IT was generally supposed that all suicides might after death become vampires; and this was easily extended to those who met with any violent or sudden death. Mr. Lawson tells us that there persists a tradition in Maina, where the Vendetta is still maintained, that a man whose murder has not been avenged is liable to become a vrykolakas. The Mainotes who derive their name from the place Maina, near Cape Taenaron (Matapan), even yet preserve many of the customs and characteristics of their ancestors, and historically are known to be of a more pure Greek descent than the inhabitants of any other district. Indeed, the peninsula which thrusts into the sea the headland of Taenaron has both social and religious customs of its own. The population is distributed into small villages, while here and there a white fortress will denote the residence of a chief. A traveller writing in 1858, remarks: “The Maina country is wild and beautiful, singularly well cultivated, considering the difficulties to be surmounted, and producing crops that put to shade the rich plains of Argos and Arcadia; whilst the interesting mountain people exercise the highland virtues of hospitality and independance to an extent unknown in the low countries.” It has been said that the last traveller who saw Maina while retaining some remains of its primitive cateran glories was Lord Carnarvon, who in 1839 explored the Morea and has left us an extraordinarily interesting account of his journey.
The population of this district continued the worship of the Pagan deities for full five hundred years after the rest of the Roman Empire had embraced Christianity, and they were not finally converted until the reign of the vigorous Emperor Basil I, 867-886. Gibbon described them as “a domestic and perhaps original race, who, in some degree, might derive their blood from the much-injured Helotes.” And even yet
they boast of their descent from the ancient Spartans, whilst the histories of Leonidas and Lycurgus, who figure partly as saints and partly as gallant brigands, are still retold round the winter fireside. The whole district, including Kaka Voulia (the Land of Evil Counsel), is formed by the hummocks and escarpments of Mount Taygetos, and, with the exception of a long strip of coast line, which the Venetians called Bassa Maina, it is steep and hilly and for the most part barren. The conquest of the Morea was completed by Mahomet II in 1456-1460, but Maina could never be thoroughly subdued, and its inhabitants remained as entirely independent as were the Highlanders before Culloden.
As has been remarked, ancient traditions still persevere, and among these customs not the least obstinate is the Vendetta. A man who has been murdered is unable to rest in his grave until he has been avenged. Accordingly he issues forth as a vampire, thirsting for the blood of his enemy. In order to bring about his physical dissolution and to secure his repose it is necessary for the next of kin to slay the murderer, or at least some near relative of the murderer. Unless this is done the man upon whom the duty of avenging blood devolves is banned by the curse of the dead, and if so be that he is himself cut off before he can satify the desires of the deceased, the curse will yet cling to him even in death, and he too must become a vampire. It should be remarked that this view of blood-guilt is found in the Attic dramatists, and is in fact the mainspring of the whole story of Orestes. In the tragedy of this name by Euripides, Tyndareus, the father of Clytemnestra, remonstrates very reasonably, and indeed unanswerably with Orestes. But the hero replies and argues that if he has not avenged his father
Had not his hate’s Erinyes haunted me?
Again in the Choephoroe of Aeschylus Orestes pursues the same idea saying that unless he avenges his father, a stern duty which has devolved upon him, lie will be punished in turn by the avengers of his father’s wrongs. It may be remarked that in Maina to-day no recourse must be had to law for such cases, nor must the injured person satisfy himself by calling upon the aid of the police. To do this were incredibly base, the subterfuge of a recreant and a craven. Even if it be a life’s whole work a man is expected, either secretly
or by an open attack, to slay the murderer of his relative, and he is highly applauded when he has accomplished this pious deed. It must be appreciated that he is regarded as herein directed and inspired by the dead man who returns from his grave as a vampire craving for blood. Even if no other motive or incentive prevailed, in spite of natural shrinking and may be even cowardice, a man would undoubtedly prefer to shed blood for blood, especially when this might be done in secrecy or by craft, rather than run the terrible risk of himself becoming a vampire, finding no rest in the grave, but returning to haunt and persecute even those who were most dear to him, an unclean thing accursed. of God, a foul goblin of dread most hateful to man.
So great is the horror which the act of suicide, although considered admirable in the decadence of Greece and Rome, inspires in every man of sane mind that it, is not at all surprising it should be deemed that the unfortunate wretches who have destroyed themselves become vampires after death. According to the Zoroastrian creed, suicide is a most fearful crime, and is classed among the marg-arzan, the abominable offences. Aristotle in his Ethics, V, xv, terms suicide a sin against the State, and as Cicero tells us Pythagoras forbade men to depart from their guard or sentry-go in life without an order from their commanding-officer, who is God. “Uetatque Pythagoras iniussu imperatoris, id est, dei, de praesidio et statione uitae decedere.” (De Senectute, XX, 73). The highest pagan argument against suicide will be found in Plato’s Phaedo (61E-62E), but it is drowned in the mighty voice of the great Saint of Hippo, which peals in no unwavering tones down the centuries: “For if it be not lawful for a private man to kill any man, however guilty, unless the law have granted a special allowance for it, theft surely whosoever kills himself is guilty of homicide: and so much the more guilty doth that killing of himself make himself, by how much the more guiltless he was in that cause for which he killed himself. For if the act of Judas be worthily detested, and yet the Truth saith, that by hanging of himself, he did rather augment than expiate the guilt of his wicked treachery, because his despair of God’s mercy in his damnable repentance, left no place in his soul for saving repentance; how much more ought he to
forbear from being cause of his own death, that hath no guilt in him worthy of such a punishment as death; for Judas in hanging himself, hanged but a wicked man and died guilty, not only of Christ’s death, but of his own also; adding the wickedness of being his own death, to that other wickedness of his, for which he died.” (De Ciuitate Dei, I, xvii.)
It may be well very briefly to present the teaching of the Church concerning positive and direct suicide. If done without God’s permission this always constitutes a grave injustice towards Him. To destroy a thing is in effect to dispose of it as an absolute master and to act with regard to it as one who has full and independent dominion over it. But God has reserved to Himself dominion over life. Man cannot create life, and he does not possess this full and absolute right over his own life. Consequently suicide must be reckoned as an attempt against the dominion and right of ownership of the Author of life. To this injustice is super-added a serious offence against the charity owed by man to himself, since by self-murder he deprives himself of the greatest good in his possession. Moreover this sin may be aggravated by other circumstances, such as an offence against conjugal, paternal, or filial duty; an offence against justice or charity; if by taking his own life a man eludes existing obligations of justice or acts of charity which he could and should perform. That suicide is unlawful is the general teaching of Holy Scripture which condemns the act as a most terrible crime, and to arouse the horror of all against Holy Church denies the suicide the rites of Christian burial. Again, suicide is directly opposed to the most natural and powerful tendency of all created things, and especially of intelligent man, the preservation of life. Indeed very large numbers of physicians, moralists, and jurists lay it down as a general rule that suicide is always due to dementia, so great is the horror which this atrocious deed inspires in every man of sane mind. As a generalization this may be admitted to be true, for it is impossible to think that those who have the calm and right use of their reason should deliberately destroy themselves, and the conditions which are necessary to incur the full culpability of an act can only in exceptional instances be conceived of as being present in the case of a suicide. Sabetti inquires: “Quaenam ad peccatum mortale
requirantur?” And his answer is given as follows: “Tria necessario requiruntur, scilicet materia grauis uel in se, uel ob circumstantias; aduertentia plena ad malitiam grauem actus; consensus plenus uoluntatis in præuaricationem. Itaque,
Requiritur 1°. materia grauis, secus non posset haberi lex obligans sub graui.
Requiritur 2°. plena aduertentia mentis, secus non habebitur plena deliberatio.
Requiritur 3°. plenus consensus uoluntatis, quia nisi peccator cum pleno consensu plenaque deliberatione obiectum peccati Deo præferat, et sic finem suum ultimum in creatura constituat, nequit dici a Deo totaliter recedere. Insuper a bonitate diuina prorsus alienum est, hominem æternæ damnationi addicere siue propter transgressionem leuem siue propter actum non perfecte liberum et uoluntarium.–Cf. S. Alphons, nn. 5, 6 et 53.”
The Christian Middle Ages were free from the terrible tendency of suicide, but with the loss of Faith it re-appeared, and Masaryk in his study Der Selbstmord als sociale Massenerscheinung der modernen Civilisation (Vienna, 1881), considered it to be the special evil of these later days. Sad to relate self-destruction has fearfully increased since the Great War, but it may perhaps be mitigatingly advanced that the reason of the world tottered almost to eternal delirium during the chaos and welter of blood, and the balance is not recovered yet.
It is true that among certain nations there appears to be an indifference to human life, nay, a contempt of death itself, which often takes the most extravagant and the most outrageous forms. The Goths, the heathen Vandals, and Norse savages not only approved but sought suicide and violent death. It is, of course, only among the utterly benighted that it is possible for such abominable ideas to obtain. For example, there existed among a tribe of robbers in Southern India customs of the utmost ferocity. Such practices as the following certainly prevailed during the eighteenth century, but they have no doubt, long since been happily suppressed. If two persons had quarrelled, sometimes for the most trifling reasons, a man would kill himself merely in order to be revenged on his adversary. He believed that
his ghost would be able to return and harry the surviver , or at least that some dire retribution must fall on the head of his enemy who drove him to such extreme measures. Again, custom required that if a man committed suicide, letting it be known that it was on this account, the person with whom he had had the difference that led to this abominable act must immediately follow his example.
Lord Avebury’s statement: “It is said that in China, if a rich man is condemned to death, he can sometimes purchase a willing substitute at a very small expense,” has been traversed and Professor Parker would not commit himself any further than by saying: “It is popularly stated that substitutes can be bought for Taels fifty, and most certainly this statement is more than true, so far as the price of human life is concerned; but it is quite another question whether the gaolers and judges can always be bribed.” Dr. W. T. A. Barber, who had been a missionary in China, relates that he had known very large numbers of persons who committed suicide out of spite against some one else, “the idea being, first, the trouble given by minions of the law to the survivor; second that the dead would gain a vantage ground by becoming a ghost, and thus able to plague his enemy in the flesh.”
It is not surprising to learn that in ancient times, before the advent of Christianity, among such savage people as the Celts and the Thracians suicide was not only common but treated with the most appalling lightness and even flippancy. Thus Athenæus, speaking of the banquets of the Thracians, quotes from Seleueus as follows: “And Seleueus says, ‘that some of the Thracians at their drinking parties play the game of hanging; and fix a round noose to some high place, exactly beneath which they place a stone which is easily turned round when any one stands upon it; and then they cast lots, and he who draws the lot, holding a sickle in his hand, stands upon the stone, and puts his neck into the halter; and then another person comes and raises the stone, and the man who is suspended, when the stone moves from under him, if he is not quick enough in cutting the rope with his sickle, is killed and the rest laugh, thinking his death good sport.'”
Upon the authority of the famous Stoic philosopher, Posidonius, Athenæus tells us of similar brutalities which took place among the Celts. He writes: “But Posidonius, in the
third, and also in the twentieth book of his Histories, says ‘The Celtæ sometimes have single combats at their entertainments. For being collected in arms, they go through the exercise, and make feints at, and sometimes they even go so far as to wound one another. And being irritated by this, if the bystanders do not stop them, they will proceed even to kill one another. But in olden times,’ he continues, ‘there was a custom that a hind quarter of pork was put on the table, and the bravest man took it; and if any one else laid claim to it, then the two rose up to fight, till one of them was slain. And other men in the theatre having received some silver or gold money, and some even for a number of earthen vessels full of wine, having taken pledges that the gifts promised shall really be given, and having distributed them among their nearest connexions, have laid themselves down on doors with their faces upwards, and then allowed some bystander to cut their throats with a sword.’
“And Euphorion the Chalcidian, in his Historical Memorials, writes as follows: ‘But among the Romans it is common for five minæ to be offered to any one who chooses to take it, to allow his head to be cut off with an axe, so that his heirs might receive the reward: and very often many have returned their names as willingly, so that there has been a regular contest between them as to who had the best right to be beaten to death.'” These atrocious examples serve to show us something of the evil and the corruption of which Christianity cleansed the pagan world, although it is to be feared that the battle is not yet won, since it is a notorious and deplorable fact that at the hour of such a crisis as the Great War the respect due to human life became cheapened in men’s eyes, with the consequence that murder and deeds of violence once more broke out in every direction showing that savage instincts were dominated indeed, but in many cases not wholly eradicated. It does not require a keen perception to see the direct agency of the devil here, and these atrocities which bred so callous and cruel a spirit are by no means altogether unconnected with the recrudescence of necromancy and black magic which foul arts once more grew green and were almost openly pursued on every side.
The belief that a man has not complete dominion over his own life and that it is unlawful for him to take it is certainly a
feeling naturally implanted in the human breast, and it was only when nations were entirely barbarian or had became decadent and corrupt that the notion of suicide was held up as noble and even heroic. Whatever certain among the later Greeks may have practised and taught, in earlier days, as we have seen, the act of suicide was regarded as a dark and presumptuous deed. They truly felt that there was in it something of ἀσέβεια, something of that ὕβρις which so surely stirred the wrath of heaven and inevitably called down righteous vengeance. Indeed the evil and malice of suicide did not end with death but continued beyond the grave. The umbra of a man who had slain himself was dreaded and feared. So in ancient Athens it was the custom to cut off the hand of a suicide and to cremate it or at least to bury it far from his body, the object of such mutilation being to prevent his ghost from attacking the living.
Similar beliefs exist among native African tribes. Thus the Wajagga of East Africa dread the spectres of suicides. When a man has hanged himself a certain complicated ceremonial becomes imperative. They take the rope from his neck and suspend a goat in the noose, after which the animal is swiftly slain. The idea seems that hereby the phantom will be in some way appeased, and he will not be so likely to tempt human beings to follow his evil example.
The Baganda of Central Africa have an even greater horror of the ghosts of suicides, and the most elaborate precautions are invariably taken to protect themselves against these dangerous visitors. The body of a man who has destroyed himself is removed as far from all human habitation as possible, to waste land or to a cross-road, and there is utterly consumed with fire. Next the wood of the house in which the horrid deed has been done is burned to ashes and scattered to the winds; whilst if the man has hanged himself upon a tree this is hewn to the ground and committed to the flames, trunk, roots, branches and all. Even this is hardly deemed to be sufficient. Curiously enough there is a lurking idea that the ghost of a suicide may survive after the cremation of the body, so horrible is this crime felt to be and so irradicated the taint that this terrible deed establishes. This is extremely significant since the cases in which cremation, a complete purgation and destruction by fire, cannot obliterate guilt and
destroy the evil infection are indeed exceptional, and it might be no easy task to find a parallel instance. However, the Baganda when passing by the spot where the body of a suicide has been burned always take good care to pelt it with sticks and clods of earth to prevent the ghost from catching them. Although these places in particular are dangerous to the last degree, there are other graves that may be haunted by phantoms, which as they have no bodies are not strictly vampires, but which certainly belong to the vampire family. Such are those remote places where persons who have been accused of black magic and who failed to satisfy the ritual ordeals have been burned to death, as also those spots where persons of evil and atrocious life have been cremated or interred. The Maraves, a tribe of South Africa, who also burned witches alive, whenever they had occasion to pass the place of doom, pelted it with stones, and it is said that in some instances of spots considered particularly ill-omened a regular cairn or tumulus of loose stones has arisen.” In Madagascar too, certain solitary graves bear an exceedingly ill-repute, so that the chance traveller with averted face throws stones at them or large lumps of earth in order to prevent the ghost following in his tracks and seizing on him. It must be remarked, and this is very important, that the sticks and stones, or heavy clods of earth with which a grave is pelted are not meant merely as a symbolical insult and expression of righteous indignation, but are actually missiles which will strike and hurt the being who haunts the spot of interment. So since the haunter can be struck and injured by these very material objects,–the heavier they are the better,–he must himself possess a certain concrete substantiality, and inasmuch as objects make an impression upon him he must exist under some kind of physical condition. Doubtless the exact idea is not very clearly defined in the minds of those who are so careful to pelt the grave, yet if stones will not merely ward off an attack from the haunter, but when in the course of time they become piled up into a small cairn they serve to keep the deceased in his place, that is to say in the grave, there must be some sort of material entity which can be so materially frustrated and obstructed. Here then we have the essential and complete vampire.
It is recorded by a traveller about the middle of the last
century that when he was journeying in company with two Mussulmans from Sidon to Tyre, as he drew near the latter city he noticed a great pile of stones by the wayside, whereupon his companions began to pick up all the loose pebbles that came to hand and discharged them violently at the heap at the same time uttering the most fearful imprecations. When they had passed and were at some little distance they explained that a notorious brigand, whose hands were stained with the hideous cruelties and innocent blood, had been slain there, and buried on the spot half a century before. The stones they threw and their curses were directed against this villain. It might be thought in this case that the missiles were a mark of loathing and contempt, but it seems far more probable that they were intended to serve a very utilitarian purpose, that is actually to keep off the wretch who would still be haunting the pit into which his body had been cast fifty years since.
It even appears that in many parts of Syria when brigands are killed by the highway, or vagrom murderers are dispatched in the open country side beyond the walls of a city the body is left to rot unburied where it lies, and after a while it is merely covered over with a heap of stones; moreover everyone who passes by is bound to quoit a stone or stick to add to the pile under the penalty of incurring some dreadful misfortune. It is supposed that heaven will horribly curse the person who fails to throw his flinty tribute as he goes.
It is not only among rude African tribes and in the East that the graves of persons who have led cruel and anti-social lives, particularly the spots where suicides have been buried, are thus places of execration and fear, but in Pomerania and in West Prussia, not to instance many other districts, the spots where persons who have wrought their own destruction happen to be interred are regarded as unlucky in the highest degree, and there is no more malevolent and harmful spectre than the suicide’s ghost. A man who has destroyed himself must not defile God’s acre, in no wise may he be buried in the churchyard but at the place where the desperate deed was done, and everybody who passes by will cast a stone on the spot unless he wishes the ghost of the suicide to plague him nightly and to give him no rest until he is driven to the same dreadful fate. It is said that, as in Africa piles of sticks
and stones accumulate to a great size, so similar cairns rise upon these haunted spots in the more remote districts along the cold shores washed by the Baltic Sea.
