Vampires around the world

Once we got to know the history of the vampires, now it’s time to discover some more of these exotic species. How were they presented, how different from the European pattern? We’ll find out in a moment…


There are several legends, that in Africa lives a creature named Adze. This spirit most often was appearing in the culture of the tribes of Ghana, Togo and Benin. He had neither fangs nor bat wings, but he looked like… a firefly. He was turning into the human form only when he was caught, and to fit in the African environment, he was used to drink coconut milk. He had the ability to take control of people, especially children, old, poor or jealous people. In the form of a firefly he could easily slip into the house. His special breed called Asanbosan was different only in one thing – he loved to bite… human toes. A man bitten by a vampire was supposed to die in a short time. However, the Adze is probably nothing more than an old local name for mosquitoes carrying Malaria disease.

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There were so many vampires from India, that I could probbably write another article about them. The monster called Baital was very similar to vampires, which we know from movies. He had a human form and bat wings. It’s stronger variant was Rakshasa, who had a human form and some animal features (the most common – snake eyes), or was an animal with legs or hands. He could also turn into a tiger. Another Indian vampire – Brahmaparus was drinking blood out of the victim’s skull, desecrating the body and wrapped by the leftovers… dancing. In India, there were also devils called Dakinis, but actually they were considered as enlightened and they were a perfect companion of the greatest masters of Buddhism. Their particular variant living in Tibet was called mK’a-‘gro-ma. Hahn Saburo were Indian vampires, that lived in forests to haunt lonely travelers and attack them with a pack of wild dogs. However, the most interesting were Loogaro and Vetala that looked like a sloppy witches. Crones were travelling around the world in the form of enormous luminous sphere to attack sleeping, mad or drunk women.

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In Malaysia lived a monster called Bajang, who was often presented as a huge lizard. He was believed to be a slave of an evil sorcerer and he was killing the victims under his magical command. Some of those vampires were cursing whole families and were harassing them for generations. On the Malaysian trees there were also Langsuir, which under the beautiful green dresses were hiding claws, and by the long mahogany braid were covering sharp teeth. Another vampire – Pennagelan, which actually had only head and without body was supposed to be dangerous for mothers with newborn children.

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Ch’ing Shih lived in China and not only sucked blood, but also had a poisonous breath. Most often he was being shown as a great luminous sphere, but the funniest was… that there was a way to catch him. The monster loved rice and if he saw it on his way he couldn’t resist to count every single grain. Using this moment of inattention the monster could be killed with a beam of light.

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…and here comes another story straight from the “read me a story, mom!”. In Burma lived one tiny little woman with wings called Polong. She was not a fairy – she was very dangerous, however not bigger than the tip of a needle. A huge cricket (Pelesit) was showing her the way and while finding a new victim – he was chirping happily. What’s the most exciting – Polong could be tamed! It was enough to catch it and every day feed her with a drop of blood from the little finger.



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