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Step8--Vampire Names

Here are some of the names of various vampires, vampire-like creatures, demons, and spirits, and vampire hunters throughout the world, as well as "vampire" translated into other languages.

*Please Note* I have had several people, of different nationalities write in to tell me that some of these words were incorrect, so I should warn you to take them with a grain of salt. I got the words from various sources which should be correct, but that all depends on how well the author did his homework. Now it may be that these words are simply archaic and have been replaced in the modern language, or they may be open to interpretation or translated a different way, but I've had one too many people tell me that they were incorrect for me to think all of the readers were mistaken. Again, use caution. But, as a consolation, although I have had people tell me that the words were wrong, misused or misspelled, no one has yet to deny that there is some sort of vampire-like creature in their history/ culture. At the least, you can take away from this list a fairly good idea of how many vampire-like creatures there are in the world.

Africa

Asasabonsam- Humanoid monster that lived in the forest and was rarely seen. It had iron teeth, and captured unwary passers-by by letting its hook-shaped feet dangle down from the treetops where it sat. (Ashanti tribe, Ghana)*

Asiman- See Obayifo. (From Dahomeans)*

Obayifo- Identified more as a witch than a vampire, this magic-made (not hereditary) being left its body at night, in the form of a glowing ball, and attacked people, especially children, and sucked them of their blood. Might also suck the juice from fruits and vegetables. (Ashanti tribe)*

Asia, India, Pacific Islands and Australia

Aswang- A witch-woman who appeared as a beautiful maiden when she rubbed herself with a certain ointment. She would fly, at night, to the roof of a house and send down her long tongue to prick the throat of her sleeping victim, then she would drink the blood. When fully fed she appeared as a pregnant woman. (Philippines)*

Bhuta- A person who died in an untimely fashion, and arose to wander the land at night. This demi-vampire, in its wanderings, would reanimate dead bodies of others, who then in turn attacked the locals, eating them as ghouls did. (Western India)*

Brahmaparusha- A vampire-like mythical creature that drank blood from an upturned skull. (Northern India)*

Chedipe- (Literarlly "prostitute") This vampiric woman was depicted riding a tiger naked, and at night she would entrance a household into a deep sleep, enter, then suck the blood from the man through his big toe. (India)*

Chiang-shih (kiang shi)- A rather vicious vampire that was made when the inferior soul stayed to inhabit the body after death, due to improper burial rites or a bad death. It could pass for a human, but sometimes took on other forms, such as that of a wolf, or it may have appeared to glow a phosphorescent green, or have serrated teeth, talons or shaggy white hair. (China)*

Churel- A woman who died an unnatural death, she would come back to seek revenge on any family members who treated her badly by drying up the blood of male family members. She might also tempt young men in the village with food, and if they ate it, she would keep them until dawn, where they returned to their village old men. A churel was marked by the fact that her feet were turned backwards. (India)*

Kali- This goddess, also known as the "Mad Mother" stretches the definition of what is vampiric. She has fangs (or sharp teeth), is dressed in human heads and arms, carries a sickle sword that she uses to kill demons, and is worshiped by sacrificing animals to her at her temple, where she may drink the blood. She-- along with other Hindu gods and goddesses-- often devours the demons that she kills. Though we can't label this revered and popular goddess a vampire, we can begin to see where the gods of the ancient peoples slowly worked their way into the everyday culture, and then, later, as Christianity took over as the main religion, superstition. (India)

Kappa- A vampire that dwelt in water (usually ponds), it attacked livestock, such as cows and horses, and drug them into the water and devoured them. (Japan)*

Maneden- A creature that dwelt in a wild pandanus plant. If a human attacked the plant, the creature would retaliate by attaching itself to a man's elbow (or a woman's nipple) where it sucked his blood until he gave something in substitution, such as a nut. (Malaysia)*

Penanggalan- Gruesomely depicted vampire (Malaysia)*

Pisachas- Demi-god ghouls; literally "eaters of raw flesh." Also known as Yatu-dhana/ Hatu-dhana. (India)*

Polong- A creature, like a witch's familiar, that would do the bidding of the witch in exchange for small amounts of blood daily, taken from a cut in the finger. (Malasyia)*

Pontianak- Yet another female vampire who attacks infants and drinks their blood. Pontianaks also seduce young men, in the form of a maiden. (Java) Also known as a Langsuyar in Malaysia.*

Rakshasas- (Rakshasas, m. Rakshasis, f.) These are demi-gods in that they don't appear to interact directly with the populace, but their exploits, instead, are given in legends. Like vampires, though, they wandered at night, had fangs, drank blood and preferred to attack infants and pregnant women. (India)*

Yara-ma-yha-who- More beast than man, this vampire dwelt in fig trees and would jump down on people who passed by or slept under the tree. The creature would drain the blood from the person, though not usually enough to kill. Sometimes it ate the person whole, then regurgitated them out later. The more often a person was attacked, the more like the creature they became, until eventually they were made fully into a yara-ma-yha-who. (Aboriginies, Australia)*