It is not surprising to find that in a country such as Russia, which through the ages has so often tottered to madness and of late years fallen into stark lunacy, during the seventeenth century an epidemic of suicide raged. It persisted, indeed, at spasmodic intervals throughout the eighteenth and even the nineteenth centuries, but it was somewhat earlier than this that the troubles of that luckless nation blazed out in furious frenzy. As when the year 1000 approached a fearful apocalyptic mania inflamed many parts of Europe, and men imagining that the world was about to come to an end, that almost any hour, any moment the Angel’s clarion would blare, heaven and earth shrivel like some parching scroll and the Judge be set on His awful throne, in their hundreds deserted cities and homes to wander abroad preaching fevered repentance and the most extravagent forms of penance, or else in frantic despair abandoned themselves to debauchery and violence, so in Russia some mad visionary who proclaimed that the crack of doom was appointed for the year 1666 set the whole country aflame with terror. In many parts, men ceased to labour in the fields, relinquished their businesses and all social intercourse, barricaded themselves in their houses behind closed windows and fast-barred doors, awaiting the end with the gloomiest forebodings. As might have been expected, great numbers completely lost their senses and scores of dangerous lunatics not only infested the highroad but even invaded villages and towns preaching that the only way to escape the wrath to come was to prevent the final day by self-destruction. They were, moreover, very willing and eager to help those who shrank from so severe a test, and before long red murder was rife in every direction. Their services, however, were not required as frequently as might have been supposed for the delirium spread with such alarming rapidity that not merely households but whole communities eagerly devoted themselves to death. If in some paroxysm of wild hysteria a man had declared his intention of becoming a martyr, for so these poor wretches were deemed, the pious duty devolved upon his friends and relations of seeing that he scrupulously fulfilled his vow. Should he
wish to change his mind or in any way seek to escape his fate he was pursued and saved in spite of himself by being put to death in the most atrocious torments. A veritable reign of terror ensued, and northern Russia seemed well-nigh depopulated. It were superfluous to enter into the horrible details, but it may suffice to say that at first starvation was the usual method by which these maniacs committed suicide. In the forest of Vetlouga, one fanatic at huge expense actually built a tower without doors and windows, into the body of which persons were lowered through a trap in the roof. But this was too long a process; it gave space for reflection and with the pangs of hunger reason resumed her sway. Those within yelled to be released, but all in vain. To shouts and clamour succeeded groans and fainter lamentations, until as the days passed all was still. Another remedy was found and presently the method which was preferred and which was officially prescribed as safer and more pleasing to God was immolation by fire. Accordingly, the missionaries of this horrible impiety proclaimed safety through the flame; as the prophet Elias had ascended to heaven in a blazing chariot, so the deluded wretches were taught they would ascend to a glorious and delightful eternity from the midst of the conflagration. Hundreds and even thousands perished in huge holocausts. Whole areas were strictly enclosed, the candidates took their places therein and the compound having been previously drenched with pitch, bitumen, and inflammable oils torches were applied at many points. If any overcome by agony escaped with scorched and blackened limbs they were caught and hurled back into the heart of the pyre. These immolations generally took place during the dark winter season and from midnight until the faint streaks of dawn the red glow of these horrid furnaces could be seen in every direction. For hundreds of verstas the land became a veritable Tophet. As the morning broke, hordes of wolves attracted by the stench of roasting flesh assembled to pull trunks and limbs from the embers; a dark cloud of suffocating smoke, greasy with human fat that fouled both ground and houses, hung low in the sky, and ere many days were past the plague was stalking abroad with fatal voracity. It was not until the most vigorous measures had been taken that these terrible practices could be checked, and it seems that the
venom of the madness persisted long and late, for as recently as 1860, fifteen persons in the district of Olonetz committed suicide by fire, whilst during the winter of 1896-1897, twenty-four religious fanatics buried themselves alive in a pit near Tiraspol. The monk, Falaley, constantly preached that death was man’s only means of salvation and that he must have done with this life of sin. One night under his influence, eighty-four persons congregated near the river Perevozinka and began to pray. Many of them were already half-crazed through excessive fasting, and they almost covered themselves with brambles and brushwood to which fire was to be set at a given signal. A woman, taking alarm at the thought of so horrible a death, escaped and informed the authorities. When the police arrived the fanatics shrieked that Antichrist was approaching, and setting fire to the pile most perished in the flames. A few who were rescued received sentences of imprisonment and deportation, but a fanatic called Souchkoff, managed to escape and continued to preach the gospel of death. Maddened by his doctrine in one locality alone, sixty families resolved to commit suicide at a certain moment, and a peasant, named Petroff, entering a neighbour’s house cut down his wife and children with a hatchet. In a barn hard by, a dozen men with their wives had assembled and amid hymns of triumph they laid their heads upon an improvised block to be hacked off by Petroff. In another hut a woman and three children were dispatched at their own earnest request. At length when he was weary, Petroff himself kneeled down and was slain by Souchkoff. Between 1860 and 1870, a maniac named Chadkin, proclaimed that Antichrist was here, and all most follow him to the forests and there die of hunger. A large number assembled and his most devoted followers saw to it that nobody could escape. After a few days the sufferings of the crowds were fearful and the place rang with their screams and groans. Nevertheless Chadkin and his apostles did not waver. When some poor creature, frantic with agony, managed to break away and informed the police, the devotees at once began to kill all who had gathered together, and by the time the authorities had arrived in the utmost haste there were found but three survivors.
Buddhist monks in China are often recorded to have
sought their Nirvana through an act of self -immolation by fire, and it is said that every year among the lamaresais of Tien-tai, in the province of Tai-chow, some half-a-dozen bonzes thus devote themselves to death. These unfortunate persons believe that their voluntary destruction crowns the monastery with honours and blessing, they are aware that they will be worshipped after their suicide, and they suppose that they will become the divinities of the district and possess the power to protect the whole neighbourhood, to grant fair weather and lucky seasons, a bounteous harvest and all prosperity. Such public incinerations are conducted with great ceremony, and take place upon a major festival which is bound to attract crowds of pilgrims and reverent suppliants to the spot. It is said that among the Eskimo of Bering Strait a sorcerer has been known to burn himself alive, fully believing that thus he will return to life as a shaman with much greater powers and a far fuller knowledge of magic than he had hitherto enjoyed. It may be remembered that even such low motives as vanity and a craving for mere notoriety have proved an incentive sufficiently powerful to induce men to seek a dramatic, if painful death by fire. Thus the charlatan Peregrinus after a career of the most braggart ostentation courted undying fame by self-immolation upon a pyre at the Olympic festival, which extraordinary performance attracted throngs not only of sensible persons who despised and mocked him but of encomiasts and apologists who regarded him as at the least a hero, if not something nearly approaching to deity. It can hardly be argued that higher motives inspired Empedocles if the account preserved by Diogenes Laertius to which Horace makes reference be true, namely that hoping by a sudden disappearance he might be accounted a god, the philosopher flung himself into the crater of Mount Aetna, but that the suicide was revealed owing to the fact that the volcano almost immediately after threw up one of his sandals, and thus betrayed the manner of his death.
Josephus states that the Jews used not to bury the bodies of those who had destroyed themselves until after sunset. In Scotland it is still thought that the body of a suicide will not fall to dust until the time when he should have died in the order of nature, and it is very generally held that a such
a one must be buried with the grave facing north and south. This belief also existed in England and there are graves facing north and south to be seen at Cowden (Kent) and Bergholt (Suffolk), which are locally said to be those of persons who have destroyed themselves, for it is almost universally declared that Christian burial should be with the head in west, looking eastward. As is well-known, in England until the time of George IV, it was the general practice to bury suicides at the cross-roads, where a stake was driven through the body. In the year 1823, it was enacted that the body of a suicide should be buried privately between the hours of nine o’clock and twelve at night with no religious ceremony. In 1882, this law was altered, and the body may now be committed to the earth at any time and with such rites or prayers those in charge of the funeral think fit or may be able to procure. In certain country places it is still supposed that the spirit of the last person buried in a graveyard has to keep watch lest any suicide should be interred there. One explanation of the reason why persons who had taken their own lives should be buried at the cross-roads was that the ghosts of murdered persons were supposed to walk until the bodies had been recovered and committed to the churchyard with Christian rites, and since this was impossible in the case of suicides, a stake was driven through them when deposited at the cross-roads in order to keep the ghost from wandering abroad. It is certain that the idea here is the same as that of driving a stake through the vampire, for sometimes this precaution was taken in the case of persons who might perchance become vampires, an operation performed not as an indignity but as a preventitive. Burchard of Worms tells us: “Cum aliquis, femina parere debit, et non potest, in ipso dolore si mortem obierit, in ipso sepulchro matrem cum infante palo in terram transfigunt.” And again: “Fecisti quod quaedam mulieres instinctu diaboli facere solent, cum aliquis infans sine baptismo mortuus fuerit, tollunt cadauer paruuli, et ponunt in aliquo secreto loco, et palo corpusculum transfigunt, dicentes, si sic non fecissent, quod infantulus surgeret et multos laedere posset.” The reason for the selected spot of the suicide’s grave being a cross-road is further explained by the belief that when the ghost or the body issues from the grave and finds that there
are four paths stretching in as many directions he will be puzzled to know which way to take and will stand debating until dawn compels him to return to the earth, but woe betide the unhappy being who happens to pass by when he is lingering there perplexed and confused. Accordingly after sunset, every sensible person will avoid all crossroads since there are no localities more certainly and more fearfully haunted and disturbed. It will readily be remembered that the Romans were far more precise than we used to be in their definition of cross-roads and employed no less than three terms, biuium when the road branched into two, triuium when the road forked into three, and quadriuium when the intersection of the ways gave four arms. The prophet Ezechiel tells us that Esarhaddon took his stand in biuio when he wished to divine: “Stetit enim rex Babylonis in biuio, in capite duarum uiarum, diuinationem quaerens, commiscens sagittas: interrogauit idola, exta consuluit.” (xxi, 21.) “For the king of Babylon stood in the highway, at the head of two ways, seeking divination, shuffling arrows: he enquired of the idols, and consulted entrails.” Triuia is the common name given to Diana, when as Hecate she was invoked at the crossways. Chariclides Comicus in Meineke’s Comicorum Fragmenta, IV, p. 556, has τριοδῖτας, and invokes: Ἑκάτη τριοδῖτι, τρίμορφε, τριπρόσωπε.
Varro, De Lingua Latina, VII, 16, writes “Titanis Triuia, Diana est, ab eo dicta Triuia, quod in triuio ponitur fere in oppodis Graecis, uel quod luna dicitur esse, quae in caelo tribus uiis mouetur in altitudinem et latitudinem et longitudinem.” Macrobius, Saturnalia, I, ix, notes: “Dianae uero ut Triuiae uiarum omnium iidem tribuunt potestatem.”
In Wales it was said that witches slept by day under any boulder that might be at a cross-road, and when dusk had fallen they crept forth to steal little children and feast upon their flesh. The gallows was often erected at the cross-roads, and here the criminal hung in chains, and nourished by his rotting flesh the mandrake grew. Many are the superstitions which cluster around the mandrake or mandragora–“the semi-human” as Columella (De re rustica, x, 19) calls it. It was the plant of fertility, the plant of magical virtue and occult power. In Germany it bears the name of the Little Gallows Man, and it was believed that when a murderer or
thief was hanged and his semen or urine fell to the ground there grew up the mandrake. In England the same superstition prevailed, and in his pasquil A Character of an Ugly Woman or a Hue and Cry after Beauty, 1678, the Duke of Buckingham wrote: “Imprimis, as to her Descent, some Heralds derive her Pedigree from that of the Scotch Barnacles, and say, that she dropt from some teeming Gallows, or sprung up like Mandrakes from the S— of some gibbitid Raggamuffian.” No one must dare uproot the mandrake for it moans and shrieks so fearfully that the digger will die with the yells ringing in his ears. A dog is taken and round his tail is tied a string, one end of which is attached to the plant. A man whose ears are fast stopped with wax and wool, tempts the dog away with some dainty. As the animal tugs at the cord the mandrake will be pulled from the ground, but the poor beast will fall dead at the horrid scream it gives. But there has been secured a talisman, nay, more a familiar.
Even in the mythology of Ceylon the cross-roads play an ominous part. Thus in the Yakkun Nattanawa, which is defined by its translator, John Callaway, as “a Cingalese poem descriptive of the Ceylon system of demonology,” it is said of the Black She-Devil: “Thou female Devil, who acceptest the offerings at the place where three ways meet, thou causest the people to be sick by looking upon them at the place where four ways join together.” The devil Maha-Sohon watches “to drink the blood of the elephant in the place where the two and three roads meet together.” Maha-Sohon is the devil of the tombs, “therefore go not in the roads by night: if you do so you must not expect to escape with your life.” Another devil, Oddy, stands where three ways meet, watching, and hot for mischief. Again the Devil of the Victim “watches and looks upon the people, and causes them to be sick at the place where three roads meet, and where four ways meet.”
Ralstan says that it is a common Russian belief that at cross-roads, or in the neighbourhood of cemeteries, an animated corpse often lurks watching for some unwary traveller whom it may be able to strangle and devour, eagerly quaffing the warm blood from his veins. In Cornwall to-day cross-roads are most carefully avoided after night-fall, but this may be because it is commonly accepted that at the cross-roads
witches from all the world over assemble for their sabbat. It seems more likely that these particular spots are avoided because of the vampires, for Henry Boguet tells us: “Les Sorciers tienne~t leurs sabbats indiffereme~t en tons lieux.” Bernhard Ragner says that if you go to a cross-road between eleven o’clock and midnight on Christmas eve and listen, you will hear what most concerns you for the coming year. It may be pointed out that this is the one night throughout the year when strange wonders happen. It is then that the thorn that sprang at Glastonbury from the Sacred Crown which the holy old man, S. Joseph of Arimathea, brought with him from Palestine, when Avalon was still an island, bourgeons into fragrant blossoms. The Cornish miners seem to hear the sound of singing choirs that arise from submerged churches by the shore, and others said that bells, beneath the ground where villages had been, upon that eve yearly ring a glad peal. At midnight the oxen, the cattle, and all the beasts kneel and adore, as they adored in the stable-cave at Bethlehem. No evil thing hath power, and as the Officer in Hamlet tells us:
Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.
In certain districts of East Prussia on Christmas Eve candles are kept burning all night in the houses and no window is shuttered. It is supposed that the spirits of the dead will return in friendly-wise and the opportunity is given to them to warm themselves, so that on future occasions when they haunt the villages with more malicious intent they may remember those who are kind to them Christmas after Christmas and spare those houses from molestation and injury.
Not only are those who die excommunicate, that is to say solemnly and officially cursed by the Church, liable to become vampires, but more, those who die under any kind of such ban, especially if it be the malison of a parent, or if it be a man who has perjured himself in a grave matter and called down upon his own head damnation and all manner of evil should
what he asseverate be untrue. The belief in the fearful power of a curse, especially the curse of a father or a mother, which, whether rightfully or wrongfully adjured, works out its vengeance through the whole stock of kith and kin, involving in misfortunes and destruction, innocent and guilty alike, finds supreme illustration in the masterpieces of Greek tragedy. It is the mighty theme of the trilogy of the Oresteia, for from the very outset of the Agamemnon there is a brooding and oppressive sense of multitudinous crimes, of sins done long years ago which have swelled and accumulated their guilt like some black cloud of transgressions about to burst over the doomed race in a welter of tragedy and blood. The evil wrought by Thyestes, the crimes of his grandsire Tantalus, the atrocious banquet of Atreus, have yet to be expiated in misery, in anguish and affliction. When the weird Trojan woman approaches the threshold she scents the carnage of the shambles and horrors manifold, and as the pang of inspiration thrills her she shrieks aloud: “The Furies are in this house; blood-surfeited, but not assuaged, they hold perpetual revel here. It is the crime of Atreus and of Thyestes which they hunt, and woe will follow woe.”
τὴν γὰρ στέγην τήνδ᾽ οὔποτ᾽ ἐκλείπει χορος
σύμφθογγος οὐκ εὔφωνος?<συπ?>·? οὐ γὰρ εῦ᾽ λέγει,
καὶ μὴν πεπωκώς γ᾽, ὡς θραδσύνεσθαι πλέον,
βρότειον αῖ?!μα κῶμος ἐν δόμοις μένει,
δύσπεμπτος ἔξω, συγγόνων Ἐρινύων·
Sophocles also no less fearfully shows us the tale of Oedipus and his children, the legend of the house of Laius, whose family was as equally famous among the Greeks as the stock of Atreus for its overwhelming disasters, the bitter fruit of an undying curse which destroyed the whole race. Laius, the son of Labdacus, had wrought a mighty evil. Lusting after the beauty of Chrysippus, the son of Pelops, with violence he raped the lad who belonged to another, and thus had sinned the sin of ὕβρις since he both betrayed another’s love and used brute force in doing so. For this crime his whole progeny was involved in destruction. He married Jocasta, the sister of Creon of Thebes, and the oracle warned him that his son should kill him. When a boy was born to the royal pair they cruelly exposed their child, a helpless infant, to the
wild beasts on Mount Cithaeron, but the will of heaven is not frustrated by the impotence of man. Many years after as King Laius is riding privately in his chariot attended by only five servants they meet a young man upon the road. The king bids him make way, commanding him in rough and insolent terms. A quarrel arises. The stranger, a stalwart warrior, strikes down the master and certain of the servants, but one escapes and fled away for his life. Presently Oedipus solves the riddle of the monstrous Sphinx, when the Thebans, in gratitude, since their old monarch has been slain by robbers on the highway elect him to rule over them, giving him the lady Jocasta to wife. He governs the state in great prosperity, and four children are born to him, two sons, Polyneices and Eteocles; two daughters, Antigone and Ismene. It is the calm before the storm; a fearful plague afflicts the city, and when the divine Phoebus Apollo is consulted he answers that the murderer of Laius must be driven from the land. The old prophet, Teiresias, the mystic whose converse is in heaven, but who yet in his stern pride still retains much of humanity, is asked to rede the enigma. He answers with deep sighs and groans, seeking to be led home again, until goaded by the impatience and hot temper of the king he flashes forth the truth. But it is not immediately recognized, and Oedipus begins formally to inquire into the circumstances of the death of his predecessor. Detail is heaped upon detail and at last the horrible revelation forces itself upon his soul. Mad with terror, Jocasta hangs herself within her bed-chamber, and Oedipus tearing from her dress the buckles and clasps of gold strikes out his eyes that are unworthy to look upon the golden light of day. One moment a king, the next a beggar, red with parricide, polluted with the fires of incest, accursed of God and man, in the bitterness of utter dereliction he must go forth desolate and alone. He dare not even bid farewell to his sons and daughters for they are the children of doom, seed of that admixture too fearful to be named. In the next play, the Oedipus Coloneus, we find him many years afterwards, a mysterious figure set apart by heaven in awful loneliness. He is waiting in a place of peculiar sanctity, the reverent groves of the Semnai Theai, the holy goddesses of divine retribution, waiting for his silent passage to the shadowy world. And even here the evil ambitions of his sons would
fain disturb him at the end. But he is far removed from the strife and passion of this world, and when young Polyneices, fair, false and fickle, endeavours to enlist his father’s sympathies the lad receives the awful answer: “Dry were your eyes, hard as stone your heart, dumb your lips, when I went forth from Thebes friendless and alone. Here then is your reward: before the Walls of Thebes you shall perish, pierced by your brother’s hand, and there your brother shall die slain by you.” This terrible imprecation is only too terribly fulfilled, and defying the laws of King Creon, who would have the curse-polluted ghosts of the brothers seek for rest in vain even in Hades, Antigone meets her doom. Nor does Creon, the respectable Creon, weak and spiteful, impotent, yet a tyrant, escape scathless. His malice is sharply punished, owing to his own folly and cruelty he loses both wife and son, for he has forgotten that great truth which S. Thomas enunciated, that “reason is the first principle of all human works,” and “the secular power is subject to the spiritual even as the body is subject to the soul.” So owing to his impiety he is left without child to carry on his name, bereaved of all, broken and collapsed, piteously confessing himself–μάταιον ἄνδρα–feckless and foolish old man.
