You are hereForums / Mysterious Britain / Folklore and Legends / Nasties around the world
While reading up on my other great passion-travel, I came across this article. I hope you enjoy!
Excellent link Wendy. It's great to see the differances between vampires from around the world.
Boy some of those make our vampires look like pussy-cats. Would rather face Dracula anyday than the head of a midwife with immature entrails!!
Wonder if our 'monsters' are more polite because we are?
That sounded awfully condescending and it wasn't meant like that at all. Just some of these legends seem so much more horrifying, imagine having a little german man drinking blood thru your nipples!!
If you look back at the old monsters that were said inhabited Britain and Ireland, you find some truly horrific creatures, such as Black Annis and the Fachan. I think the book Dracula did have a big effect on the way vampires and undead like creatures were portrayed in folklore after it was published and it could well be that our monsters are more polite now because they have routes in Victorian Britain.
It's curious to note that the present day idea of aristocratic vampire owes so much to Romantic British writers like Bram Stoker... and British actors like Cristopher Lee!
The original Slavonic vampires were usually depicted as ghoulish peasants wrapped in tattered clothing, barely able to speak and devoid of all superhuman powers except for a superhuman crave for flesh and blood. How they were transformed in the aristocratic Dracula and Nosferatu is good material for researchers though as Ian pointed out Victorian decency probably played a part in it.
I have in my book collection a copy of the astounding Nihonyokaitaizen by Shigeru Mizuki and some of the creatures described therein are absolutely incredible. To stay on the vapire field you have the Gashadokuro, an immense flesh-eating and blood-drinking monster made up by the souls of those who died of hunger and fatigue in the rice fields, the Jubotsuko, a tree which grew on a blood soaked battlefield that will capture people to drink their blood, and the Kokuribaba, a revolting old woman which stole freshly interred bodies from their graves to weave clothes out of their hair and drink their cold blood. Her sins were so great that she could not be reborn in another form and not even the Avichi, the lowest of the popular Hells, would accept her.
In Distortion We Trust
"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"
-Kalevala, Rune XIII-
Nice book for the collection!
On vampire trees: is it just me, or do the ones on old battlefields give anyone else here the willies? I remember this one very distorted looking tree on the Antietam BF that positivly oozed bad vibes.
Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima
A pretty good read! :)
But she's missedo ut some British vamps such as (I can only speak of Scottish ones I'm afraid) The Baobhan Sith and the Glaistig. But a good piece of writing anyway.
I have to say that I had never heard of the Australian Vampire even though I live here.
The new house that I am moving into has a fig tree in it though. Time to get the tree loppers in I think.
I think I'm going to just stay home.
Read More »
Wayland's Smithy is one of the most impressive and atmospheric Neolithic burial chambers in Britain. Somehow this ancient grave became associated with Wayland, the Saxon god of metalworking, from whom it takes its name.
History Read More »