Central and South America, Caribbean

Asema- An vampiric old man or woman who took the form of a ball of light and traveled at night to drink the blood of people asleep in their houses. (South America)*

Camazotz- A full-fledged god, this deity was central in agriculture, but was feared for his blood-drinking tendencies, fearsome appearance (which included large teeth and claws), and his tendency to dwell in caves where he would-- I presume-- attack people for their blood. (Mayan, Mexico)*

Cihuateteo- A demi-god, this vampiric woman, like so many in other parts of the world, was depicted killing and drinking the blood of infants. Interestingly enough, like many of the vampires in the West, they are said to meet at crossroads and only wander at night, as sunlight will kill them. (Aztecs, Mexico)*

Civateto- Vampire witch (Mexico)

Jaracaca- Vampire that feeds from breast milk (Brazil)

Lobishomen- Vampire that attacks women and turns them into nymphomaniacs. (Brazil) Also known as werewolves. (Portugal)*

Loogaroo- This word comes from the corrupted French word "loup-garou," which was originally reserved for werewolves (much as "lobishomen" has changed from representing werewolves to being associated with vampires).* Vampiric elderly ladies (Grenada, Haiti)

Sukuyan- Vampiric witch, akin to the Loogaroo and Asema (Trinidad)*

Tlahuelpuchi- Blood-sucking witch (Mexico)*

Europe and the United Kingdom

Bruja- Usually seen as a woman, this living person transformed into various animals and attacked infants. (Spain)* See also Bruxa.

Bruxa- (Bruxa, f. Bruxo, m.) Vampire/ witches, they assumed animal forms such as a duck, rat, goose, dove or ant and attacked, most usually, infants. Adhering to witch practices, they were found out between midnight and 2:00 a.m. (also known as the "witching hours"), on Tuesdays and Fridays, meeting at crossroads. Associated with lobishomen (werewolves) and also known as bruja. (Portugal)*

Callicantzaros- A specific type of vampire, coming from people who were born on religious holidays, especially between Christmas and Epiphany (New Years). This vampire, with long talons, would attack people and tear them up on the holy days between Christmas and Epiphany. (Greece)*

Drakul- A body moving with the help of a demon. (See page on Vlad Tepes for additional meanings on this word.) (Slavonic country?)

Dhampir- Vampire's son. Sometimes thought to be the only person who could see a vampire and kill it. Up until the 17th and 18th centuries, people would hire themselves out as vampire killers under the guise of being a Dhampir. (Serbia) Also known as a vampirdzhija (Bulgaria)*

Djadadjii- This was a specific kind of vampire hunter, who "bottled" vampires. The hunter would first bait a bottle with a favorite food of the rascally vampire. He would then use a picture of a saint, or Christ or Mary as an icon, and would drive the vampire from his hiding place, and straight into the bottle. The hunter then corked the bottle and disposed of the vampire by throwing it, bottle and all, into a fire. (Bulgaria)*

Incubus (Incubus, m. Succubus, f. Incubi/Succubi, pl.)Like a ghoul, this creature is closely linked to a vampire, but unlike both of them, it is a spirit, and not an animated corpse. This creature does not drain its victims of blood nor energy, but will exhaust them to death by coming in every night to have sex with the victim. The victims, worn out and helpless, often die of asphyxiation as the incubus/ succubus is characterized by a heavy, weighty feeling on the victim's chest. (Eastern European)*

Lamia/ lamiai- A vampiric woman, she is half woman, half serpent, and lives in caves, where she drinks the blood of children. She sometimes transforms into a beautiful maiden to seduce young men and also drink their blood. (Greece)*

Lidérc- More incubus than vampire, this creature had many different shapes as a man, woman, animal or light, and it drained the energy out of its victim sexually. (Hungary)*

Nachzehrer- A vampire (when found in the grave) that has these specific traits: holds the thumb of one hand with the other, its left eye is open and it emits a grunting sound as it chews on its shroud in the tomb. (Germany)

Neuntöter- Vampire that spreads plague. (Germany)

Nora- A bald man, running on all fours, he would suck the breasts of women- presumably draining them as an incubus might do. (Hungary)*

Obur- A particularly gluttonous blood drinker, the local people had to offer great amounts of food to get rid of it. It was characterized by loud noises and the ability to move things without being seen (like a poltergeist). (Gagauz people, Bulgaria)*

Redcap- This spirit haunted abandoned sites, especially if they had been the scene of violence. Their only link to vampirism was that they carried a cap that had been dyed red in human blood, and they took every opportunity to re-dye it with more blood. (Scotland)*

Strigoiu- Vampire that lives in abandoned houses. (Slavonic country?)