It has seemed worth while thus very briefly and inadequately to review these two great themes of Greek tragedy, since in both instances they set forth in detail the terrible and relentless working of a curse, which it may be said has something of that divine vengeance that visits “the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation.” And so something of this old Greek doctrine was very true, for who can foresee the end of the working of a curse? Even to-day there are places and there are properties in England which owing to deeds of blood and violence in their acquisition entail some dire misfortune upon all who seek to enjoy and possess them. Such a place is the ruined Abbey of Glastonbury, and of many another house–Tintern, Newstead, Cowdray, Waverley, Barlings, Croxton, Dureford–the tale is true. De male quaesita non gaudet tertius haeres, says the old adage, and it is well known that lands wrested from the Church will not descend in due course owing to a failure of heirs. Such a case has come under my own observation, and Aubrey in his Miscellanies cites Hinton Charterhouse
on Mendip and Butleigh, near Glastonbury as never having passed to the third generation. So did Cromwell’s generals and adherents transmit a troubled inheritance to their descendants. Fairfax House, Putney, had its haunted chamber which was never used.
It must be remembered that a solemn curse is not merely an expletive or an imprecatory exclamation, perhaps quite meaningless, but it is far more than this; it is significant and operative. The malediction is conceived as having a certain efficacious power, and it may be noted that this force if rightly launched does not seem to exhaust itself. No more terrible fate could be imagined than for a man to become a vampire, and this was the inevitable consequence if he were not cleared of a merited malison. The old proverb says:
Curses are like young chicken
And still come home to roost.
This adage is terribly exemplified in the vampire who is supposed when he returns from his grave first to attack those who on earth have been his nearest and dearest. Of all curses the parental malediction is most dreaded, and curiously enough in Macedonia, Mr. Abbott tells us that a godfather is regarded with even greater respect than the actual parents and his “malediction is dreaded even more than that of a Bishop.” At the present day in Greece many of the usual imprecations definitely refer to the fact that the person so cursed will become a vampire after death. Such imprecations as the following are in common use. “May the earth not receive him,” (Νὰ μήν τον δεχτῃ᾽ ἡ γῆς) “May the ground not consume him” (Νὰ μήν τον φάλῃ τὸ χῶμα) “May the earth not digest thee” (Ἡ γῆ νὰ μή δε χυνέψῃ): “May the black earth spew thee up” (Ἡ μαύρη γῆ νά σ᾽ ἀναξεράσῃ) “Mayest thou remain incorrupt,” (Να μείνῃς ἄλωμτος); “May the earth not loose thee” which is to say may the body not decompose (Νὰ μή σε λυώσῃ ἡ γἠ); “May the ground reject thee” (Νά σε βλάλῃ τὸ χῶμα); “Mayest thou a become in the grave like rigid wood” (Κουτοῦκι νὰ βλῃ᾽ς); “May the ground reject him wholly” (Τὸ χῶμα ᾽ξεράς᾽ τόνε), which last phrase is the most terrible of all since it is nothing other than an unspeakably impious parody of the prayer which is uttered by the mourners at every Greek funeral Ὁθεὸς ᾽χωρές᾽ τόνε, “May God forgive him.”
Since even the curse uttered by a man in moments of anger and impatience may have such terrible effects, in Greece it is necessary that there should be some expedient which may dissipate and dispel the forces to which these words have given an impetus capable of producing the most serious and horrible results. Accordingly at a Greek death-bed there is carried out a certain ritual to attain this end. A vessel of water is brought to the bedside and he throws into it a handful of salt, and when this is dissolved the sick man sprinkles with the lymph all those who are present saying: “As this salt dissolves so may my curses dissolve”; ὡς λυώνει τ᾽ἀλάτι, νὰ λυὡσουν ᾑ κατάραισ μου. This ceremony absolves all persons whom he may have cursed in his lifetime from the evil of a ban which after death he would no longer be able to revoke. The relations and friends then solemnly forgive the dying man for ought that he may have done against them and all present declare that they bear no grudge nor anger in their hearts. It is said that if the passage be a difficult one it is supposed that somebody whom the sick man has injured has not forgiven him. If it can be guessed who this may be, he is if possible, brought to the bed-side to declare his forgiveness of any injury he may have suffered. If, however, he be dead a portion of the cerements must be sought and burned to ashes in the bed-chamber of the dying person, who is fumigated with the smoke. These elaborate precautions and the extraordinary care which is taken, for it must often be a matter of very great difficulty either to secure the attendance of the living individual or to get hold of a portion of the necessary shroud, serve to show what immense importance the modern Greek attaches to the absolution from a curse, and what horror the thought of a vampire inspires.
It is obvious that those who die unbaptized or apostate will be liable to become vampires after death, and throughout the south of Europe there still persist large numbers of ceremonies and superstitions connected with a christening whose object it is to secure the child a long, happy and healthy life.
In England as in many other countries it is thought lucky to be born on one of the great church festivals, especially if it be a Sunday. In certain districts of Yorkshire even to-day it is commonly said that “Sunday children are secure from
the malice of evil spirits.” Again a child born on a Saturday, although he may have “to work hard for his living” is considered to enjoy occult powers, to have the faculty of second sight, to be able to see ghosts and phantoms, and indeed to be so attuned to the supernatural that he can never be harmed even by the vampire. It is very probable that as Saturday is the seventh day of the week those born upon this day are considered as akin to a seventh son, who was so popularly believed to possess extraordinary powers of healing and the like. The old English rhyme is well known, and perhaps the following is one of the most usual forms:
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is sour and grum,
Thursday’s child has welcome home,
Friday’s child is free in giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for his living.
And the child that is born on Christmas Day
Is great, and good, and fair, and gay.
Although, as we have said, in England it is considered am omen of a happy life to be born upon some festival the exact opposite is the case in Slav countries. In Greece, particularly, nothing could be more disastrous, and of all seasons Christmas Day is the most unlucky. In many districts it is accounted a terrible thing for any child to be born at any time between Christmas and the Epiphany; such babies are called ἑορτοπιάσματα or “feast-blasted,” and after death they will assuredly become vampires. Even during life such a child is a Callicantzaros.
The Callicantzaros is one of the most extraordinary and most horrible of all the creatures of popular superstition. Leone Allacci says that they only appear and have power during the week from Christmas to New Year’s Day, but other authorities extend this time until Twelfth Night. During the rest of the year it is vaguely supposed that they sojourn in some mysterious Hades or under-world. Local traditions differ as to whether they are actually demons or whether they are human. Allacci, who certainly inclines to the latter view, says that children born in the octave of Christmas are liable to be seized with a terrible mania, that they rush to and fro with the most amazing speed, that their nails grow to a
terrible length like the talons of a bird of prey whilst their hands become as crooked claws. If they meet any person on the highway they seize him and put the question: “Tow or lead?” If he answer: “Tow” he may escape unharmed, but if he be inadvertent enough to reply: “Lead,” they grip him with terrible force, mangle him with their talons and often tear him to pieces, devouring him wholemeal. During the seventeenth century this belief so strongly prevailed that the most cruel precautions were taken in the case of children who might be suspected to be liable to become Callicantzari, since the soles of their feet were exposed to a fire until the nails were singed and so their claws clipped, and even to-day in parts of Greece these practices prevail in a highly modified form, for among the Ægean islanders it is said that the small Callicantzari are particularly prone to attack and devour their own brothers and sisters, which is another strong link with the tradition of the vampire who, as we have noted before, seeks the destruction of his own kin.
It is difficult to convey any idea of the popular notions concerning the appearance of a Callicantzaros, as almost every local account differs from others in almost every particular. For the most part they are considered to be very gaunt and of enormous strength. On the other hand there are some who are dwarfed and stunted. The larger variety generally appear as ineffably hideous monsters with black distorted faces, eyes glaring red like fire, huge ears such as those of a donkey, great gaping mouths furnished with a slobbering scarlet tongue and sharp gleaming teeth, from which streams their fetid breath in horrid gusts. Again the pigmy Callicantzaros may appear in the shape of a child, but in this case it is usually deformed in some grotesque and painful manner. On the other hand they are sometimes harmless hobgoblins, full of mischief maybe, but objects of laughter rather than fear, though they may play many a naughty and tiresome trick not unlike the kobold and the leprechaun. A hundred tales are told of their pranks, but it is the more gruesome and the fiercer monsters with whom we are mainly concerned since it is from their ranks that the vampire is recruited, for most of them become vampires after death (a fact which seems to point to their human origin), and not infrequently they are supposed to indulge their vampirish
fancies during life. It will be noticed that in the various accounts of the Callicantzari there exist many contradictions, and we must bear in mind that such diversities are often due to the original conception of these creatures, whether they are regarded as demons or monsters who are suffered to plague the countryside for a certain number of days during the Christmas season, or whether they are regarded as human beings afflicted with a terrible curse, the victims of a most horrible possession, doomed never to rest not even in the grave.
Near akin to the latter conception is the werewolf, who may be regarded as a man or woman, who either of his or her own will through black magic is able to change into the form of a wolf, or who in classical times was believed to be so changed owing to the vengeance of the gods; and in later days was believed to be so changed owing to the enchantment of a witch or some manner of diabolic possession. Moreover, a werewolf may be a person who without any actual metamorphosis is obsessed with all the savage passions and ferocity of a wolf, so that he will attack human beings in the same way as the actual wild animal.
It may be asked, is it possible that a person should be so transformed? Henry Kramer and James Sprenger, the learned authors of the supremely authoritative Malleus Maleficarum, in discussing the question distinctly answer “No, it is not possible.” They allow that by horrid charms and spells a certain subjective delusion or glamour may be caused, so that by the evil art of a sorcerer a man may appear to himself and to all others who gaze upon him to be a wolf, or indeed another kind of animal, but there cannot be any actual physical change of a man into an animal. This glamour or ocular illusion is sometimes known as “sight-shifting,” a convenient correlative to the accepted term “shape-shifting” which is conceived of as an objective fact. Moreover, in his De Ciuitate Dei, XVIII, 18, S. Augustine says: “Nor can the devils create anything (whatever shows of theirs produce these doubts) but only cast a changed shape over that which God has made, altering only in show. Nor do I think the devil can form any soul or body into bestial or brutal members, and essences; but they have an unspeakable way of transporting man’s phantasy in a bodily shape, unto other senses (this though it be not corporal, yet seems to carry itself in corporal
forms through all these things) while the bodies of the men thus affected lie in another place, being alive, but yet in an ecstasy far more deep than any sleep. Now this phantasy may appear unto other senses in a bodily shape, and a man may seem to himself to be such an one as he often thinks himself to be in his dream, and to bear burdens, which if they be true burdens indeed, the devils bear them, to delude men’s eyes with the appearance of true burdens, and false shapes.” We must bear in mind that these explanations come from the highest authority, one of the greatest Doctors of the Church, and will, I think, very fairly cover most of the cases of the werewolf.
In early days it was recognized that a werewolf might be a person who was afflicted with a horrible mania, and Marcellus Sidetes, who lived in the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, circa A.D. 117-161, wrote Περὶ λυκανθρώπου, a long medical poem in Greek hexameter verse, consisting of forty-two books, of which only a couple of fragments remain. He says that Lycanthropy is a disease, a kind of insanity or mania when the patient was afflicted with hideous appetites, the ferocity, and other qualities of a wolf. He further tells us that men are attacked with this madness chiefly in the beginning of the year, and become most furious in February; retiring for the night to lone cemeteries and living precisely in the manner of ravening wolves.
Under Lycanthropia, Burton notes as follows: “Lycanthropia, which Avicenna calls Cucubuth, others Lupinam Insaniam, or Wolf-Madness, when men run howling about graves and fields in the night, and will not be persuaded but that they are wolves, or some such beasts. Aetius (Lib. 6, cap. 11) and Paulus (Lib. 3, cap. 16) call it a kind of melancholy; but I should rather refer it to madness, as most do. Some make a doubt of it whether there be any such disease. Donat ab Altomari (Cap. 9, Art med.) saith, that he saw two of them in his time: Wierus (De praestig. Daemonum, 1, 3, cap. 21) tells a story of such a one at Padua, 1541, that would not believe to the contrary, but that he was a wolf.
He hath another instance of a Spaniard, who thought himself a bear; Forrestus (Obseruat. lib. 10, de morbis cerebri, cap. 15) confirms as much by many examples; one amongst the rest of which he was an eye-witness, at Alcmaer, in Holland, a poor
husbandman that still hunted about graves, and kept in churchyards, of a pale, black, ugly, and fearful look . . . this malady, saith Avicenna, troubleth men most in February, and is now-a-days frequent in Bohemia and Hungary, according to Heurnius (Cap. de Man.). Schernitzius will have it common in Livonia. They lie hid most part all day, and go abroad in the night, barking, howling, at graves and deserts; they have usually hollow eyes, scabbed legs and thighs, very dry and pale (Ulcerata crura, sitis ipsis adest immodica, pallidi, lingua sicca) saith Altomarus (Cap. 9, Art. Hydrophobia); he gives a reason there of all the symptoms, and sets down a brief cure of them.” It is remarkable that most of these features are found in the vampire, especially the unquenchable thirst, “sitis immodica” which is emphasized by the famous physician Antonio Donato Altomari, who was one of the most learned authorities of his day. It is also remarkable that the malady is reported as being very prevalent in Bohemia, Hungary, and Livonia, countries in which the vampire is most frequently found. There is in fact a very close connexion between the werewolf and the vampire, and the lycanthropist is liable to become a vampire when he dies.
In parts of Greece, particularly in Elis, it is said that even those who eat the flesh of a sheep that has been killed by a wolf are apt to become vampires after their death, and this serves to show how powerful the pollution of the werewolf was supposed to be. In Norse saga, Ingiald, the son of King Aunund, was timid whilst a boy, but after eating the heart of a wolf he gained strength and courage and became the boldest of heroes. It might be thought that so far from inspiring a person with a thirst for blood the flesh of a sheep would homœopathically infuse qualities of gentleness, and indeed the Abipones of Paraguay were most careful to avoid mutton lest it should make them slack and fearful in the fight. But in this instance it will be seen that the characteristics of a sheep have been absorbed, so to speak, and infected by the ferocity of the wolf. Curiously enough in Uganda the Baganda greatly fear the ghosts of sheep, which they believe would return and kill a man if they saw him give them the fatal blow. Hence when a sheep is to be killed one man occupies its attention in some way and another, whose presence the animal must not suspect, swiftly slaughters it before
a glimpse of him can be caught. In this way the sheep is tricked because the ghost does not know whom to haunt and punish for its death. Moreover, sheep give health and protection to cattle, and a ram is almost invariably sent into the pastures with a herd of cows. Should a sheep die in a house nobody must dare openly to mention the fact, which may only be alluded to in the most covert and circumlocutionary phrase, for were anyone to say, “the sheep is dead,” its ghost sorely angered would assuredly afflict the unlucky speaker with some disease and possibly even kill him outright. It is worth noting that among the ancient Greeks it was thought that any garment made from the fleece of a sheep which had been worried or torn by a wolf would have a bad effect upon the wearer and set up some roseola and an intense irritation of the skin. It is certainly curious to note the whole mass of tradition which, as it would seem, the wide world over is connected with the sheep, and in particular when this animal has been attacked or slain by a wolf.
Even as some kind of vampirish infection was held to proceed from the wolf, the vampire himself will even more strongly convey this taint, and therefore, unless the most drastic and immediate remedies are applied, a person who is attacked by a vampire and whose blood has been sucked will become a vampire in turn imbued with a craving to pass on the horrible pollution. This is perhaps, and with good reason, the most dreaded quality of the vampire, and examples thereof occur again and again in legend and history.
It is far more curious that it should be thought that those over whose dead bodies a cat or any other animal has passed should become vampires. This belief widely exists amongst Slavonic peoples, and is to be found in some parts of Greece. It also prevails in China where a cat is never allowed to enter a room with a corpse for the body still contains the Kuei, the lower or inferior soul of Yin original, and by leaping over it the cat will impart something of its original savage or tigerish nature and the dead man may become a vampire. It should be explained that it is a common belief among the Chinese that there are two “souls”; the higher soul which after death seeks the divine life, the heavenly source of its being; and the lower soul, which is gross, returning to the
earth and dwelling in the grave until the complete dissolution of the corpse.
It is believed among Slavonic nations, as it was firmly believed throughout England and in many districts of France, that witches turn themselves into cats, and among the Oraons (or Uraons) a primitive hill tribe of Bengal, we have a vampire cat who is a Chordewa, a witch who is able to change her soul into a black cat and who then visits and frequents the houses where there are sick and dying people. Such a cat has a peculiar way of mewing quite differently from the noise of other cats, and is easily recognized. It steals quietly into a house almost like a shadow leaps lightly on the bed, eats of the food that has been prepared for the sick man and gently licks his lips. When it is able to accomplish this latter the invalid has no chance of recovering, in which connexion we must remember, as has been remarked before, that the soul is supposed to take its departure from the mouth of a dying person. Even if this cat be seen it is extraordinarily difficult to catch it, since it has a supernatural activity and will fight and scratch with the malice of a demon. However, they say that persons have sometimes succeeded, and then the woman out of whom the cat (her soul) has come remains insensible, in a state of coma as deep as death, until the cat re-enters her body. Any wound inflicted upon the cat is produced upon her. For example if they cut it, or break a leg, or destroy its sight, the woman will simultaneously suffer the same mutilation. So great a horror had the Oraons of these witches that formerly they used to burn any person that was suspected to be a Chordewa.
