Monday, October 28, 2013

Vampires


Halloween is on its way so I thought I'd post a brief synopsis of the overwhelming favorite stalkers of the night...Vampires

Vampires, or vampyres, are supposed mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (either blood or energy) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person. Although entities have been recorded in many cultures, it is believed that vampire-like humanoids may have existed during prehistoric times. The following narratives introduce some of the legends including links to the full posts...enjoy!:

Vampires are legendary creatures said to feed on the blood of humans and animals. It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the folkloric vampire, although they were usually reported as bloated in appearance, ruddy, purplish, or dark in color. They are shapeshifters and can take many forms, predominantly bats or humans. Vampires are typically described as the undead, although some cultures believe that they can be living. Beginning in the 19th century, modern fiction began to portray vampires as gaunt and pale. In the past, vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria, which resulted in corpses being staked and people being accused of vampirism. Many violent killing sprees have been attributed to vampires. They are known to terrorize their previous neighborhoods and will seduce their victims, waiting for the right moment to attack the neck. The creatures will frequently visit their relatives, particularly their spouses. Vampires are masters of disguise and camouflage.

The Secret History of Vampires: Their Multiple Forms and Hidden Purposes

The notion of vampirism has existed for millennia; cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires. However, despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early 18th century Southeastern Europe, when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published. In most cases, vampires are remnants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire. Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires.

THE ROMANIAN VAMPIRES

Since the Middle Ages, Romania has be renown for vampires. In the kingdoms and dominions of Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia that the tales of vampires are the more abundant than anywhere else. The Romanian folklore remained infallible despite interventions that were historically present from the Romans, the Hungarians and the Ottoman Turks. Romania maintained absolute rules and regulations in obstructing the dead from coming back to life.

In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires

Traditional Romanians believed that the initial sign of one being or becoming a vampire was the birth of a child under abnormal circumstances. Some of these circumstances included a child being born out of wedlock, born with a caul (the amniotic membrane that surrounds a fetus), or death occurring before a baptismal could be performed. If a person was aware of their irregular births, they would leave instructions upon their deaths to have the necessary precautions taken, preventing them from rising again as one of the undead. It was also believed that if a woman was with child and did not consume salt, or was to be gazed upon by a vampire, especially one past her 6 month of pregnancy, that her child was doomed to eternal damnation of becoming one of the undead. The only way to redeem the unborn child’s soul was to seek the blessing of the Church. Yet another belief regarding vampires and the birth of a child was to be born the seventh son of the seventh son, or likewise, the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter. They were said to sometimes be born with a tail and could eventually become a vampire. Read more about the Romanian Vampires

Castle Dracula: Romania's Vampire Home (Castles, Palaces & Tombs)

Lord of the Vampires (Diaries of the Family Dracul)

THE TIYANAK and PONTIANAK

Some mythical creatures have their origin in tradition and tales from the distant past. However, each culture is associated with a multitude of interesting and odd creatures, many of these beings are humanoids. One of these legendary humanoids is the Tiyanak.

Tiyanak (Demon Child) or Impakto are creatures which, in Philippine mythology, imitate the form of a child. It usually takes the form of a newborn baby and cries like one in the jungle to attract unwary travelers. Once it is picked up by the victim, it reverts to its true form and attacks the victim. Aside from slashing victims, the Tiyanak also delights in leading travelers astray or in kidnapping children.

Some say the Tiyanak are babies who died before receiving baptism rites. After death, they go to a place known as Limbo, a chamber of Hell where unbaptized dead people fall into and transform into evil spirits. These phantoms return into the mortal realm in the form of goblins to eat living victims. The Tiyanak can also be the offspring between a demon and a human or an aborted fetus, which comes to life to take revenge on its mother.

According to folklore, one can bewilder the creature and break loose from the enchantment of its cries by turning his clothes inside out. The legend has it that Tiyanaks find this method laughable and would just leave the victim alone. Some say that repellents like garlic and the rosary can also drive the tiyanak away.

There are several versions of Tiyanak physical descriptions and activity. This mythical creature are also sometimes related to a Malaysian folkloric creature called Pontianak which is, according to Malay folklore, a woman who died during delivery or childbirth.

In Malay folklore, the Pontianak usually announces its presence through baby cries or assumes the form of a beautiful lady and frightens or kills those unlucky enough to come too close. It disguises itself as a beautiful young woman mainly to attract its victim (usually male). Its presence can sometimes be detected by a nice floral fragrance, followed by an awful stench afterward. Read more at The Pontianak

Vampires, including: Chupacabra, Vampire, Mormo, Jiang Shi, Strzyga, Pontianak (folklore), Vampire Pumpkins And Watermelons, Strigoi, Manananggal, ... Strix (mythology), Vrykolakas, Shtriga

THE ASWANG

An aswang is a mythical creature in Filipino folklore. The legend of the aswang is well known throughout the Philippines, except in the IIocos region. The creature is described as a combination of vampire and witch and is almost always female. The aswang is an eater of the dead and a cannibal. They are capable of transforming into either a huge black dog or a black boar. The creatures stalk and eat human beings at night. Garlic bulbs, holy water, and other objects are believed to repel aswang. Many stories revolve around these creatures eating children and unborn fetuses. In human form they appear normal, and are quiet, shy, and elusive. At night, they transform into the deadly beast. One key feature of the aswang is its bloodshot eyes. In the Middle Ages, the aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures in the Philippines.

