Archive for the 'Vampires A-B' Category

Ardisson, Victor

The so-called Vampire of Muy in southern France, who was arrested in 1901 for multiple illegal exhumations and violations of graves. Ardisson was unlike other notorious criminals who bore the nickname “vampire” (such as John Haigh and Peter Kurten), as he was virtually nonviolent.

He raided cemeteries purely to indulge in necrophilia on female corpses, often women he had known in life. His crimes and behavior were examined in detail by Dr. Alexis Epaulard, who in 1901 wrote a thesis on Ardisson. Ardisson was sentenced to as asylum.

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Amine

An algul (arabian ghoul) whose story was told in the Thousand and One Nights. According to the tale, a young man, Sidi Numan, weds a beautiful maiden, Amine, who eats virtually nothing but a bowl of rice, which she takes grain by grain with a knife, along with small crumbs of bread. Suspicious, Sidi learns that Anime leaves the house each night.

Following her one evening, he discovers her feasting on a corpse with a fellow ghoul. Confronting her the next night at dinner, he is turned into a dog by her spell. Restored eventually by a woman learned in white magic, Sidi receives a potion that transforms Anime into a horse. The ghoul is then led to the stables.

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Adze

A vampire spirit that dwells in tribal sorcerers among the Ewe, a people inhabiting parts of southeastern Ghana and southern Togo in Africa.

The adze flies around in the form of a firefly but, if caught, changes into a human. It drinks blood, palm oil, and coconut water and preys on children, especially handsome ones.

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Algul

The name given by Arabic peoples to a kind of vampire, translated from Arabic means a horse-leech, or blood sucking jinn, or demon. This form of vampire became known in more common western usage as a ghoul,  traditionally female demon that feasted upon dead babies and inhabited cemeteries.

The incarnation and nature of the algul varied, finding expression in literature, most notably in the Thousand and One Nights. (See Amine, for  an example of a algul and ghoul.)

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Brown, Mercy

The Mercy Brown Vampire Incident, which occurred in 1892, is one of the best documented cases of the exhumation of a corpse in order to perform rituals to banish an undead manifestation.

In Exeter, Rhode Island, the family of George and Mary Brown suffered a sequence of tuberculosis infections in the final two decades of the 19th century. Tuberculosis was called “consumption” at the time and was a devastating and much-feared disease.

The mother, Mary, was the first to die of the disease, followed in 1888 by their eldest daughter, Mary Olive. Two years later, in 1890, their son Edwin also became sick.

In 1891, another daughter, Mercy, contracted the disease and died in January 1892. She was buried in the cemetery of the Baptist Church in Exeter.

Friends and neighbors of the family believed that one of the dead family members was a vampire (although they did not use that name) and caused Edwin’s illness. This was in accordance with threads of contemporary folklore linking multiple deaths in one family to undead activity. Consumption was a poorly understood condition at the time and the subject of much urban mythology.

George Brown was persuaded to exhume the bodies, which he did with the help of several villagers on March 17, 1892. While the bodies of both Mary and Mary Olive had undergone significant decomposition over the intervening years, the more recently buried body of Mercy was still relatively unchanged and had blood in the heart. This was taken as a sign that the young woman was undead and the agent of young Edwin’s condition. The cold New England weather made the soil virtually impenetrable, essentially guaranteeing that Mercy’s body was kept in freezer-like conditions in an above-ground crypt during the 2 months following her death.

Mercy’s heart was removed from her body, burnt, and the remnants mixed with water and given to the sick Edwin to drink. He died two months later.

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Bruxa

Area from nationality: Portugal. A female vampire, the Bruxa is normally transformed into vampiric form by witchcraft. She leaves her home at night in the form of a bird and her most frequent activity is tormenting weary lost travelers. She is said to appear as a beautiful maiden and leads a normal human life by day, bearing children, which in general become her regular form of food. She is said to be impossible to kill.

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Brahmaparush

Area from nationality: India. A vampire that enjoys consuming human beings. This creature would drink a victim’s blood through its skull, than eat the brain from the skull and finally proceed to wrap the victim’s intestines around its body and perform a ritual dance.

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Bhuta

Area from nationality: India. Normally created due to the violent death of an individual. The Bhuta are found in cemeteries or in dark desolate places, eating excrement or intestines. An attack by one of these creatures usually resulted in severe sickness or death.

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Bebarlangs

Area from nationality: Philippines. A tribe whose members are rumored to have practiced a form of psychic vampirism. They apparently sent out there astral bodies and fed on the life forces and vitality of individuals.

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Baobhan-sith

Area from nationality: Scottish. Vampire that normally disguised itself as a beautiful maiden and lured its victims to their deaths. In fairy lore the Baobhan-sith usually appeared dressed in green.

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