It is a circumstance of very frequent occurrence in the witch trials of all countries that a witch who has appeared in the likeness of a cat, a hare, or any other animal and has met with an accident or been mutilated under that form is found to be marked with the same wound or to be suffering from the same harm in her human shape when this is resumed.
It is not difficult then to see why, if some animal of ill-omen,–and the cat seems to be particularly unfortunate,–leaps over a corpse, the dead person should be considered in danger of becoming a vampire. In Greece, particularly in Macedonia, the most pious care is taken to prevent any such calamity. The body is watched all night long by relatives and friends,
and this is deemed a work of true charity by which they acquire great merit, it brings a blessing upon their own souls (ψυκικό), if, in spite of all their care some cat does jump across the body, the dead man must be pierced through with two long “sack-needles” (σακκορράφαισ), in order to secure his rest and to guard against his return. It is well to scatter mustard seed on the roof and on the threshold, and the wise man will barricade his door with brambles and thorns. Should the vampire return he cannot fail to occupy himself with counting the seeds, and it will be dawn, when he must return to his grave, long before he completes the tale. Should he endeavour to pass through the bushes he will inevitably be caught and held fast by the briars. Ralston tells us that the Serbs and the Bulgarians keep this vigil even more carefully than the Greeks. “In some places the jumping of a boy over the corpse is considered as fatal as that of a cat. The flight of a bird above the body may also be attended by the same terrible results; and so may–in the Ukraine–the mere breath of the wind from the Steppe.” What is extremely curious is that this tradition still lingers in the north of England, and if a cat or dog pass over a corpse the animal must be killed at once. The reason for this has been entirely forgotten, but the survival is very remarkable as showing that once there existed a dread of vampires in England which to-day is entirely forgotten. Thomas Pennant says that in Scotland: “No dog or cat must be allowed to leap over the corpse or enter the room. It is reckoned so ominous, their doing so that the poor animal is killed without mercy.” It is even still the custom that all animals shall be shut up till the funeral procession has left. It is believed that a cat will not remain in the house with an unburied corpse; and rooks (we know) will abandon the place till after the funeral, if the rookery be near the mansion. The explanation given by John Jamieson that if a cat has leapt over a corpse the first person on to whose lap he may afterwards jump, or who may take him up in his arms, is stricken with blindness would seem to be a later invention, a reason made up to explain the ill-omen, when the vampire tradition had disappeared, and so the real reason had been entirely forgotten.
Having investigated the various reasons why any person
should become a vampire, and discussed the fatal accident which may bring about this terrible doom various points present themselves which invite some inquiry. Although the belief varies in different parts of the world, and it is generally understood that vampires only operate by night, as King David says: “Non timebis a timore nocturno” (Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night), yet it is also supposed that under certain conditions vampires may wander abroad during the day, and that the vampire truly is daemonium meridianum (the noonday devil).” Therefore we may ask by what signs, if any, is a vampire to be recognized. Again, how does a vampire leave his grave? For we must remember that the vampire is tangible, and can make his presence felt in a very unmistakable and terrible manner. This difficulty has been very clearly stated by Dom Calmet who writes as follows: “How can a corpse which is covered with four or five feet of earth, which has no room even to move or to stretch a limb, which is wrapped in linen cerements, enclosed in a coffin of wood, how can it, I say, seek the upper air and return to the world walking upon the earth so as to cause those extraordinary effects which are attributed to it? And after all that how can it go back again into the grave, when it will be found fresh, incorrupt, full of blood exactly like a living body? Can it be maintained that these corpses pass through the earth without disturbing it, just as water and the damps which penetrate the soil or which exhale therefrom without perceptibly dividing or cleaving the ground? It were indeed to be wished that in the histories of the Return of Vampires which have been related, a certain amount of attention had been given to this point, and that the difficulty had been something elucidated.
“Let us suppose that these corpses do not actually stir from their tombs, that only the ghosts or spirits appear to the living, wherefor do these Phantoms present themselves and what is it that energizes them? Is it actually the soul of the dead man which has not yet departed to its final destination, or is it a demon who causes them to be seen in an assumed and phantastical body? And if there bodies are spectral, how do they suck the blood of the living? We are enmeshed in a sad dilemma when we ask if these apparitions are natural or miraculous.
“A priest, who is recognized as possessing intellectual qualities far beyond the ordinary, told me that some little time since when he was travelling in Moravia, Mgr. Jeanin, a Canon of the, Cathedral of Olmutz, asked for his company to a village named Liebava, which the good canon was officially about to visit as Commissary of the Episcopal Court to investigate the well-authenticated reports concerning a Vampire who had recently caused much trouble and disorder in the village Liebava.
“They journeyed thither; witnesses were cited and heard; the ordinary canonical procedure was observed in every detail. The witnesses gave evidence that a certain well-known citizen who had formerly resided at Liebava after his death had sorely tormented the whole district, inasmuch as for a space of three or four years he had issued forth from the cemetery and had entered several houses. It was true these visitations were now ceased, because a certain Hungarian who passed through the village at the time when the terror was at its height avowed that he could cope with the evil and lay the Vampire to rest. In order to fulfil his promise he mounted the clock-tower of the church, and watched for the moment when the vampire came out of his grave, leaving behind him in the tomb his shroud and cerements, before he made his way to the village to plague and terrify the inhabitants.
“When the Hungarian from his coin of vantage had seen the Vampire depart on his prowl, he promptly descended from the tower possessed himself of the shroud and linen carrying them off with him back to the belfry. The Vampire in due course returned and not finding his sere-clothes cried out mightily against the thief, who from the top of the belfry was making signs to him that he should climb and recover his winding-sheet if be wished to get it back again. The Vampire, accordingly, began to clamber up the steep stair which led to the summit of the tower, but the Hungarian suddenly gave him such a blow that he fell from top to bottom. Thereupon they were able to strike off his head with the sharp edge of a sexton’s spade, and that made an end of the whole business.
“The priest who related this history to me, himself saw nothing of these happenings, neither was anything witnessed
by the Right Reverend Canon who was acting as Episcopal Commissioner. They only received the reports of the peasants of that district, a folk who were very ignorant, very credulous, very superstitious, and brimful of all kinds of wonderful stories concerning the aforesaid Vampire.
“For my part I think the whole history vain and utterly without foundation, and the more absurd and contradictory are the various tales which were told, the more strongly am I confirmed in the opinion which I have formed.
“Supposing, indeed, there were any truth in the accounts of these appearances of Vampires, are they to be attributed to the power of God, to the Angels, to the souls of those who return in this way, or to the Devil? If we adopt the last hypothesis it follows that the Devil can endue these corpses with subtilty and bestow upon them the power of passing through the earth without any disturbances of the ground, of gliding through the cracks and joints of a door, of slipping through a keyhole, of increasing, of diminishing, of becoming rarified as air or water to penetrate the earth; in fine of enjoying the same properties as we believe will be possessed by the Blessed after the Resurrection, and which distinguished the human Body of our Lord after the first Easter Day, inasmuch as He appeared to those to whom He would show Himself for ‘Jesus cometh, the doors bein shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you,’ Jesus uenit ianuis clausis, S. John, xx, 26.
“Yet even if it be allowed that the Devil can re-energize dead bodies and give them movement for a certain time can he also bestow these powers of increasing, diminishing, becoming rarified, and so subtle that they can penetrate the earth, doors, windows? We are not told that God allows him the exercise of any such power, and it is hard to believe that a material body, gross and substantial can be endowed with this subtility and spirituality without some destruction or alteration of the general structure and without damage to the configuration of the body. But this would not be in accord with the intention of the Devil, for such a change would prevent this body from appearing, from manifesting itself, from motion and speech, ay, indeed from being eventually cut to pieces and burned as so often happens in the case of Vampires in Moravia, Poland, and Silesia.”
These difficulties which Dom Calmet with little perception has raised can be very briefly answered, and they are not only superficial, but also smack of heterodoxy. In the first place, the story that he tells is far from satisfactory, and even if it were–what it may be–much exaggerated one can hardly brush aside the vast vampire tradition because one instance proves to be overdrawn. In any case the business of the watcher from the belfry and the demand that the Vampire should regain his shroud by climbing the stairs to the top of the tower do not bear the mark of truth, but what is certainly significant is that the Vampire was decapitated and that then the hauntings ceased. I conceive that the story of the cerements is mere elaboration, but that the grave of the Vampire was traced, opened, and that his head was severed from his body. This eliminates some highly charged details whilst it does not touch the facts of the case. So we see that the story when divested of these trappings offers nothing impossible, that is to say nothing extraordinary or unusual in such histories.
Dom Calmet asks are the appearances of Vampires to be attributed to God, or to the souls of those who return or to the Devil? I answer that for the hauntings of a Vampire, three things are necessary: the Vampire, the Devil, and the Permission of Almighty God. Just as we know, for we learn this from the Malleus Maleficarum, that there are three necessary concomitants of witchcraft, and these are the Devil, a Witch, and the Permission of Almighty God (Part 1). So are these three necessary concomitants of Vampirism. Whether it be the Demon who is energizing the corpse or whether it be the dead man himself who by some dispensation of Divine Providence has returned is a particular which must be decided severally for each case. So much then for Dom Calmet’s question, to whom are the appearances of Vampires to be attributed.
Can the Devil endow a body with these qualities of subtilty, rarification, increase, and diminishing, so that it may pass through doors and windows? I answer that there is no doubt the Demon can do this, and to deny the proposition is hardly orthodox. For S. Thomas says of the devil that “just as he can from the air compose a body of any form and shape, and assume it so as to appear in it visibly, so, in the same way,
he can clothe any corporeal thing with any corporeal form, so as to appear therein.” Moreover almost any séance will be sufficient reply to Dom Calmet’s question. In his Modern Spiritism (1904), Mr. T. Godfrey Raupert says: “Photographs, or small drawing-room ornaments have thus been seen to change their places, and articles kept in a room other than that occupied by the sensitive, have been brought through closed doors and deposited at a spot previously indicated–in some instances placed into the hands of the person requesting the apport of the article. Many such remarkable instances of apport and of matter passing through matter have been observed under the strictest possible test conditions, and will be found recorded in the late Leipzig Professor Zoellner’s deeply interesting work Transcendental Physics. The writer has himself observed one instance of this kind in a private house, and in circumstances entirely precluding the possibility of deception. There is, perhaps, no phenomenon which so distinctly exhibits the action of extraneous and independent intelligence as this one.” (pp. 35-36.) Matter, then, can pass through matter, and the séance answers Dom Calmet. We may, if we will, adopt the ectoplasmic theory to explain the mode whereby the Vampire issues from his grave, but although this is very probably true (in some instances at all events) it is not necessarily the only solution of the problem. According to Catholic theologians evil spirits, if permitted to materialize their invisible presence, to build up a tangible and active body, do not absolutely require the ectoplasm of some medium.
Not very dissimilar to the dilemma of Dom Calmet are the views hold by an eminent authority, Dr. Herbert Mayo, who was sometime Senior Surgeon of Middlesex Hospital, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in King’s College, Professor of Comparative Anatomy in the Royal College of Surgeons, London. In his well-known work, On the Truths contained in Popular Superstitions, he devotes his second Letter, or rather Chapter, to “Vampyrism,” concerning which he says “The proper place of this subject falls in the midst of a philosophical disquisition,” but he adds for the benefit of the inquirer that it is “a point on which, in my time, school-boys much your juniors entertained decided opinions.” He continues to inform us that during the middle of the eighteenth
century: “Vampyrism spread like a pestilence through Servia and Wallachia, causing numerous deaths, and disturbing all the land with fear of the mysterious visitation, against which no one felt himself secure.
“Here is something like a good solid practical popular delusion. Do I believe it? To be sure I do. The facts are matter of history: the people died like rotten sheep; and the cause and method of their dying was, in their belief, what has just been stated. You suppose, then, they died frightened out of their lives, as men have died whose pardon has been proclaimed when their necks were already on the block, of the belief that they were going to die? Well, if that were all, the subject would still be worth examining. But there is more in it than that.” He then gives an account in very full detail of a Vampire at Belgrade in the year 1732, he describes the circumstances in which the body was disinterred, It leaned to one side, the skin was fresh and ruddy, the nails grown long and evilly crooked, the mouth slobbered with blood from its last night’s repast. Accordingly a stake was driven through the chest of the Vampire who uttered a terrible screech whilst blood poured in quantities from the wound. Then it was burned to ashes. Moreover, a number of other persons throughout the district had been infected with vampirism. Of the facts there can be no question whatsoever. The documents are above suspicion, and in particular the most important of these which was signed by three regimental surgeons, and formally counter-signed by a lieutenant-colonel and sub-lieutenant. Even Dr. Mayo is obliged to allow: “No doubt can be entertained of its authenticity, or of its general fidelity; the less that it does not stand alone, but is supported by a mass of evidence to the same effect. It appears to establish beyond question, that where the fear of Vampyrism prevails, and there occur several deaths, in the popular belief connected with it, the bodies, when disinterred weeks after burial, present the appearance of corpses from which life has only recently departed.” It is very instructive to note how the writer proceeds with the greatest subtility and no little cleverness to extract himself from logical consequences it might have seemed impossible to avoid, and how he explains an exceptional circumstance by circumstances which are far more
amazing and difficult to believe. With the utmost suavity and breadth of mind he continues: “What inference shall we draw from this fact?–that Vampyrism is true in the popular sense?–and that these fresh-looking and well-conditioned corpses had some mysterious source of preternatural nourishment? That would be to adopt, not to solve the superstition. Let us content ourselves with a notion not so monstrous, but still startling enough: that the bodies, which were found in the so-called Vampyr state, instead of being in a new or mystical condition, were simply alive in the common way or had been so for some time subsequently to their interment that, in short, they were the bodies of persons who had been buried alive, and whose life, where it yet lingered, was finally extinguished through the ignorance and barbarity of those who disinterred them. . . . We have thus succeeded in interpreting one of the unknown terms in the Vampyr-theorem. The suspicious character, who had some dark way of nourishing himself in the grave, turns out to be an unfortunate gentleman (or lady) whom his friends had buried under a mistake while he was still alive, and who, if they afterwards mercifully let him alone, died sooner or later either naturally or of the premature interment–in either case, it is to be hoped, with no interval of restored consciousness.” I submit that Dr. Mayo has not succeeded in solving any difficulty at all connected with vampirism. No doubt, as we have already considered in some detail, cases of premature burial, which were far more common than was generally supposed, would have helped to swell the tradition, but that they can have originated it is impossible, and it is absurd to put forward the terrible accident of premature burial as an explanation to cover all the facts. It is quite impossible that a person who had been interred when in a coma or trance should have survived in the grave.
Before we deal with the signs by which it is reputed a vampire may be recognized; the method in which a vampire presumably leaves his grave; and the way by which a vampire may be released or destroyed, we will briefly inquire into Dr. Mayo’s explanation of the actual visit of the vampire to a victim and the subsequent consequences, the terrible anæmia and hæmoplegia which may result in death followed by the vampire infection. And here we find that Dr. Mayo
quite honestly and frankly confesses that he is completely at a loss to give any solution of the difficulty. It is most instructive to read those inconclusive pleas which he is driven to put forward but which his own good sense cannot accept. He writes: “The second element which we have yet to explain is the Vampyr visit and its consequences,–the lapse of the party visited into death-trance. There are two ways of dealing with this knot; one is to cut it, the other to untie it.
“It may be cut, by denying the supposed connexion between the Vampyr visit and the supervention of death-trance in the second party. Nor is the explanation thus obtained devoid of plausibility. There is no reason why death-trance should not, in certain persons and places, be epidemic. Then the persons most liable to it would be those of weak and irritable nervous systems. Again, a first effect of the epidemic might be further to shake the nerves of weaker subjects. These are exactly the persons who are likely to be infected with imaginary terrors, and to dream, or even to fancy, they have seen Mr. or Mrs. such a one, the last victim of the epidemic. The dream or impression upon the senses might again recur, and the sickening patient have already talked of it to his neighbours, before he himself was seized with death-trance. On this supposition the Vampyr visit would sink into the subordinate rank of a mere premonitory symptom.
“To myself, I must confess, this explanation, the best I am yet in a position to offer, appears barren and jejune; and not at all to do justice to the force and frequency, or, as tradition represents the matter, the universality of the Vampyr visit as a precursor of the victim’s fate. Imagine how strong must have been the conviction of the reality of the apparition, how common a feature it must have been, to have led to the laying down of the unnatural and repulsive process customarily followed at the Vampyr’s grave, as the regular and proper preventive of ulterior consequences.” Dr. Mayo proposes therefore “to try and untie this knot” a result which he singularly fails to achieve. He quite erroneously states “in popular language, it was the ghost of the Vampyr that haunted its future victim.” This is exactly what the Vampire is not. As we have seen there is some divergence of view whether the Vampire is the actual person. energized with some horrible mystical life in death
who visits his victims, and there can be no doubt at all that this is the true and proper Vampire, or whether it is a demon who animates and informs the body. But in no circumstances whatsoever is the Vampire a phantom or ghost, save by a quite inadmissible extension of the term, which then may practically be regarded (as indeed it is often most mistakenly and reprehensively regarded) as covering almost any malignant supernatural phenomenon. So an explanation which confuses a Vampire with a ghost is entirely impertinent.
We will now proceed to inquire into those physical traits by which a Vampire may be discerned.
