blood Countess
Finally, we find the crudest story about vampires. In Hungary, during the late Middle Ages, Countess Erzsebet Bathory, also known by the nickname “the Bloody Countess”, became an adept at beauty treatments based on blood. According to her, she believed, blood contained properties that helped preserve beauty and lengthen life.
Already in adolescence, Erzsebet (or Elisabeth), was initiated into dark ritualsand witchcraft with the pretext of always remaining beautiful despite the passing of the years. Her delusions for her blood led her to murder pure girls from the villages and towns near her palace to drink her blood. Furthermore, after draining all the red liquid from her victims’ bodies, she would fill entire bathtubs with the extracted blood and soak for hours to get the most out of the hemoglobin.
After hundreds of disappearances of the girls in the region, she discovered what was happening: the eccentric countess was behind everything. After executing her personal sorcerers, who had contributed to the death of the girls and performed the black magic rituals , Erzsebet Bathory was sentenced to be walled up while she was still alive.
Four agonizing years after remaining immobilized between walls, where she barely saw sunlight through a small crack in the ceiling, the “Bloody Countess” died. She never repented of the crimes.
Vampirism according to science
Medicine has always tried to explain the symptoms that have been culturally linked to vampirism. Hematodipsia is the name given to the paraphilia that generates an almost sexual desire for blood and that afflicted our “dear” Vlad and Erzsebet.
Other pathologies such as porphyria cause the skin to be highly sensitive to daylight and make the fangs take on a reddish hue, qualities linked to vampires according to many superstitions.
Another curious fact has to do with the spasms that often appear in bodies that have been dead for hours: as a result of decomposition, corpses can move arms and legs (even stand up and sit). Grave robbers used to get scared when coffins were opened and suddenly the body would jerk violently.