Posts Tagged ‘blood-sucker’

An early report of vampires comes from Istria in Croatia, 1672. The locals reported a local vampire Giure Grando, in the village of Khring near Tinjan. He was the cause of some panic as the peasant’s death left them with his undead irritations. He took blood from the locals and sexually harassed his window. The original attempt to remove the undead was a stake which failed, so they took a more permanent approach of beheading.

Peter Plogowitz and Arnold Poale are two names synonymous with vampires. Plogojowitz died at the age of 62, but then allegedly came back to his son for food; his son refused and was found dead the next day. He was supposedly found to then attack neighbours, found dead the following day. Poale was an ex-soldier turned vampire who was attacked
by one years before his death whilst haying. After his death there were reports of him taking out locals.

Rhode Island and Eastern Connecticut have had some interesting brushes with the undead, there are cases in the area where the family had the heart removed to prevent any further risings, although vampires are never mentioned specifically. A famous case recorded in Exeter, Rhode Island is of Mercy Brown, 1892 who removed her from her tomb two months after her death. He was aided by the family physician and they cut out her heart, and then burned it to ashes.

Japanese Cinema has a great set of vampire films from the 1950’s upwards, however a lot of the folklore is derived form the Western types (see Escape from Vampire Island as one of my personal favourites). The Nukekubi is perhaps the original tale for them as it is a creature whose head and neck detach from the body and fly around seeking it’s human prey at night.

In South Asia, the Bhūta or Prét is the soul of a man with a life cut short, they wander around animating bodies and attacking the living similar to ghouls. The legends of detachable body parts is not solely given to Japan either, there are similar types in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonsia. The Tagalog and the Visayan Manananggal are other examples. Mandurugo are pretty girls by day and at night they get wings and thread-like tongues but the Manananggal is older and can sever it’s torso to fly and find sleeping pregnant women. They like to suck out the foetus or the entrails of sick people (yuk!)

An iconic part of the vampire, two of them, good at biting into necks and often seen brandished in horror movies. Some look rather sexy and discreet, others are so large the vampire has to have an adapted physiology or learn to blend in with badly bred white trash/Chav’s…

The image below (google search) shows someone suffering a medical condition called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. This is a genetic disease but one of the signs is that a majority of the teeth may be shorter and blunter than others. In some this is possibly the distinctive canine look.

All well and good but what if you were bitten by one? Surely that’s not the only reason the bite marks look so strange?

Well allow me to try with another part of it, those bitten by vampires have not always become vampires but perhaps a person who is ill walking about with fang marks might be reason for concern? They may also be suffering a skin condition, such as the one below known as pemphigus vulgaris. To a peasant in the 18th Century such marks were not a skin condition but the signs that a blood-sucker was on their way around the area!