A Vampire is generally described as being exceedingly gaunt and lean with a hideous countenance and eyes wherein are glinting the red fire of perdition. When, however, he has satiated his lust for warm human blood his body becomes horribly puffed and bloated, as though he were some great leech gorged and replete to bursting. Cold as ice, or it may be fevered and burning as a hot coal, the skin is deathly pale, but the lips are very full and rich, blub and red; the teeth white and gleaming, and the canine teeth wherewith he bites deep into the neck of his prey to suck thence the vital streams which re-animate his body and invigorate all his forces appear notably sharp and pointed. Often his mouth curls back in a vulpine snarl which bares these fangs, “a gaping mouth and gleaming teeth,” says Leone Allacci, and so in many districts the hare-lipped are avoided as being certainly vampires. In Bulgaria, it is thought that the Vampire who returns from the tomb has only one nostril; and in certain districts of Poland he is supposed to have a sharp point at the end of his tongue, like the sting of a bee. It is said that the palms of a Vampire’s hands are downy with hair, and the nails are always curved and crooked, often well-nigh the length of a great bird’s claw, the quicks dirty and foul with clots and gouts of black blood. His breath is unbearably fetid and rank with corruption, the stench of the charnel. Dr. Henry More in his An Antidote against Atheism, III, ix, tells us that when Johannes Cuntius, an alderman of Pentsch in Silesia and a witch returned as a Vampire he much tormented the Parson of the Parish. One evening, “when this Theologer was sitting with his wife and Children about him, exercising himself in Musick, according
to his usual manner, a most grievous stink arose suddenly, which by degrees spread itself to every corner of the room. Here upon he commends himself and his family to God by Prayer. The smell nevertheless encreased, and became above all measure pestilently noisom, insomuch that he was forced to go up to his chamber. He and his Wife had not been in bed a quarter of an hour, but they find the same stink in the bedchamber; of which, while they are complaining one to another out steps the Spectre from the Wall, and creeping to his bedside, breathes upon him an exceeding cold breath, of so intolerable stinking and malignant a scent, as is beyond all imagination and expression. Here upon the Theologer, good soul, grew very ill, and was fain to keep his bed, his face, belly, and guts swelling as if he had been poysoned; whence he was also troubled with a difficulty of breathing, and with a putrid inflamation of his eyes, so that he could not well use them of a long time after.” In the Malleus Maleficarum, Part II, Qn. 1., Ch. 11, the following is related: “In the territory of the Black Forest, a witch was being lifted by a gaoler on to the pile of wood prepared for her burning and said: ‘I will pay you,’ and blew into his face. And he was at once afflicted with a horrible leprosy all over his body and did not survive many days.” Boguet, Discours des Sorciers, gives as his rubric to Chapter XXV, Si les Sorciers tuent de leur souffle & haleine. He tells us: “Les Sorciers tuent & endommagent de lour souffle & haleine: en quoy Clauda Gaillard dicte la Fribolette nous seruita de tesmoignage; car ayant soufflé contre Clauda Perrier, qu’elle r’encontra en l’Eglise d’Ebouchoux, tout aussi test ceste femme tomba malade, & fut rendue impotente, & en fin mourut apres auoir trainé par l’espace d’vn an en toute pauurieté, & langueur: de mesme aussi comme Marie Perrier luy eut vne fois refusé l’aumosne, elle luy souffla fort rudement contre, de façon quo Marie tomba par terre, & s’estant releuée ause peine elle demeura malade par quelques iours, & iusques à tant que Pierre Perrier son neueu out menacé la Sorciere.”
Sinistrari in his Demoniality (24) says that if we ask how it is possible that the Demon, who has no body, yet can perform actual coitus with man or woman, most authorities answer that the demon assumes or animates the corpse of another human being, male or female, as the case may be, and Delrio
(Disquisitiones Magicae, Liber II, Q. xxviii, sec. 1). comments: “Denique multae falsae resurrectiones gentilium huc sunt referendae; & constat cum sagis ut plurimum induto cadauere diabolum sine incubum, sine succubum, rem habere; unde & in hoc genere hominum, cadauerosus quidam faetor graueolentiae, cernitur.”
Some remoter country districts, indeed, are apt to regard any poor wretch who is sadly deformed as a Vampire, especially if the distortion be altogether unsightly, prominent, or grotesque. It has even been known that a peasant whose face was deeply marked with wine-coloured pigment, owing it was thought to some accident which befell his mother during her late pregnancy, was shunned and suspected of being a malignant vrykolakas. Chorea, they say, is a certain sign of vampirism, and it may be remarked that in Shoa this disorder is regarded as the result of demoniacal possession, or due to the magic spell of an enemy’s shadow having fallen upon the sufferer. An epileptic there is also often considered as being in the power of some devil, and unless proper precautions are taken he will assuredly not rest in his grave. The Vampire is endowed with strength and agility more than human, and he can run with excessive speed, outstripping the wind.
It is curious to find that in many countries persons with blue eyes are considered extremely liable to become vampires. This is the case in some parts of Greece, but there does not seem to be preserved any oral tradition to explain the particular belief. It may, of course, have arisen owing to the fact that persons with eyes of this colour would seldom, if over, have been met with, and a stranger with blue eyes would be regarded with wonder and awe. (Thus in Ireland persons with bluish-grey eyes, especially if there be a streak of black on the pupil, which is common, are accounted to have the power of seeing ghosts.) We cannot, I think, connect the Greek idea with the Homeric epithet for the goddess Athene, γλαυκῶπις, which has been rendered “bright-eyed,” “grey-eyed” or “blue-eyed,” an old interpretation that proves utterly erroneous, since there can be no doubt that γλαυκῶπις means “owl-faced” (γλαύξ;) and originally Athene was a deity who was literally imagined and represented as having the face of an owl, even if she did not, as is most probable,
actually appear in the shape of an owl. Among the Australian aborigines the owl is regarded as a sex totem of women and is most jealously protected by them. We find too, that the owl is a sacred bird among the Indians of North-West America, and in their ritual dances a solemnity revealed to them, as they suppose, by their guardian spirits, wherein they mime ancient story, the masqueraders often personate by dress, voice, and gesture the owl.” The dukwally (i.e., lokoala) and other tamanawas performances are exhibitions intended to represent incidents connected with their mythological legends. . . An Indian, for instance, who has been consulting with his guardian spirit, which is done by going through the washing and fasting process before described, will imagine or think he is called upon to represent the owl. He arranges in his mind the style of dress, the number of performers, the songs and dances or other movements, and, having the plan perfected, announces at a tamanawas meeting that he has had a revelation which he will impart to a select few. These are then taught and drilled in strict secrecy, and when they have perfected themselves, will suddenly make their appearance and perform before the astonished tribe.” The owl gives mystic qualities; for in Northern India it is believed that a man who eats the eyes of an owl will be able to see, even as that bird, in the dark. In Nigeria, the owl is regarded with great awe, and the natives tremble even to pronounce its name on account of the ill omen, preferring to speak of “the bird that makes one afraid.” It may be remembered that Vampires are credited with being able to see in the dark, and that in many countries peasants dread to utter the word, employing some elaborate and often not very intelligible, periphrasis.
Those whose hair is red, of a certain peculiar shade, are unmistakably vampires. It is significant that in ancient Egypt, as Manetho tells us, human sacrifices were offered at the grave of Osiris, and the victims were red-haired men who were burned, their ashes being scattered far and wide by winnowing-fans. It is held by some authorities that this was done to fertilize the fields and produce a bounteous harvest, red-hair symbolizing the golden wealth of the corn. But these men were called Typhonians, and were representatives not of Osiris but of his evil rival Typhon, whose hair
was red. Francesco Redi says: “Fra gli Egizii era tradizione che Tifone, il genio della distruzione, simile al Arimane Persiano al Satano Ebriaco fosse di pelo rosso, forse per memoria di invasioni di barbari di pelo rosso e presso noi dura tutta via la tradizione, ‘Guardati dal pelo rosso nè valse a toglierla la barba rossa del Redentore.'” Red was the colour of the hair of Judas Iscariot, and of Cain, and an old Latin rhyme of the thirteenth century has:
Monet nos haec fabula rufos euitare
Quos color et fama notat, illis sociare.
The Italians say:
O tutto foco, O tutto mosci.
John Wodroephe in The Spared Hours of a Soldier in hie Travels, Dort, 1623, quotes: “Garde toi bien des hommes rousseaux, des femmes barbues, et des ceux qui sont marqués an visage.” I have not met with the following tradition save orally, but it is believed in Serbia, Bulgaria, and Rumania, that there are certain red-polled vampires who are called “Children of Judas,” and that these, the foulest of the foul, kill their victim with one bite or kiss which drains the blood as it were at a single draught. The poisoned flesh of the victim is wounded with the Devil’s stigmata, three hideous scars shaped thus, XXX, signifying the thirty pieces of silver, the price of blood.
It is curious to note that the ancient ideas of the physiognomy of amorous persons are not at all unlike the distinctive marks of the vampire. The old belief has thus been summed up by G. Tourdes, “Aphrodisie,” Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Sciences Médicales: “The erotic temperament has been described as marked by a lean figure, white and well-ranged teeth, a developed hairy system, a characteristic voice, air, and expression, and even a special odour.”
Since the vampire bites his prey with sharp teeth and greedily sucks forth the blood it is not surprising to find that those who are born with teeth in their heads are considered to be already marked down as vampires. Even in countries where the vampire belief was lost this circumstance was considered of the unluckiest, and in Chapman and Shirley’s
Chabot, Admiral of France, V, 2, Master Advocate exposing the villainies of the Chancellor declares: “He was born with teeth in his head, by an affidavit of his midwife, to note his devouring, and hath one toe on his left foot crooked, and in the form of an eagle’s talon, to foretel his rapacity. What shall I say? branded, marked, and designed in his birth for shame and obloquy, which appeareth further, by a mole under his right ear, with only three witch’s hairs in it; strange and ominious predictions of nature!” According to Allacci those children who were thought likely to become Callicantzari were taken to a fire which had been lighted in the market-square, and here the soles of their feet were held to the flames until the nails were singed and the danger of their attacks averted. The allusion in Chabot to the “toe on his left foot crooked, and in the form of an eagle’s talon” is particularly interesting in this connexion. It is evident that the old physical characteristics which mark a creature of demoniacal propensities had been remembered as of ill-omen and horror when exactly what they portended and betrayed had been lost in the mists of ancient lore. Moreover it should be noted that persons and animals attack with the hands or the claws, not generally with the feet to scratch and rend. Accordingly the custom in the days even of Allacci was practised but not understood, and it points to some belief reaching back to old Greek mythology, it is probably some. link between the Callicantzaros and the Centaurs as Lawson suggests in well-founded detail.
The vampire is, as we have said, generally believed to embrace his victim who has been thrown into a trance-like sleep, and after greedily kissing the throat suddenly to bite deep into the jugular vein and absorb the warm crimson blood. It has long since been recognized by medico-psychologists that there exists a definite connexion between the fascination of blood and sexual excitation. Owing to custom, to inhibitions and education this emotion generally remains latent, although a certain mental sadism is by no means a mark of degeneracy. Dr. Havelock Ellis says: “It is probable that the motive of sexual murders is nearly always to shed blood, and not to cause death,” an extremely significant fact. Since the vampire is generally held to seize the throat it is very striking that Leppmann points out
that such murders are almost always produced by wounds in the neck or mutilation of the abdomen, never by wounds of the head.
Paul d’Enjoy defines the kiss as “a bite and a suction,” and a high authority says: “The impulse to bite is also a part of the tactile element which lies at the origin of kissing.” The tactile kiss which doubtless is very primitive has developed into the olfactory and gustatory, extending thence into many elaborations and variants. Under the stress of strong sexual emotion when love is closely knit with pain there is often an overwhelming tendency to bite the partner of the act, and the love-bite is often referred to in Latin literature. Thus Plautus, Pseudolus, I, 1, ll. 62-66, speaks of amorous dalliance:
Nunc nostri amores, mores, consuetudines,
Iocus, ludus, sermo, suauis suauiatio
Compressiones arctae amantum comparum,
Tencris labellis molles morsiunculae,
Papillarum horridularum oppressiunculae.
And Catullus, VIII, 17, 18, writes after a quarrel:
Quem nunc amabis? cuius esse diceris?
Quem basiabis? cui labella mordebis?
In a well-known Ode, Horace Carmin I, xiii, 11, 12:
siue puer furens
impressit memorem dente labris notam.
which Francis Englishes:
I burn, when in excess of wine
He soils those snowy arms of thine,
Or on thy lips the fierce-fond boy
Marks with his teeth the furious joy.
Tibullus, 1, vi, 14, 15, writes:
Tune succos herbasque dedi, queis liuor abiret,
Quem facit impresso mutua dente Uenus.
And again, I, viii, 35-38:
At Uenus inueniet puero succumbere furtim,
Dum tumet, et teneros conserit usque sinus.
Et dare anhelanti pugnantibus humida linguis
Oscula, et in collo figere dente notas.
But fav’ring Venus watchful o’er thy joy,
Shall lay thee secret near th’ impassion’d boy; p. 186
His panting bosom shall be prest to thine,
And his dear lips thy breathless lips shall join;
With active tongue he’ll dart the humid kiss,
And on thy neck indent his eager bliss.
Ovid, Amores, III, xiv, 34, asks his mistress:
Cur plus, quam somno, turbatos esse capillos;
Collaque conspicui dentis habere notam?
which is rendered by the translator in Dryden’s Ovid, “by many hands”:
Why do your looks and rumpled head-clothes show
‘Tis more than usual sleep that made them so?
Why are the kisses which he gave betray’d,
By the impression which his teeth has made?
Many further passages from the older Latin poets might be quoted, and amongst the moderns, Joannes Secundus and Jean Bonnefons have not neglected to celebrate the love-bite in their verses. From the latter it will suffice to cite the elegant Basium IV, Execratur dentes, quibus inter osculandum papillas Dominae laeserat, which commences:
O dens improbe, dire, ter sceleste,
Dens sacerrime, dens inauspicate,
Tun’ tantum scelus ausus, ut papillas,
Illas Pancharidis meae papillas,
Quas Uenus ueneratur et Cupido,
Feris morsibus ipse uulnerares?
Of Joannes Secundus the Basium VII in the Basium Liber is very celebrated:
Quis te furor, Neaera,
Mepta quis iubebat,
Sic inuolare nostram
Sic uellicare linguam,
An, quas tot unus abs te
Pectus per omne gesto
Parum uidentur? istis.
Ni dentibus proteruis
Membrum nefas in illud,
Quo saepe solo prime,
Quo saepe solo sere,
Quo per dieisque longas
Laudes tuas canebam?
This has been charmingly tuned by Nott:
Ah! what ungovern’d rage, declare,
Neaera, too capricious fair!
What unrevenged, unguarded wrong,
Could urge thee thus to wound my tongue
Perhaps you deem th’ afflictive pains
Too trifling, which my heart sustains;
Nor think enough my bosom smarts
With all the sure, destructive darts
Incessant sped from every charm;
That thus your wanton teeth must harm,
Must harm that little tuneful thing,
Which wont so oft thy praise to sing;
What time the morn has streak’d the skies,
Or evening’s faded radiance dies;
Through painful days consuming slow
Through ling’ring night of amorous woe.
Dorat, Baiser XI, has daintily paraphrased, Secundus:
Tes dents, ces perles que j’adore,
D’ou s’échappe à mon oeil trompé
Ce sourire développé,
Transfuge des lèvres de flore;
Devroient-elles blesser, dis moi,
Une organe tendre et fidelle,
Qui t’assure ici de ma foi,
Et nomma Thais la plus belle?
The Supplementum Lexicorum Eroticorum Linguae Latinae, Paris, 1911, has: “Morsiunculae.–Gallice: Suçons.”. Much Oriental erotic literature gives attention to this subject. The Indian Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana devotes no less than one chapter to the love-bite, and there are many references to be found in such manual as the Arabic Perfumed Garden of the Sheik Nefzaoui. When it is borne in mind how markedly Slavonic a tradition is the bite of the vampire it becomes extremely significant to know that biting in amorous embraces is very common among the Southern Slavs.
The peasant women of Sicily, especially says Alonzi, in the districts where crimes of blood are prevalent often in their affection for their children kiss them violently, even biting them and sucking their blood until the infant wails in pain. If a child has done wrong they will not only strike it, but also bite it fiercely on the face, ears, or arms, till blood flows. Both men and women often use the threat: “I will drink
your blood.” There is ocular evidence that a man who had knifed another in a quarrel licked the hot blood from the victim’s hand.
A very curious case was reported in the London police news of 1894. A man aged thirty, was charged with ill-treating his wife’s illegitimate daughter, aged three. The acts had lasted over a period of many months; her lips, eyes, and hands were bitten and covered with bruises from sucking, and often her little pinafore was stained with blood. “Defendant admitted he had bitten the child because he loved it.” Here we have true vampirish qualities and inclinations.
The Daily Express, 17th April, 1925, gave the following:
“VAMPIRE BRAIN. PLAN TO PRESERVE IT FOR SCIENCE.” Berlin. Thursday, April 16th. The body of Fritz Haarmann, executed yesterday at Hanover for twenty-seven murders, will not be buried until it has been examined at Göttingen University.
“Owing to the exceptional character of the crimes-most of Haarmann’s victims were bitten to death–the case aroused tremendous interest among German scientists. It is probable that Haarmann’s brain will be removed and preserved by the University authorities.–Central News.”
The case of Fritz Haarmann, who was dubbed the “Hanover Vampire” was reported in some detail in The News Of the World, 21st December, 1924, under the heading: “VAMPIRE’S VICTIMS.” Haarmann was born in Hanover, 26th October, 1879. The father, “Olle Harmann,” a locomotive-stoker, was well-known as a rough, cross-grained, choleric man, whom Fritz, his youngest son, both hated and feared. As a youth, Fritz Haarmann was educated at a Church School, and then at a preparatory school for non-commissioned officers at New Breisach. It is significant that he was always dull and stupid, unable to learn; but it appears a good soldier. When released from military service owing to ill-health he returned home, only to be accused in a short while of offences against children. Being considered irresponsible for his actions the Court sent him to an asylum at Hildesheim, whence however he managed to escape and took refuge in Switzerland. Later he returned to Hanover, but the house became unbearable owing to the violent quarrels which were of daily occurrence between him and his father. Accordingly he enlisted and was
sent to the crack 10th Jäger Battalion, at Colmar in Alsace. Here he won golden opinions, and when released owing to illness, with a pension his papers were marked “Recht gut.” When he reached home there were fresh scenes of rancour whilst blows were not infrequently exchanged, and in 1903 he was examined by a medical expert, Dr. Andrae, who considered him morally lacking but yet there were no grounds for sending him to an asylum. Before long he sank to the status of a tramp; a street hawker, at times; a pilferer and a thief. Again and again he was sent to jail, now charged with larceny, now with burglary, now with indecency, now with fraud. In 1918, he was released after a long stretch to find another Germany. He returned to Hanover, and was able to open a small cook shop in the old quarter of the town, where he also hawked meat which was eagerly sought at a time of general hunger and scarcity. He drove yet another trade, that of “copper’s nark,” an old lag who had turned spy and informer, who gave secret tips to the police as to the whereabouts of men they wanted. “Detective Haarmann” he was nicknamed by the women who thronged his shop because he always had plenty of fresh meat in store, and he invariably contrived to undersell the other butchers and victuallers of the quarter.