In the Southern part of the Philippines the Aswang are classified into five distinctive types. 1.The Blood Sucker(Vampire) 2. The Barangan (Vindictive Hexer...Voodoo and the like) 3. Mananangal (Self Segmenter) A creature who can fly through the night using only the upper torso with its entrails dangling below. 4. The Corpse Eater - This is the Aswang who will try and change out the real corpse with a fake corpse made from the trunk of a banana tree. 5. The False Beast - An aswang who has the ability to change from a human into a wild pig, or dog or whatever shape suits it.

Philippine Legendary Creatures, including: Manananggal, Aswang, Kapre, Tikbalang, Nuno, Philippine Mythology, Sigbin, Nuno Sa Punso, Diwata, Pugot, ... Creature), Bakunawa, Kumakatok, Batibat

THE STORY OF MERCY BROWN

The most recently recorded case of vampirism in the United States is that of nineteen-year-old Mercy Brown, who died in Exeter, Rhode Island in 1892. Residents speculated that after Mercy Browns' death she had in fact become a vampire, that she was rising from the grave and feeding on her sick brother. She had followed her mother and sister to the grave and the people of the area were in a panic. As a result, on a cold March afternoon, Mercy's father and some of his neighbors dug up her grave to see if she had indeed changed into a vampire.

It was found that she had shifted in her coffin and her mouth and heart were full of fresh blood. The heart was cut from her chest and burned on a large rock to stop Mary from venturing from the grave. Some of the ashes were even fed to her brother as a cure but he still died two months later. After he passed, the body was staked through the chest and tied in the coffin so he didn't turn into a vampire like Mercy.

A History of Vampires in New England (Haunted America)

THE CROGLIN GRANGE VAMPIRE

Our modern idea of a vampire, a creature that has returned from death to prey on humans at night, is based on the Eastern European vampires myths and legends, such as vampires wearing capes or turning into bats. Although vampire myths occur in almost every culture around the world, such myths are rare in England where the idea was almost unknown until the 18th century, when reports from Europe began to surface.

This particular account dates from just after the English Civil War in the 1650's. The owners of Croglin Low Hall in Cumberland (now Cumbria) were a family named Fisher and the story was told to one Augustus Hare by a descendent of the family in 1896. For some reason of their own, the Fishers decided to go and live in the south of England and rent out the farm. The new tenants were two brothers and a sister named Cranswell. The new family stayed in their remote farmhouse through the first winter without event. The summer came and, that year, it was stiflingly hot so they slept with the windows open. At that time the Hall was only one storey high - the upstairs has been built subsequently. Near the Hall was a chapel and a small graveyard which once belonged to the Howard family, who were great landowners in these parts. Read more at The Croglin Grange Vampire Mystery

VAMPIRES AT MIDNIGHT: Dr Porthos; Postscript; When It Was Moonlight; Over The River; The Believer; The Vampire of Croglin Grange; The Vampyre; The Storm Visitor; Three Young Ladies; An Episode of Cathedral History; And No Bird Sings; The Living Dead

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Toxic Relationship or Vampire Attack?

My friend & author Dani Harper forwarded a very interesting commentary in regards to those people who seen to 'suck' the energy out of others:

You’ve met them. People in your life who, frankly, exhaust you. They drop by to visit and when they leave, all your energy has gone with them. You might even feel depressed. This might be because they’re self-centered attention whores, unrelentingly negative and chronic blamers, or they work for the IRS.

Or it might be because they’re vampires.

Thanks to myth and media, we associate the undead with drinking blood to sustain themselves. But what if vamps are living, mortal humans who don’t suck blood but energy? The concept isn’t new. Many cultures have myths and legends about psychic vampires, including some Native American tribes. The Hopi told of the powaqa, a sorcerer who feeds on the life force, the hiksi.

I ran across an internet quiz this week titled “Are you a psychic vampire?” Apparently, you can be one without even being conscious of it – and you’re considered more of a parasite in this instance. More drama queen than Queen of the Damned. Needy and annoying but usually manageable.

Other individuals are fairly benign. They merely touch something after someone else has touched it, gleaning the leftover energy.

But the real vampire is the one who knows exactly what he’s doing and attacks your energy on purpose, literally fortifying himself with your life force. It’s a highly aggressive and predatory act and just the thought of it puts me on edge – hey, I need all my energy and I can only drink so much coffee in a day, bud! Apparently if you suddenly feel tired, mentally confused or irritable it might not be because you skipped lunch. You may have been the victim of a walk-by vampire attack. He or she gets an energy surge and you’re left staggering to the nearest Starbucks.

Highly sensitive persons are particularly susceptible to having their energy siphoned off. So are those who tend to be givers in the extreme, who haven’t developed good personal boundaries. Apparently you can be a metaphysical doormat too. And if you have what’s called a leaky aura, energy vamps will hone in on you like ants to a drippy syrup bottle.

As with traditional vampires, repeated attacks by a psychic predator can put you in danger of becoming like them. Maybe you won’t actively go on the hunt at the mall, but if your life force is in a depleted state, you might unconsciously start drawing energy from friends and family.

Defending yourself takes many forms. Some recommend visualization, picturing a bright white light or perhaps a suit of armor around yourself to block out a known vampire’s attempts. Some say that the equivalent of wearing garlic is keeping a piece of quartz crystal on your person. Watch out for people who step into your personal space, or stare at you (so much for ever riding a subway again). Most importantly, look after your health, mentally, emotionally and physically – remember, lions go after the gimpy gazelles.

Your turn -- what do you think? Are energy vamps real?