Bavarian vampires

Bavaria has been mainly German territory since at least middle time of the Roman Empire. But here, too, we find the absorbtion of concepts concerning the undead from Slavic immigrants and contact with the Slavs in neighboring Bohemia.

The most common name for undead vampire in Bavaria is blutsauger, which literally means “blood sucker”. As recently as the 1980’s, belief in the blautsager was found to still exist in rural parts of Bavaria. The blautsager was described as being an animated corpse with pale flesh.

At least according to old Bavarian folklore, a person might become a blutsauger by dying under the following circumstances:

  • Not having been baptized.
  • Having led an immoral life.
  • Having been a practitioner of sorcery or witchcraft.
  • Having eaten an animal killed by a wolf.
  • Having died by suicide.
  • Also, a person already dead might become a blutsauger if an animal jumped over its corpse.

The ways to protect a home against a blutsauger include rubbing the doors and windows with garlic.

All of these notions are found also in the old lore of Eastern Europe.

The source of information about the Bavarian blutsauger is The Vampire Book by J. Gordon Melton (Visible Ink Press, 1994, 1999).