The centre of Hanover was the Great Railway Station, and Hanover was thronged especially at its centre with a vast ever-moving population, fugitive, wanderers and homeless from all parts of dislocated Germany. Runaway lads from towns in every direction made their way here, looking for work, looking for food, idly tramping without any definite object, without any definite goal, because they had nothing else to do. It can well be imagined that the police, a hopelessly inadequate force, kept as sharp a watch as possible on the Station and its purlieus, and Haarmann used to help them in their surveyance. At midnight, or in the early morning he would walk up and down among the rows of huddled sleeping forms in the third-class waiting halls and suddenly waking up some frightened youngster demand to see his ticket, ask to know whence he had come and where he was going. Some sad story would be sobbed out, and the kindly Haarmann was wont to offer a mattress and a meal in his own place down town.
So far as could be traced the first boy he so charitably took to his rooms was a lad of seventeen named Friedel Rothe, who had run away from home. On 29th September, 1918, his mother received a postcard, and it so happened the very same day his father returned from the war. The parents were not going to let their son disappear without a search, and they soon began to hunt for him in real earnest. One of Friedel’s pals told them that the missing boy had met a detective who offered him shelter. Other clues were traced and with extraordinary trouble, for the authorities had more pressing matters in hand than tracking truant schoolboys, the family obliged the police to search Cellarstrasse 27, where Haarmann lived. When a sudden entry was made Haarmann was found with another boy in such an unequivocal situation that his friends, the police, were obliged to arrest him there and then, and he received nine months imprisonment for gross indecency under Section 175 of the German Code. Four years later when Haarmann was awaiting trial for twenty-four murders he remarked: “At the time when the policeman arrested me the head of the boy Friedel Rothe was hidden under a newspaper behind the oven. Later on, I threw it into the canal.”
In September, 1919, Haarmann first met Hans Grans, the handsome lad, who was to stand beside him in the dock. Grans, the type of abnormal and dangerous decadent which is only too common to-day, was one of the foulest parasites of society, pilferer and thief, bully, informer, spy, agent provocateur, murderer, renter, prostitute, and what is lower and fouler than all, blackmailer. The influence of this Ganymede over Haarmann was complete. It was he who instigated many of the murders–Adolf Harmappel a lad of seventeen was killed in November, 1923, because Grans wanted his pair of new trousers; Ernst Spiecker, likewise aged seventeen was killed on 5th January, 1924, because Grans coveted his “toff shirt”–it was he who arranged the details, who very often trapped the prey.
It may be said that in 1918, Hanover, a town of 450,000 inhabitants was well-known as being markedly homosexual. These were inscribed on the police lists no less than 500 “Männliche Prostituierten,” of whom the comeliest and best-dressed, the mannered and well-behaved elegants frequented
the Café Kröpeke in the Georgstrasse, one of the first boulevards of New Hanover; whilst others met their friends at the andrygonous balls in the Kalenberger Vorstadt, or in the old Assembly Rooms; and lowest of all there was a tiny dancing-place, “Zur schwülen Guste,” “Hot-Stuff Gussie’s” where poor boys found their clientele. It was here, for example, that Grans picked up young Ernst Spiecker whose tawdry shirt cost him his life.
With regard to his demeanour at the trial the contemporary newspapers write: “Throughout the long ordeal Haarmann was utterly impassive and complacent. . . The details of the atrocious crimes for which Haarmann will shortly pay with his life were extremely revolting. All his victims were between 12 and 18 years of age, and it was proved that accused actually sold the flesh for human consumption. He once made sausages in his kitchen, and, together with the purchaser, cooked and ate them. . . Some alienists hold that even then the twenty-four murders cannot possibly exhaust the full toll of Haarmann’s atrocious crimes, and estimate the total as high as fifty. With the exception of a few counts, the prisoner made minutely detailed confessions and for days the court listened to his grim narrative of how he cut up the bodies of his victims and disposed of the fragments in various ways. He consistently repudiated the imputation of insanity, but at the same time maintained unhesitatingly that all the murders were committed when he was in a state of trance, and unaware of what he was doing. This contention was specifically brushed aside by the Bench, which in its judgement pointed out that according to his own account of what happened, it was necessary for him to hold down his victims by hand in a peculiar way before it was possible for him to inflict a fatal bite on their throats. Such action necessarily involved some degree of deliberation and conscious purpose.” Another account says with regard to Haarmann: “The killing of altogether twenty-seven young men is laid at his door, the horror of the deeds being magnified by the allegation that he sold to customers for consumption the flesh of those he did not himself eat. . . With Haarmann in the dock appeared a younger man, his friend Hans Grans, first accused of assisting in the actual murders but now charged with inciting to commit them and with receiving stolen
property. The police are still hunting for a third man, Charles, also a butcher, who is alleged to have completed the monstrous trio. . . . the prosecuting attorney has an array of nearly 200 witnesses to prove that all the missing youths were done to death in the same horrible way. . . He would take them to his rooms, and after a copious meal would praise the looks of his young guests. Then he would kill them after the fashion of a vampire. Their clothes he would put up on sale in his shop, and the bodies would be cut up and disposed of with the assistance of Charles.” “In open court, however, Haarmann admitted that Grans often used to select his victims for him. More than once, he alleged, Grans beat him for failing to kill the ‘game’ brought in, and Haarmann would keep the corpses in a cupboard until they could be got rid of, and one day the police were actually in his rooms when there was a body awaiting dismemberment. The back of the place abutted on the river, and the bones and skulls were thrown into the water. Some of them were discovered, but their origin was a mystery until a police inspector paid a surprise visit to prisoner’s home to inquire into a dispute between Haarmann and an intended victim who escaped.” Suspicion had at last fallen upon him principally, owing to skulls and bones found in the river Seine during May, June, and July, 1924. The newspapers said that during 1924, no less than 600 persons had disappeared, for the most part lads between 14 and 18. On the night of 22nd June at the railway station, sometime after midnight, a quarrel broke out between Haarmann and a young fellow named Fromm, who accused him of indecency. Both were taken to the central station, and meanwhile Haarmann’s room in the Red Row was thoroughly examined with the result that damning evidence came to light. Before long he accused Grans as his accomplice, since at the moment they happened to be on bad terms. Haarmann was sentenced to be decapitated, a sentence executed with a heavy sword. Grans was condemned to imprisonment for life, afterwards commuted to twelve years’ penal servitude. In accordance with the law, Haarmann was put to death on Wednesday, 15th April, 1925.
This is probably one of the most extraordinary cases of vampirism known. The violent eroticism, the fatal bite in
the throat, are typical of the vampire, and it was perhaps something more than mere coincidence that the mode of execution should be the severing of the head from the body, since this was one of the efficacious methods of destroying a vampire.
Certainly in the extended sense of the word, as it is now so commonly used, Fritz Haarmann was a vampire in every particular.
To return to the more restricted connotation, we find that, as has been mentioned above, Dom Calmet in his famous work more than once emphasized that his great difficulty in accepting the tradition of the vampire, that is to say the vampire proper and not a mere malignant phantom, lies in the fact that it is physically impossible for a dead body to leave its grave since (he argues) if it has corporeity it cannot have subtilty, that is to say the power of passing through material objects.
Accordingly in the second volume of his great treatise he gives as the rubric to Chapter LX, Impossibilité morale, que les Revenans sortent de leurs tombeaux. He commences: “I have already raised a serious objection, which is the impossibility that vampires should leave their graves, and should return thither, without any obvious disturbance of the ground, either when they are passing forth or when they are finding their way back again. Nobody has ever met this difficulty, and nobody ever will be able to meet it. To maintain that the devil subtilizes and renders unsubstantial the body of the vampire is merely an assertion which is made without any foundation and which is unsustained and untrue.
“The fluidity of the blood, the healthy red colour, and the absence of rigidity in the case of vampires are not circumstances which need cause us the slightest wonder, any more than the fact that the hair grows, and the bodies remain without dissolution. It is a matter of daily occurrence that bodies are found which do not crumble to dust and which for a very long time after death preserve the appearance of life. This is not in the least surprising in the cases of those who die suddenly without any illness, or indeed as the consequence of certain diseases which are well-known to medical men, sicknesses which do not affect the circulation of the blood or the elasticity of the body.
“With regard to the growth of hair this is quite a natural condition.
“One might even compare these facts with the flowers, and in general with everything which depends upon the luxuriance of vegetation among the fauna and flora of nature.”
These objections thus stated may seem very weighty, but perhaps if they are impartially examined it may be found that the good Benedictine has been a little too dogmatic in his assertions. The phenomenon that the soil of the grave was almost invariably undisturbed by the exit of the Vampire, who further could make his entry through doors and windows without opening or breaking them may yet admit of an explanation which will go far to solve the difficulty Don Calmet and many others have regarded as insurmountable. In the first place it is hardly correct so sweepingly to assert that the ground is wholly undisturbed. Where careful investigation was made it was generally found that there were discovered four or five little holes or tunnels, not much larger indeed than a man’s finger which pierced through the earth to a very considerable depth. And here, perhaps in this one little detail, we may find the clue to the whole mystery. The wide spread growth of spiritualism has made even the ordinary public fairly familiar with the phenomena of a séance where materialization takes place, and where physical forms are solidly built up and disintegrated again within an exceedingly short space of time. This is done by some power or entity which awails itself of the body of the passive medium and utilizes the ectoplasm which it can draw thence. Professor Ostwald writes: “Certain human beings are capable of transforming their physiological store of energy (which, as we know, is almost exclusively present in the form of chemical energy), of transmitting it through space, and of transforming it at prescribed points back into one of the known forms of energy. It results from this, that the mediums themselves are usually much exhausted, i.e., that they use up their bodily energy. A transformation into psychic energy seems also to be possible.” The extreme exhaustion of a medium after such investigation and the production of forms of organic matter is a matter of common knowledge. Of one of the most famous mediums, Eusapia Paladino it is reported: “Eusapia during the sittings fell into a deep hysterical somnambulism, and was often in
slightly dazed condition after the close. When the trance set in, she turned pale, and her head swerved to and fro, and the eyes were turned upwards and inwards. She was hypersensitive, especially to the touch, and also to light; she had hallucinations, delirium, fits of laughter, weeping, or deep sleep, and showed other typical hysterical convulsions. Digestive troubles also sometimes set in, especially when she had eaten before the sitting. In a sudden light, or at a sudden rough touch, she cried out and shuddered, as she would under unexpected violent pain.” And again: “Eusapia Paladino used to be very exhausted after every successful sitting, especially after she had been in a state of trance. She sometimes slept until the next mid-day, and was for the rest of the day apathetic, peevish, and monosyllabic. Her skin was usually cold after the sittings, her pulse rapid (100° per minute), and she had a strong feeling of fatigue. Her subsequent sleep was often restless and interrupted by vivid dreams.” Speaking of another famous medium the same authority says: “In the case of Eva C. also, where the number of negative sittings is very considerable, she feels much exhausted, according to the degree of her performances, and after exhaustive positive sittings she usually needs from twenty-eight to forty-four hours to recover the deficit in her strength. Also, she is often, on the following day, dazed, and complains of headache and lack of appetite.” It is extremely significant, and one might say even more significant that these are the very symptoms exhibited by those who have been attacked by a Vampire.
Another fact which must be borne in mind is that the Vampire was often a person who during life had read deeply in poetic lore and practised black magic. For the connexion between spiritism and black magic one may refer to my History of Witchcraft when the matter is very amply discussed and made plain.
With these pregnant and remarkable details in mind we may consider the explanation of vampirism given by Z. T. Pierart, a well-known French spiritualist and sometime editor of La Revue Spiritualiste. He writes as follows: “As long as the astral form is not entirely liberated from the body there is a liability that it may be forced by magnetic attraction to re-enter it. Sometimes it will be only half-way out when
the corpse, which presents the appearance of death, is buried. In such cases the terrified astral soul re-enters its casket, and then one of two things happen: the person buried either writhes in agony of suffocation, or, if he has been grossly material, becomes a vampire. The bi-corporeal life then begins. The ethereal form can go where it pleases, and as long as it does not break the link connecting it with the body can wander visible or invisible and feed on its victims. It then transmits the results of the suction by some mysterious invisible cord of connexion to the body, thus aiding it to perpetuate the state of catalepsy.” Duly discounting the peculiar phraseology of “astral soul” and “ethereal form” this comment seems to point towards a possible and correct explanation.
There remain three hypotheses to be considered. Does the body of the Vampire actually dematerialize and then re-integrate outside the grave? Or, is another body built up by the Vampire quite independently of the body which remains behind in the grave? Thirdly, does the spirit of the Vampire withdraw ectoplasmic material from his own body, which enables him to form more permanent corporeity by drawing yet further material from his victims? The second of these suggestions we may dismiss without much consideration since it is not borne out by any of the facts which have been investigated with regard to the subject, and the truth seems to lie between the first and the third hypotheses, partaking of both. The body of the Vampire under certain conditions acquires subtilty and therefore it is able to pass through material objects, but in order to ensure not only its vitality but the permanence of this subtile quality it must draw this energy, no doubt very often in an ectoplasmic form, from its victim, as well as what is necessary for its rejuvenescence. The continual demand which a Vampire makes both physically and spiritually upon its victims must speedily result in the death of these persons, who being infected with the poison will in their turn visit others upon whom they will prey.
It must always be remembered that the word vampire is used so loosely that there are traditions and legends which hardly require even one of these three hypotheses for their explanation, and which, one cannot too frequently repeat the caution, refer to phantoms of the vampire family rather than to the Vampire proper.
It certainly seems a possibility, and something more than a possibility, that vampiric entities may be on the watch and active to avail themselves of the chances to use the ectoplasmic emanations of mediums at séances, and this certainly constitutes a very formidable danger. It is even a fact that if a person who, consciously or unconsciously possesses the natural qualities of a materializing medium, is placed in certain nocuous circumstances, for example if he visits a house which is powerfully haunted by malefic influences, especially if he be fatigued and languid so as to offer little or no resistance, a vampirish entity may temporarily utilize his vitality to attempt a partial materialization. This seems clear from the many instances of persons who for no obvious reason are in certain spots, it may be a place, a house, or even a room overcome with a depression, which if they do not shake off by an act of will or by leaving the particular locality may develop into actual debility and enervation. A very striking example of an entity who in this way made an attempt at materialization is recorded by Miss Scatcherd in her contribution to Survival, a symposium which was published under the editorial care of Sir James Marchant. Miss Scatcherd relates: “I saw ectoplasm in solid form for the first time when looking for rooms in the neighbourhood of Russell Square. My friend, many years older than myself, was tired. She wore a black velvet cloak, and was sitting on a high chair, so that her mantle hung in long folds to the ground, while the light from the large windows fell full on her face. Suddenly I observed, on her left side, just above her waist, a patch of cloudy white substance, becoming bigger and denser as I watched its uncanny growth. Meanwhile, I was discussing terms with the landlady, a frail little woman, when a look of terror came into her eyes. She, too, was staring transfixed at the globular mass of white substance on my companion’s black mantle. For out of it looked a living face, normal in size–a man’s face with rolling eyes and leering grin that made one’s blood run cold. When I mentally ordered him away, he grinned defiance. Fearing to startle my friend, I took the landlady aside and asked what was the matter. She burst into tears.
“‘Oh, miss! did you not see him? He was my first. He come like this several times, and has never forgiven me for marrying again.’
“‘What do you mean?’ I asked again, severely.
“‘Oh!’ she wailed. ‘You must have seen his wicked face glaring at us from your friend’s cloak, and now you will not take the rooms.'”
In some traditions the Vampire is said to float into the house in the form of a mist, a belief which is found in countries so far separate as Hungary and China. In the latter empire wills-o’-the-wisp are thought to be an unmistakable sign of a place where much blood has been shed, such as an old battle field, and all mists and gaseous marsh-lights are connected with the belief in vampires and spectres which convey disease. Since the effluvia, the vapour and haze from a swamp or quaggy ground are notoriously unhealthy and malarial fevers result in delirium and anæmia it may be that in some legends the disease has been personified as a ghastly creature who rides on the infected air and sucks the life from his victims. But all this is mere fancy, and only deserves a passing mention as belonging to legend and story. Of the same nature is the notion that Vampires can command destructive animals and vermin such as flies, and, in the East the mosquito, whose bite may indeed convey some fever to the veins and whose long proboscis sucks the blood of animals and man. We may remember that at Accaron Beelzebub was the Lord of flies, and these insects were often regarded as having something of a diabolical nature. Pausanias V,14, tells us that the people of Elis offered sacrifice to Zeus, Averter of Flies, a ceremony which is also mentioned by Clement of Alexandria in his Προτρεπτικὸς πρὸς Ἔλληνας, II, 38 (ed. Potter, p. 33). Pliny Historia Naturalis (X, 75), says: “The Eleans invoke the fly-catching god, because the swarms of these insects breed pestilence; and as soon as the sacrifice is made to the god the flies all perish.” Pausanias (VIII, 26-7) further notes that at Aliphera in Arcadia the festival of Athene began with prayer and oblation to the Fly-catcher, and after this rite the flies gave no more trouble. Aelian (De Animalium Natura, XI, 8), tells us that at the festival of Apollo in the island of Leucas an ox was actually sacrificed to the flies, who when glutted with the warm blood, incontinently disappeared. Julius Solinus in his Collectanea Rerum Memorabilium (I, xi, ed. Th. Mommsem, Berlin, 1864), records that all flies were carefully excluded from the shrine of Hercules
in the Forum Bovarium at Rome because when Hercules was handing the flesh to the priests he had prayed aloud to the Fly-catcher. It may be noted that when the demon, under whatsoever guise or name he might be adored, had received those divine honours he ever covets and filches to himself by so woefully deceiving his worshippers he withdraws his emissaries the tormenting flies who are often his imps in the form of insect. By their means he has striven to vex and molest the Saints–S. Bernard, by excommunicating the flies that buzzed about him struck them all down dead upon the floor of the church.
It now remains to inquire how the grave of a Vampire may be recognized, and in what way this terror may be checked and destroyed.
