Top 10 Vampire Legends
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
September 12, 2012
Filed Under Holidays
Contributed by Info Guru Lauren Dejesus-Glasgow
Vampire – for centuries, the term has conjured up dreadful images of blood-thirsty humanoids.
While these figures under the Top 10 Vampire Legends vary across different cultures, there lies one similarity – all provide origins to the immortal, cruel, blood-feasting creature we know throughout history.
10. Dearg Due
In Ireland, there was a girl who fell in love. The girl’s father, however, had already decided to marry her off to a cruel man in exchange for a substantial wealth.
The girl killed herself to escape her miserable marriage vowing vengeance on those who had taken her away from her love. Soon after her burial, the young woman rose from her grave with a bloodlust and slaughtered father and husband. Celtic legend dictates that she comes back to life once a year to lure men to their deaths with her beauty.
Among the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the vampire legend of the Soucouyant haunts the townsfolk. The Soucouyant is said to take on the appearance of an old woman by day, shed its skin at night, and fly through towns as a fire creature.
The Soucouyant finds its way into people’s homes and sucks their blood leaving them alive, but barely. Signs of a soucouyant’s visit are discovered in the morning when the victim is considerably weak and delusional beyond recovery.
On the African nations of Ghana and Togo, the Ashanti carry legend of the Asanbosam. This creature lives in the trees of denser wooded areas, and drains the blood of those unfortunate enough to find themselves in the creature’s territory.
The appearance of the Asanbosam is a bit peculiar to those familiar with the Western interpretation of vampires. While the Asanbosam has a predominantly human form, one strange mutation – aside from the iron teeth used to hunt prey – is manifested in the hook-like appendages on its legs.
In the Hindu religion, there is the bloodthirsty goddess, Kali.
Kali has a fierce nature that is said to have originated from her battle with a demon named Raktabija. Raktabija’s blood was magic; whenever a drop of it was spilled, a thousand copies of himself were born from it. To defeat the demon, Kali stabbed him and drank every last ounce of his blood leaving him powerless.
6. Arnold Paole
Arnold Paole was a Serbian farmer in the early 1700’s. When Paole returned home from military service, he took up work as a farmer. While working on the roof one day, he fell, resulting in his death just a few days later.
Weeks after Paole had been interred, people began reporting sightings of him, sometimes within their own homes. A group of men went to Paole’s gravesite to investigate, but when the men brought up his coffin, they opened it to a shocking discovery. The corpse of Arnold Paole had not rotted, his skin and nails were fresh, and blood dripped out of his mouth.
The men decided then to “kill the beast” as it slept, believing him to be a vampire, and staked him there in his coffin.
The ancient Egyptian goddess Sekhmet was born from the eye of Ra, King of the Gods. Ra had grown upset with the humans and their blasphemous ways when he decided to send Sekhmet down to punish them.
Sekhmet began to walk amongst the humans, slaughtering them, and drinking their blood to the point of intoxication. Ra saw that Sekhmet would not stop, so to halt her rage, he tricked her into consuming a sleeping potion. Sekhmet awoke with a new mind, and a new directive as a guardian.
Grigori Rasputin was an advisor to the last royal family of Russia, The Romanovs. He was close to them to the point of being considered a problematic influence by the government. To remove his influence, an attempt was led by Princess Irena and Prince Felix Isupov to kill him over dinner with cyanide-laced cakes and wine.
When Rasputin ate the poisonous cakes to no ill-effect, Felix shot him multiples times in the back. But Rasputin still did not die, and instead murdered Felix.
Rasputin was then dragged out by the co-conspirators and lit on fire to finally put him to death. It is said that his corpse rose from the flames, attempting to walk, only to fall and finally burn.
According to Jewish text, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, but when she refused to submit to him, she called out God’s name in vain and was cast out of Eden.
After her exile, Lilith began having children. When she told God that she would not return to him, God punished her and labeled her children as demons. He said he would slay 100 of her children every day until she returned to him. Lilith, in return began to slay his children; the children of man.
Lilith began devouring human children. She would drink the blood of any newborn child within its first seven days of life unless there was the name of an angel over the child’s sleeping place.
2. Countess Elizabeth Bathory
Even though Countess Elizabeth Bathory did not attain the mystical attributes of being a vampire, she certainly developed the bloodlust. The Countess was left alone for most for of her days with her husband off fighting in wars. Her boredom led her down the road of sadism and eventually to the death of an estimated 650 girls.
Countess Bathory lured young girls from surrounding towns to her castle on promises of etiquette training. She already found pleasure in torturing them, but when she heard that the blood of young virgins could preserve her youth, her prisoners became sacrifices to her vanity.
The countess bathed in their blood, drank it at all her meals, and even consumed their flesh for extra measure. When she was discovered, the Countess was sentenced to solitary confinement within her home for the rest of her years.
Vlad Dracul III, or Vlad Tepes, was a Romanian aristocrat living in the mid-15th century who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”.
From an early age, Vlad had harbored a hatred for the Turks of the Ottoman Empire who he blamed for the death of his family. Out of revenge and under order of the Pope, he began a rampant killing spree of the invading Ottoman army.
It was his various torture styles and executions of Turkish soldiers that led historians to affectionately call him “Vlad the Impaler”. Vlad regularly ate his meals in his “forest of corpses” marveling at his work. And even though Vlad was never recorded to have consumed human blood himself, the amount of blood shed for him to gain power over the Ottoman Empire is certainly vampiric in essence.