Upír- This vampire was born of the thought-- much like the chiang-shih in China-- that a person had two souls, and a vampire was a corpse animated by one of the souls-- the lesser soul-- that remained in the body after death. This vampire had two hearts, and was known in the grave to have its eyes open, two curls in its hair and various other usual vampiric signs. Also known as nelapsi (Czech)*

Ustrel- A child born on a Saturday, but not baptized usually turned into this specific type of vampire. After the 9th day of burial, it would rise again and attack livestock during the night, then return to the grave during the day. If enough blood was consumed, it would grow strong enough stay out during the daytime, hiding amongst the herds and picking off the animals one at a time. (Bulgaria)*

Middle East

Dakhanavar- A vampire that lived in the wild and attacked travelers at night by sucking blood from their feet. Two men outwitted it by sleeping so that their heads rested on the other's feet. The vampire was frustrated by the thing with two heads and no feet, and ran away and was never seen again. (Armenia)*

Ghoul- (Ghul, m. Ghulah, f.) Closely associated with the vampire, a ghoul was a reanimated body, but which fed on other corpses and not on blood. Sometimes, though, they are known to eat flesh of the living as well. They are also linked to zombies, but unlike those creatures, ghouls are not controlled by a witch. Looking at things in terms of evolution of the deceased, zombies are lowest on the order, followed by ghouls, and then topped by vampires, who are much more refined in their tastes, and stronger in their supernatural abilities. (Arabic/ Arabia)*

Lilith- A complex figure, Lilith was born in the Jewish tradition from a Sumerian vampire-demon figure, also known as Lillu, Ardat Lili, and Irdu Lili. Lilith was known as the first wife of Adam, who left him to go dwell in the desert. She became a demoness and the mother of all demons (who were called, in the plural, "Lilith" as well), and attacked infants, sucking their blood and strangling them. Eventually she and her demons lost this vampiric quality and were merely associated with the untimely death of any young child or baby. It can be hypothesized that this Lilith legend, making it's way into Europe after the Jewish Diaspora of 70 A.D., is the basis for the other female, vampire-like demonesses who attacked children, such as the Bruja of Spain, or the Lamia of Greece. (Hebrew)*

A Vampire by any other name...

Albanian- Kukuthi, lugat*
Bosnian- Lampir, tenatz*
Bulgarian- Opyri/ opiri, vipir, vepir, vapir*
Croatian- Vukodlak, kosac, prikosac, tenjac*
Filipino- Danag, Mandurugo*
Gaelic/ Celtic- Craitnag folley (perhaps "blood bat"), sooder folley (literally "blood sucker")+ German- Bluatsauger (Literally "bloodsucker"), Nachttoter (Literally "night killer"), Neuntoter (Literally "killer of nine")*
Greek- Vrykolakas, empusai, nosophoros (Literally "plague-carrier")*
Gypsy- Mulo/ Mullo (pl. mulé) (Literally "one who is dead")*
Hebrew- Aluka (Literally a leech, it seems to be synonymous with vampirism or vampire)*
Hungarian- Pamgri
Indian (Sanskrit, I believe)- Asra-pa/ Asrk-pa (Literally "drinkers of blood"), vetalas, betails*
Irish- Dearg-due (Literally "red-blood sucker")
Japanese- Kyuketsuki*
Latin/ Roman- Strix*
Magyar- Vampir
Polish- Upiór, upier, m./ upierzyca, f., opji or wupji, vjesci or vjeszczi, njetop*
Romanian- Strigoi, m./ strigoaica, f.; Moroi, m./ Moroaica, f.*
Russian- Upir, Vieszcy, Uppyr*, or Upierczi
Serbian- Vampyres
Serbo-Croatian- Upirina*
Slavonic- Oupire (Literally "blood sucker"), Nosufur-atu*
Ukrainian- Upyr, Upiribi, Upior, m./ upiorzyca, f.*
Yittish- Dybbuk (Literally something like "drinker of blood." A friend told me this one.)

Incubus, witch, close enough...

Witches
Albanian- Shtriga*
Montenegro- Vjeshtitza*
Slovenian- Strigon*
Romanian- Striga*

Incubi/Succubi
French- Follets*
German- Alpes*
Italian- Folletti*
Old Teutonic- Mare*
Scandinavian- Mara*
Slavic- Mora*
Spanish- Duendes*

*Information provided by:
The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead
By J. Gordon Melton
Visible Ink Press, pub.
Detroit, © 1994

+Information provided by:
Gaelic Dictionary

All other information contained on this page has been taken from:
The Natural History of the Vampire
By Anthony Masters
G. P. Putnam's Sons, pub.
New York, © 1972

The above picture was taken by myself. The north aisle and nave showcase the rounded windows and barrel-vaulted ceilings of Romanesque architecture. Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. © September 2001.

Celtic spacer bar reproduced with kind permission from: Karen Nicholas--Celtic Web Art

Other Useful Places

More names for vampires and their disposal
The Vampire A to Z

You are on: Step 8

Dictionary/Terms | Step 1, The History of Eastern Europe | Step 2, Pre-Vampire Entities | Step 3, Vampire Creation Myths | Step 4, How Vampires Are Made | Step 5, Vampire Folklore | Step 6, "Living" Vampires | Step 7, Medical Information | Step 9, Vampires in Modern Culture | Step 10A, Vampire Book Reviews | Step 10B, Vampire Movie Reviews | Essays | The End | Home