In this connexion it will not be impertinent to give a letter “d’un fort honnête homme et fort instruit de ce qui regarde les Revenants” which is cited at length by Dom Calmet. The letter is addressed to a near relative of the writer. “It is your wish, my dear cousin, that I should give you exact details of what has been happening in Hungary with regard to certain apparitions, who so often molest and slay people in that part of the world. I am in a position to afford you this information, for I have been living for some years in those very districts, and I am naturally of an inquiring disposition. From the time when I was a mere boy I have heard numbers of stories of ghosts and witches, but not once in a thousand have I believed one of them; it seems to me that it is almost impossible to be too careful in the investigation of matters where it is so easy to be mistaken–or deliberately tricked. However there are certain facts so well vouched for that one cannot but accept them as true. As to the apparitions of Hungary this is the usual account. A person is attached by a great languor and weariness, he loses all appetite, he visibly wastes and grows thin, and at the end of a week or ten days, may be a fortnight, he dies without any other symptom save anæmia and emaciation.
“In Hungary they say that a Vampire has attacked him and sucked his blood. Many of those who fall ill in this way declare that a white spectre is following them and cleaves to them as close as a shadow. When we were in our Kaloesa-Bacs quarters in the County of Temesvar two officers of
the regiment in which I was Cornet died from this languor, and several more were attacked and must have perished had not a Corporal of our regiment put a stop to these maladies by resorting to the remedial ceremonies which are practised by the local people. These are very unusual, and although they are considered an infallible cure I cannot remember even to have seen these in any Rituale.
“They select a young lad who is a pure maiden, that is to say, who, as they believe, had never performed the sexual act. He is set upon a young stallion who has not yet mounted his first mare, who has never stumbled, and who must be coal-black without a speck of white; the stud is ridden into the cemetery in and out among the graves and that grave over which the steed in spite of the blows they deal him pretty handsomely refuses to pass is where the Vampire lies. The tomb is opened and they find a sleek, fat corpse, as healthily coloured as though the man wore quietly and happily sleeping in calm repose. With one single blow of a sharp spade they cut off the head, whereupon there gush forth warm streams of blood in colour rich red, and filling the whole grave. It would assuredly be supposed that they had just decapitated a stalwart fine fellow of most sanguine habit and complexion. When this business is done, they refill the grave with earth and then the ravages of the disease immediately cease whilst those who are suffering from this marasmus gradually recover their strength just as convalescents recuperating after a long illness, who have wasted and withered. This is exactly what occurred in the case of our young officers who had sickened. As the Colonel of the regiment, the Captain and Lieutenant wore all absent, I happened to be in command just then and I was heartily vexed to find that the Corporal had arranged the affair without my knowledge. I was within an ace of ordering him a severe military punishment, and these are common enough in the Imperial service. I would have given the world to have been present at the exhumation of the Vampire, but after all it is too late f or that now.”
It has already been remarked that in a cemetery there were often found to be a number of small passages of the size of a man’s finger pierced through the earth, and it was considered that the presence of such a soupirail in a grave was a certain
sign that if investigation were made a body with all the marks of vampirism would be descovered lying there.
When the corpse is exhumed, even though death has taken place long before there will be no decay, no trace of corruption, or decomposition, but rather it will be found to be plump and of a clear complexion; the face often ruddy; the whole person composed as if in a profound sleep. Sometimes the eyes are closed; more frequently open, glazed, fixed, and glaring fiercely. The lips which will be markedly full and red are drawn back from the teeth which gleam long, sharp, as razors, and ivory white. Often the gaping mouth is stained and foul with great slab gouts of blood, which trickles down from the corners on to the lawn shroudings and linen cerements, the offal of the last night’s feast. In the case of an epidemic of vampirism it is recorded that whole graves have been discovered soaked and saturated with squelching blood, which the horrid inhabitant has gorged until he is replete and vomited forth in great quantities like some swollen leech discharges when thrown into the brine. In Greece it is thought that the corpse’s skin becomes exceedingly tough and distended so that the joints can hardly be bent; the human pelt has stretched like the vellum tegument of a drum, and when struck returns the same sound; whence the Greek vrykolakas has received the name τυμπανιαῖος, (drum-like). It was not infrequently seen that the dead person in his grave had devoured all about him, grinding them with his teeth, and (as it was supposed) uttering a low raucous noise like the grunting of a pig who roots among garbage. In his work, De Masticatione Mortuorum in tumulis, Leipzig, 1728, Michael Ranft treats at some length of this matter. He says that it is very certain that some corpses have devoured their cerements and even gnaw their own flesh. It has been suggested that this is the original reason why the jaws of the dead were tightly bound with linen bands. Ranft instances the case of a Bohemian woman who when disinterred in 1355 had devoured the greater part of her shroud. In another instance during the sixteenth century both a man and a woman seemed to have torn out their intestines and were actually ravening upon their entrails. In Moravia a corpse was exhumed which had devoured the grave-clothes of a woman buried not far from his tomb.
The authors of the Malleus Maleficarum, Part I, Question xv, under the rubric, It is shown that, on account of the Sins Of Witches, the Innocent are often Bewitched, yea, Sometimes even for their Own Sins, relate an instance which came under their own observation. They say:
“Also the sin of one is passed on to another in the way of desert, as when the sins of wicked subjects are passed on to a bad Governor, because the sins of the subjects deserve a bad Governor. See Job: ‘He makes Hypocrites to reign on account of the sins of the people.’
“Sin, and consequently punishment, can also be passed on through some consent or dissimulation. For when those in authority neglect to reprove sin, then very often the good are punished with the wicked, as S. Augustine says in the first book de Ciuitate Dei. An example was brought to our notice as Inquisitors. A town once was rendered almost destitute by the death of its citizens; and there was a rumour that a certain buried woman was gradually eating the shroud in which she had been buried, and that the plague could not cease until she had eaten the whole shroud and absorbed it into her stomach. A council was held, and the Podesta, with the Governor of the city dug up the grave, and found half the shroud absorbed through the mouth and throat into the stomach, and consumed. In horror at this sight, the Podesta, drew his sword and cut off her head and threw it out of the grave, and at once the plague ceased. Now the sins of that old woman were, by Divine permission, visited upon the innocent on account of the dissimulation of what had happened before. For when an Inquisition was held it was, found that during a long time of her life she had been a. Sorceress and Enchantress.”
If it were suspected that a man might return as a Vampire or that his ghost would ]prove troublesome precautions were taken to prevent this. In the first place the grave must be dug twice as deep as usual. Indeed in Oldenburg the chances are that if the grave be shallow any ghost may walk. The Chuwashé, a tribe in Finland, actually nail the corpse to the coffin. The. Burmese tie together the two big toes, and usually also the two thumbs of the corpse. The Arabs fasten the feet; in Voigtland it is considered sufficient to secure the hands. The Californians and Damasas break the dead man’s spine. In his Travels into Dalmatia (English
translation, London, 1778), Alberto Fortis says: “When a man dies suspected of becoming a Vampire or Vukodlak, as they call it, they cut his hams, and prick his whole body with pins, pretending that, after this operation, he cannot walk about. These are even instances of Morlacchi, who, imagining that they may possibly thirst for children’s blood after death, intreat their heirs, and sometimes oblige them to promise, to treat them as Vampires when they die.”
When the Vampire was tracked to his lair one of the most approved methods to render him harmless was to transfix the corpse through the region of the heart with a stake which may be of aspen or maple as in Russia, or more usually of hawthorn or whitethorn. The aspen tree is held to be particularly sacred as according to one account of this was the wood of the Cross. In her Wood-walk, Mrs. Felicia Hemans says: “The aspen-tree shivers mystically in sympathy with the horror of that mother-tree in Palestine, which was compelled to furnish materials for the Cross.” With regard to hawthorn de la Charbonelais Chesnil tells us: “Cet arbre est regardé comme le privilegié des fées qui se rassemblant, dit-on, sous ses rameaux embaumées. En Normandie on croit aussi que la foudre ne le frappe jamais parcequ’on suppose, mais sans aucun fondement qu’il servit à former la couronne de Christ.” And again: “Dans plusiers contrées, ce vegetal [Mepsilus pyraneatha] est l’objet d’une sorte de vénération parcequ’on croit que c’est dans un buisson de cette espèce qui Dieu apparut à Moïse et que c’est pour cette raison que ses feuilles demeurent toujours vertes, et que ses fruits ne se detachent point de l’arbre durant l’hiver.” Of whitethorn Sir John Mandeville says: “Then was our Lord yled into a gardyn, and there the Jewes scorned Hym and maden Him a crown of the branches of the Albiespyne, that is, Whitethorn that grew in the same gardyn, and setten yt upon His heved. And therefore hath the Whitethorn many virtues. For he that beareth a branch on hym thereof, no thundre, ne no maner of tempest may dere him, ne in the house that is ynne may non evil ghost enter.” The ancient Greeks believed that branches of whitethorn or buckthorn (rhamnus) fastened to a door or outside a window prevented the entry of witches and guarded the house against the evil spells of sorcerers. Hence they suspended branches of it above their lintels when sacrifices
were offered for the dead lost haply any vagrom ghost should be tempted to revisit his old home or make entry into the house of some other person.”‘ The atheist Bion, as atheists use, when he was dying clutched at any superstition and asked for boughs of buckthorn and branches of laurel to be attached to the door to keep out death. It should be remarked that the old Greek custom is widely practised among the peasantry of Europe to-day, and in Fletcher’s The Faithfull Shepherdesse, II, when Clorin is sorting her herbs she says:
these rhamnus’ branches are,
Which, stuck in entries, or about the bar
That holds the door fast, kill all enchantments, charms–
Were they Medea’s verses-that do harms
To men or cattle.
Fanshaw in his elegant translation”‘ has:
Hi rami sunt mollis Acanthi,
Qui si uestibulis aut postibus affigantur,
Unde fores pendent, incantamenta repellunt
Omnia, pestiferæ facient licet illa MEDEÆ,
Quae laedunt homines pecudesue.
In Dalmatia and Albania for the wooden stake is sometimes substituted a consecrated dagger, a poniard which has been laid upon the altar and ritually blessed by the priest with due sacring of holy orison, of frankincense and lustral asperges.
It is highly important that the body of the Vampire should be transfixed by a single blow, for two blows or three would restore it to life. This curious idea is almost universally found in tradition and folk-lore. In The Thousand and One Nights (Burton, Vol. VII, p. 361) we have the story of “Sayf-al-Muluk and Badion al Jamal” where the hero cuts the ghoul in half by a single stroke through the waist. The ghost yells at him: “Oman, an thou desire to slay me, strike me a second stroke.” The youth is just about to give the second slash with his scimitar when a certain old blind beggar whom he has befriended warns him. “Smite not a second time, for then will he not die, but will live and destroy us.” He accordingly stays his hand and the ghoul expires.
Among Galland’s manuscripts was a tale of the three sons of the Sultan of Samarcand. In the course of various adventures the third son, Badialzaman engages in a contest with the Djin Morhagean. The youngest daughter of the
Djin who loves the prince informs him that her father can only be slain if he is dealt one single blow–no more–with the sword which is hanging at his head whilst he sleeps.
When the stake has pierced the Vampire he will utter the most terrible shrieks and blood will jet forth in every direction from his convulsed and writhing limbs as he impotently threshes the air with his quivering hands. There is a tradition that when he has been dead for many years and his mysterious life in death is thus ended the corpse has been known immediately to crumble into dust.
In some countries this operation usually takes place soon after dawn, as the Vampire may only leave his grave with the dusk and must return at cock-crow, so he will be caught when he has come back torpid and heavy from his night’s banquet of blood. But, as we have mentioned in another place, this belief that his ravages are confined to the dark hours is by no means universal, for Paul Lucas in his Voyage au Levant, speaking of Corfu says: “Des personnes qui paroissent avoir le bon sons parlent d’un fait assez singulier qui arrive souvent en ce pays, aussi bien que dans l’Isle Santeriny; des gens morts disent-ils, reviennent, se font voir en plein jour, & vont même chez eux, ce qui cause de grandes frayeurs à ceux qui les voyent.”Accordingly the Vampire may walk in full daylight. Yet he may not, so they hold in Epirus, in Crete, and among the Wallachians, leave his tomb on a Saturday. “Many believe that, even in the day-time, it is only once a week, on the Saturday, that he is allowed to occupy his burial-place. When it is discovered that such a Vurvúlukas is about, the people go, on a Saturday, and open his tomb, when they always find his body just as it was buried, and entirely undecomposed.” Tozer, Researches in the Highlands of Turkey (II, p. 91) writes: “Saturday is the day of the week on which the exorcism ought by right to take place, because the spirit then rests in this tomb, and if he is out on his rambles when the ceremony takes place, it is unavailing. In most parts of the country, as the Vampire is regarded as only a night-wanderer, he has to be caught during the night between Friday and Saturday; but in some places when he is believed to roam abroad by day as well, the whole of Saturday is allotted to him for repose, and consequently is suitable for his capture.”
When the stake has been thrust with one drive through the Vampire’s heart his head should be cut off, and this is to be done with the sharp edge of a sexton’s spade, rather than with a sword. Ralston tells us that to transfix the Vampire with a pile is not always considered effectual. “A strigon (or Istrian vampire) who was transfixed with a sharp thorn cudgel near Laibach in 1672, pulled it out of his body and flung it back contemptuously”. The only certain methods of destroying a Vampire appear to be either to consume him by fire, or to chop off his head with a grave-digger’s shovel. The Wends say that if a Vampire is hit over the back of the head with an implement of that kind, he will squeal like a pig.” It may be noted that the heads of murderers or warlocks were often struck off and destroyed, or else set between the legs or directly underneath the body.
To burn the body of the Vampire is generally acknowledged to be by far the supremely efficacious method of ridding a district of this demoniacal pest, and it is the common practice all over the world. The bodies of all those whom he may have infected with the vampirish poison by sucking their blood are also for security sake cremated. Leone Allacci writes: “Quare ciues, cum uident homines, nulla grassante infirmitate, in tanta copia emori; suspicati quod est, sepulchra, in quibus recens defunctus sepultus est, aperiunt; aliquando statim, aliquando etiam tardius, cadauer nondum corruptum, inflatumque comperiunt; quod e sepulchro extractum, precibusque, effusis a sacerdotibus, in rogum ardentem coniiciunt; et nondum completa supplicatione, cadaueris iuncturae sensim dissoluuntur, et reliqua exusta in cineres conuertuntur.” Any animals which may come forth from the fire–worms, snakes, lice, beetles, birds of horrible and deformed shape–must be driven back into the flames for it may be the Vampire embodied in one of these, seeking to escape so that he can renew his foul parasitism of death. The ashes of the pyre should be scattered to the winds, or cast into a river swiftly flowing to the sea.
Sometimes the body was hacked to pieces before it was cast into the fire; very often the heart was torn from the breast and boiled to shreds in oil or vinegar. Quantities of boiling water or boiling oil were also poured into the grave. Mr. Abbott in his Macedonian Folklore (1903) tells us of a
ceremony which took place when a Vampire had been tracked. He writes: “I was creditably informed of a case of this description occurring not long ago at Alistrati, one of the principal villages between Serres and Drama. Someone was suspected of having turned into a Vampire. The corpse was taken out of the grave, was scalded with boiling oil, and was pierced through the navel with a long nail. Then the tomb was covered in and millet was scattered over it, that, if the Vampire came out again, he might waste his time in picking up the grains of millet and be thus overtaken by dawn. For the usual period of their wanderings is from about two hours before midnight till the first crowing of the morning cock. At the sound of which “fearful summons” the Vrykolakas like the Gaelic sithehe, or fairy, vanishes into his subterranean abode.”
The Turks on occasion have had recourse to the remedy of burning to put to rest a Greek Vampire, for Crusius in his Turco-Graecia relates: ‘In sabbato pentecostes Turcae combusserunt Graecum, biennio ante defunctum: quod uulgo crederetur noctu sepulcro egredi, hominesque occidere. Alii autem ueram causam perhibent, quod quindecim pluresue homines spectrum eius uidentes mortui sint. Sepulcro extractus, consumpta carne cutem ossibus adhaerentem integram habuit.”
William of Newbury speaking of the vampires which infested England in the twelfth century says that similar molestations had often happened and there were on record very many famous cases. The only way in which a district could be completely secured and an end put once and for all to these hideous visitations was by exhuming the body and burning the Vampire to ashes.
The following form of exorcism is described as having been employed in Rhodes on a woman who returned as a Vrykolakas. “The priest of the village laid on the ground one of the dead woman’s shifts, over the neck of which he walked, held up by two men, for fear the vampire should seize him. While in this position he read verses from the New Testament, till the shift swelled up and split. When this rent takes place the evil spirit is supposed to escape through the opening.”
The first precaution taken by the Wallachians to prevent the Vampire from ravaging is to drive a long nail through the
skull and to lay the thorny stem of a wild rose bush upon the body, so that its winding sheet may become entangled with it should there be any attempt to rise.
In Bulgaria “There is yet another method of abolishing a Vampire–that of bottling him. There are certain persons who make a profession of this; and their mode of procedure is as follows: The sorcerer, armed with a picture of some saint, lies in ambush until he sees the Vampire pass, when he pursues him with his Eikon; the poor Obour takes refuge in a tree or on the roof of a house, but his persecutor follows him up with the talisman, driving him away from all shelter, in the direction of a bottle specially prepared, in which is placed some of the vampire’s favourite food. Having no other resource, he enters this prison, and is immediately fastened down with a cork, on the interior of which is a fragment of the Eikon. The bottle is then thrown into the fire, and the Vampire disappears for ever.”
With reference to this enclosing of the Vampire in a bottle it may be remembered that it was once a common practice of sorcery to imprison familiar spirits in a vial. Among the articles put forth by Don Alfonso Manriquez, who on 10 September, 1523, succeeded as Grand Inquisiter Adrian, Bishop of Tortosa, was the following which a man in duty bound must reveal to the Holy office should he become aware of any such offence: “If any person made or caused to be made mirrors, rings, phials of glass or other vessels therein to contain some spirit who should reply to his inquiries and aid his projects.”
Newton in his Travels and Discoveries in the Levant (Vol. I., p. 213) says that in Mitylene the bodies of those who will not lie quiet in their graves are transported to a small adjacent island, a mere eyot without inhabitants where they are re-interred. This is an effectual bar to any future molestation for the Vampire cannot cross salt water. Running water too he can only pass at the slack or the flood of the tide.
