Albanian vampires

Albanian names for undead vampires include:

  • Kukuthi
  • Kukudhi
  • Lugat
  • Vrykolakas
  • Vorkolaka

Some northern Albanian mountain tribes hold the belief that an undead vampire, which they call either a kukuthi or a lugat grows stronger with time until, after thirty years, it reachs a final stage where he is no longer required to return to its grave and can live in a home during the day. He then typically travels to other lands as a merchant. One Albanian name for a vampire in the advanced stage is kukudhi. Before the lapse of the thirty year period following burial, the vampire can be destroyed in its grave by such means as driving a stake through its heart, cutting the tendons behind the knee caps (ham stringing), and cremation.

Some other northern Albanian tribes believe that the kukuthi or lugat can only be destroyed by a wolf. The wolf bites the vampire’s legs off. The vampire then retreats to his grave and never leaves it again.

Some Albanians share the names vrykolakas and vorkolak with their Greek and Macedonian neighbors and also the beliefs that go with them.

Source: The Vampire Encyclopedia by Matthew Bunson (Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1993).