As all other demoniacal monsters the Vampire fears and shrinks from holy things. Holy Water burns him as some biting acid; he flies from the sign of the Cross, from the Crucifix, from Relics, and above all from the Host, the Body of God. All these, and other hallowed objects render him powerless. He is conquered by the fragrance of incense. p. 209 Certain trees and herbs are hateful to him, the whitethorn (or buckthorn) as we have seen, and particularly garlic. Often when the Vampire is decapitated his mouth is stuffed full with garlic; garlic is scattered in and all over the coffin by handfuls; and he can do no harm. In China and among the Malays to wet a child’s forehead with garlic is a sure protection against vampires. The West Indian negroes to-day smear themselves with garlic to neutralize the evil charms of witches and obeah men. It may be noted that the Battas or Bataks of Sumatra ascribe pining and wasting away, sickness, terror and death to the absence of the soul (Tendi) from the body and the soul must be lured back to his tenement. One of the most powerful soul-compelling herbs which is used by them in their mystic rites on these occasions is garlic. 130 At the S. John (Midsummer) Festival of fire, on the Vigil of the Major solemnity of that Saint, 23rd June, at Dragingnan, Var, the people roasted pods of garlic by the bonfires. These pods were afterwards distributed to every family, and were believed to bring good luck.
In countries which are non-Christian the practices are naturally somewhat different, although it should be remarked that burning the body of the Vampire is universal. In China, corpses suspected of potential vampirism were allowed to decay in the open air before burial, or, when buried, were exhumed, as in other countries, and cremated. In the absence of the corpse from its grave the lid of the coffin was removed, since it was thought that the circulation of fresh air would prevent the Vampire from returning to it. Rice, red peas and scraps of iron were also scattered round the grave. These formed a mystical barrier the dead man could not surmount, he fell to the ground stiff and stark, and then could be taken up and burned to ashes.
In some Slavonic countries it is thought that a Vampire, if prowling out of his tomb at night may be shot and killed with a silver bullet that has been blessed by a priest. But care must be taken that his body is not laid in the rays of the moon, especially if the moon be at her full, for in this case he will revive with redoubled vigour and malevolence.
It should perhaps be mentioned that the Macedonians believe in the existence of a vrykolakas of sheep and cattle as well as the more formidable vrykolakas who drains human
blood. The vrykolakas of animals rides upon their shoulders and as the ordinary vampire sucks a vein, killing the unfortunate beasts and leaving them a mere fibrous mash of skin and bone. Vagrant Mohammedan dervishes profess to have the power of exterminating these inferior vampires, whence they are often saluted as “vampire-killers,” and they tramp the countryside ostentatiously exhibiting an iron rod which ends in a sharp point (shish) to pierce through and destroy the pest, or a long lance-like stick furnished at the top with a small axe to strike him down. But here we have descended to mere quackery. Although as we have seen there are many methods and many variants, it is certain that an effectual remedy against the Vampire is to transfix his heart with a stake driven through with one single blow, to strike off his head with a sexton’s spade, and perhaps best of all to burn him to ashes and purge the earth of his pollutions by the incineration of fire.
NOTES TO CHAPTER III.
[1. Modern Greek Folklore, p. 375.
2. c. liii.
3, ου ἄν με μισῶν ἀνεχόρεὐ Ἐρινύσιν; Orestes, 581.
4. ll. 924-925.
Κλ· ὅρα, φύλαξαι μητρὸσ ἐγκότους κύνας·
Ορ· τὰσ τοῦ πατρὸς δὲ πῶς φύγω, παρὲις τάδε;
5. Compendium Theologiae Moralis, Sabetti-Barrett. Editio Uicesims Quinta; Pustet; 1916. p. 115.
6. “Rache als Selbstmordmotiv,” R. Lasch; Globus, lxxiv (1898), pp. 37-39.
7. Lettres édifantes et curieuses, Nouvelle édition, xi, Paris, 1781, pp. 246-248. The letter in question was written by Fr. Martin, S.J., at Marava, in the mission of Madura, 8th November, 1709.
8. Origin of Civilization, pp. 378 seq.
9. China Past and Present, London, 1903, pp. 378, seq. Professor Parker was Professor of Chinese at the Owens College, Manchester.
10. In a letter. 3rd February, 1902, to Sir James George Frazer, which is cited by the latter.
11. I quote the translation by C. D. Yonge, Bohn’s Classical Library, London, 1854, vol. I, pp. 250-251, The Deipnosophists, IV, 42.
12. Of Apamea in Syria. He was born circa B.C. 135, and died at Rome soon after B.C. 51. His knowledge was very varied and remarkable. None of his writings have come down to us entire, but the fragments were collected by Bahe, Lugdani Batauorum, 1810.
13. About £20.
14. Deipnosophists, IV, 40, Yonge’s translation, vol. I, pp. 248-249.
15. Impiety; and later, as in Dio Cassius lvii, 9, disloyalty to the Emperor (as θεός).
16. Aeschines, Contra Ctesiphontem; 244, p. 193. Ed. F. Franke, Leipzig, 1863.
17 “Trauer und Begrabnissitten der Wadschagga,” B. Gutmann. Globus. (Illustrierte Zitschrift für Länder-und Völkerkunde). lxxxix; 1906; p. 200.
18. The Baganda; Rev. J. Roscoe, London, 1911.
19. “Der Muata Cazembe und die Völkerstämme der Maraves, Chevas, Muembas, Lundas, und andere von Süd-Afrika,” Zeitschrift für allgemeine Erdkunde, vi, (1856), p. 287.
20. Les Missions Catholiques, vii (1875), p. 328. Article by Fr. Finaz, S.J.
21. A note by G. p. Badger, p. 45, The Travels of Ludovico di Varttema, Hakluyt Society, 1863.
22. “Beiträge zur Kenntniss abergläubischer Gebräuche in Syrien,” Eijûb Abôa. Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palaestrina-Vereins, 1884, vii, p. 102.
23. Satan is bound for a thousand years; The Apocalypse, xx, 1-3, “And after that, he must be loosed a little time.” The number of the beast “is six hundred sixty-six.” Apocalypse, xiii, 18.
24. Ivan Stchoukine, Le Suicide collectif dans le Raskol russe, Paris, 1903.
25. The Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal, xix, 1888, pp. 445-451; 502-521. “Self-immolation by Fire in China,” by D. S. Macgowan, M.D.
26. Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Part I, pp. 320; 433, seq. (Washington, 1899). “The Eskimo about Bering Strait,” by E. W. Nelson.
27. Lucian, De morte Peregrini. Cf. Tertullian, Ad Martyres, iv: “Peregrinus qui non olim se rogo immisit.”
28. VIII, 57-74.
29. Ars Poetica, 464-466:
deus immortalis haberi
dum cupit Empedocles, ardentem frigidus Aetnam
30. Notes and Queries, vi, 216.
31. S. Bede, In Die S. Paschae, writes: “Debet autem quis sic sepeleri, ut capite ad occidentem posito, pedes dirigat ad orientem, in quo quasi ipsa positione orat: et innuit quod promptus est ut de occasu festinet ad ortum: de mundo ad sacculum.”
32 John Brand, Popular Antiquities of Great Britain; Preface dated London, 1795. (First edition, 2 vols., 1813.) Edited by W. E. Hazlitt, 3 vols., London, 1870. Vol. iii, 67.
33. Folk Tales of the Russians, p. 311.
34. Folk Lore Journal, v, 218.
35. Discours des Sorciers, Lyons, 1603, p. 58, cxx. Marginal note: “Du lieu du Sabbat.” There were, of course, favourite spots for the rendezvous of witches.
36. Legends and Customs of Christmas in The Chicago Tribune, European edition, Christmas Number, 1925.
37. I, i, 158-164.
38. Dr. A. Wuttke; Der Deutsche Volksaberglaube der Gegenwart, Hamburg, 1860.
39. Athenaeus, xiii, 79, notes: “The fashion of making favourites of boys was first introduced among the Grecians from Crete, as Timaeus informs us. But others say that Laius was the originator of the custom, when he was received in hospitality by Pelops; and that having become passionately enamoured of his Chrysippus, he put the lad in his chariot and so bore him away and fled with him to Thebes. But Praxilla the Sicyonian says that Chrysippus was carried off by Jupiter.” Plato, Laws, i, 636, speaks of τοῦ Λαιοῦ νόμος, but Plutarch in his Life of Pelopidas (Clough, vol. ii, p. 219) argues against the view. Aeschylus wrote a Laius which probably dealt with this incident, and we know that it formed the subject of a tragedy by Euripides, Chrysippus, of which one only line is preserved:
γνώμην ἕχοντα μ᾽ ἡ φύσις βιάξεται·
Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, Liber iv, xxxiii, writes: “Atque ut muliebres amores omittam, quibus maiorem licentiam natura concessit:
quis aut de Ganymedis raptu dubitat, quid poetae uclint; aut non intelligit quid apud Euripidem et loquatur et cupiat Laius?”
40. S. Thomas, Summa, i-ii, 58, a. 2.
41. Quoted in Kwong Ki Chin, A Dictionary of English Phrases, etc., London and New York, 1881, 8vo.
42. Abbott, Macedonian Folklore, Cambridge, 1903.
43. William Henderson, Notes on the Folk-lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders, London, 1866, 8vo.
44. In the case of many superstitions and omens a diametrically opposed explanation is often given in several countries. Thus for an English girl to dream of roses means the best of good luck, but roses if seen in sleep by a Breton maid bode dire misfortune.
45. De quorumdam Graecorum opinationibus, ix.
46 Allacci, op cit., x.
47. Ce rédivive on Oupire sorti de son tombeau, on un Démon sons sa figure, va la nuit embrasser & serrer violemment ses proches on ses amis, & leur suce le sang, jusqu’à les affoiblir, les exténuer & leur causer enfin la mort. Cette persécution ne s’arrête pas ti une seule personne; elle s’étend jusqu’à la dernière personne de la famille.”–Calmet, Traité sur les Apparitions . . ., ed. 1751; II, c. xiii; pp. 60-61.
48. So metaphorically the name “Callicantzaros” is sometimes applied to a very lean man. Πολίτης, Παραδόσεις, 11, p. 1293.
49. Anatomy of Melancholy, Part I; Sect. I; Mem. 1; Subs. 4.
50. The belief is Slavonic, and Elis being particularly subject to Slav influence, acquired the tradition.
51. p. E. Müller, Saxo Grammaticus, Historia Danica, Copenhagen, 1839-1858, vol. ii. p. 60.
52. M. Dobrizhoffer, Historia de Abiponibus, Vienna, 1784; I, 289, sqq.
53. Rev. J. Roscoe, The Baganda, London, 1911; pp. 288 sqq.
54 Aelian, Le natura animalium, I, 38 (ed. R. Hercher. Paris, Didot, 1858).
55. G. Willoughby-Meade, Chinese Ghouls and Goblins, 1928; chap. ix, p. 223.
56. “Religion and Customs of the Uraons,” by the Rev. p. Dehon, S.J., apud the Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. i, No. 9, (Calcutta 1906), p. 141.
57. Well-nigh innumerable examples might be cited, for the belief seems universal. In Petronius the soldier who was a werewolf when wounded one night in his animal form by a thrust in the neck from a pike, on the next morning lay in bed “like an ox in a stall” whilst the surgeon dressed a gash in his neck. Delrio, Disquisitiones Magicae, Liber II, q. xviii, discussing lycanthropy says: “Hoe autem ultimo casu nihil mirum est, si postmodum uere inueniantur saucii illis membris humanis quae in ferino corpore exceperant. Nam & leuiter cessit circumiectus aër, & uulnus uero corpori inhaesit. Uerum quando uerum corpus abfuit, tune Diabolus in absentium, corpore eam partem consauciat quam scit in ferino corpore sauciatam fuisse.” Bartolomeo de Spina in his De Strigibus, xix, relates a case which came to his knowledge when at Ferrara, a hideous cat entered a house but was attacked, wounded and driven from a high window. The next day, an old hag, long suspect of witchcraft, was discovered in bed with bruised and broken limbs. “Etenim percussiones & plagae, quae in catto infixae sunt, in ills, uetula sunt inuentae quoad membrorum correspondentium.” Bodin, De la Demonomanie des Sorciers, II, vi, writes . “veu que ceux qui ont esté blessez en forme de bestes, se sont apres estre rechangez, trouuez blessez en forme humaine.” In the Malleus Maleficarum, Part II, Qn. 1, Ch. 9. (translation by the present author, John Rodker, 1928, pp. 126-127) is told the history of the three cats who attacked a woodcutter. He drove them away with many blows, and afterwards it came to light how three respected matrons who were so bruised that they had to keep their beds complained that the workman had assaulted and beaten them. Glanvil in his Saducismus Triumphatus, London, 1681, Part II, p. 205, when relating the famous case of Julian Cox, a Somersetshire witch who was hanged at Taunton in 1663, speaks of “the Body of Julian
being wounded by a stab at her Astral Spirit, as it is found also in Jane Brooks, and an old woman in Cambridgeshire, whose Astral Spirit coming into a Mans house, (as he was sitting alone at the fire) in the shape of a huge cat, and setting her self before the fire, not far from him, he stole a stroke at the back of it with a Fire-fork, and seemed to break the back of it, but it scrambled from him, and vanisht he knew not how. But such an Old Woman, a reputed Witch, was found dead in her Bed that very night, with her Back broken, as I have heard some years ago credibly reported.” J. Ceredig Davies, Folk-lore of West and Mid-Wales, Aberystwyth, 1911, p. 243, says that throughout Wales “the possibility of injuring or marking the witch in her assumed shape so deeply that the bruise remained on her in her natural form was a common belief.”
58. W. R. S. Ralston. Songs of the Russian People. London, 1872.
59. Thomas Pennant, A Tour in Scotland, 1769. 8vo. Chester, 1771.
60. Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1808; (and supplement, 2 vols., 1824).
61. Psalm xc.
62. Delrio, Disquisitiones Magicae, Liber II, Q. xxvii, sec. 2, speaks of the especial ferocity of the noonday devil: “A tempestate diei dicitur meridianus, eo quod hoc genus daemonum meridiano tempore & apparere solitum, & homines crudelius acriusque infestare; tum spirituali tentatione ac praelio, maxime luxuriae & acediae stimulis, quae duo peccata urgent uchementius hominem cibis distentum plenumque ut recte Nicetas in Nazian, orat. citatam [De sacro Baptismate], & Euthy. ac Theodoret, in Psal. tum etiam corporeis afflictionibus, quod potest collegi ex ucterum gentilium opinione qui Pana, (daemonum meridianorum hic, unus) tum maxime iracundum & formidabilem credebant, ut testatur Theocritus eidyl, I & colligitur ex historiis.”
63. Op. cit. ed., 1751, vol. II, c. ll.
64. The Devil can effect no real resurrection of a dead person, that is he cannot restore to life, for this is the power of God alone. Delrio Disquisitiones Magicae, Liber II, q. xxix, sec. 1, asks: An diabolus, possit facere ut homo uere resurget? This great scholar says some very valuable things in this connexion. He writes: “Censeo minimam, uel nullam daemonis esse potestatem. Non potest facere ut homo a mortuis resurgat: sine non potest facere, ut anima hominis suum corpus subintret, & illud uiuificet, informetque . . . Posset daemon, si Deus permitterit, cogere animam damnatam subire corpus, ut illud moucat, & in illo actiones aliquas demonstret; quia sic ipse potest subire, & hanc animam inuitam cruciatu ad hoc posset compellere. Possunt etiam magi (ex pacto) per superiores daemones cogere inferiores, ut cadauer ingressi, illud gestent, moueant, ceteraque ad tempus faciant, quibus uideantur uiuere.”
65. Venette in his Géneration de l’Homme remarks that men who have much hair on the body are usually very amorous. It is indeed a widespread belief that in ardent natures the pilous system is notably luxuriant.
66. 1653; Second edition with Appendix, 1655.
67. The phenomenon of the psychic state in pregnancy, the French envie and German Versehen, has been fully discussed by Dr. Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, vol. v, Philadelphia, 192 7.
68. W. Cornwallis Harris, The Highlands of Aethiopia, i, p. 158, London, 1844.
69. Ottolenghi, Archivio di Psichiatria, facs. vi, 1888, p. 573 notes that whilst normal persons only show twenty per cent. of blue eyes and criminals generally thirty-six per cent., the sexual offenders show fifty per cent. of blue eyes.
70. Dr. Georg Autenrieth, An Homeric Dictionary, translated by Robert Porter Keep. London, 1896, s.u.
71. James Dawson, Australian Aborigines, p. 92. Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide, 1881.
72. A Chinook term signifying “guardian spirits.”
73. James G. Swan, The Indians of Cape Flattery, p. 66. Report of the United States National Museum for 1895. Washington, 1897.
74. W. Crooke, Popular Religion and Folk-lore of Northern India, i, p. 279. Westminster, 1896.
75. A. F. Mockler-Ferryman, British Nigeria, p. 285; London, 1902.
76. Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 33, 73; Dicdorus Siculus, i, 88.
77. Francesco Redi, Bacco in Toscana, London, 12mo, 1804.
78. In Middleton A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, 4to, 1630 (acted perhaps twenty twenty years before), iii, 2, at the christening we have the prattle of the gossips:
Third Gossip: Now, by my faith, a fair high-standing cup
And two great postle spoons, one of them gilt.
First Puritan: Sure, that was Judas then with the red beard.
Cf. Dryden’s lines on Jacob Tonson, the publisher:
With two left legs and Judas-coloured hair.
In As You Like It, iii, 4, Rosalind says: “His own hairs of the dissembling colour,” to which Celia replies: “Something browner than Judas’s.”
Martial, xii, liv, has an epigram:
Crine ruber, niger ore, breuis pede, lumine laesus
Rem magnam praesta, Zoile, si bonus es.
Upon which Lemaire glosses (Martialis Epigrammata; Parisüs 1825, iii, p. 48): “Crine ruber. Hoc semper in malam partem acceptum, et ut pulchritudini, ita bonae indoli contrarium uisum. Et apud nos hodie exstat tritum prouerbium quo improbitatis arguuntur qui crinem rubrum habent.” In folk-lore red hair is regarded as a mark of great sexuality, Κρυπτάδια, vol. ii, p. 258.
79. p. 276.
80. Cf. Shakespeare, 3 Henry VI, v. 6:
Thy mother felt more than a mother’s pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother’s hope
To wit, an indigest deformed lump . . .
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,
To signify thou camest to bite the world.
For I have often heard my mother say
I came into the world with my legs forward . . .
The midwife wonder’d, and the women cried
“Oh! Jesus bless us! he is born with teeth!
And so I was: which plainly signified
That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
81. The Tragedie of Chabot Admirall of France: As it wag presented by her Majesties Servants, at the private House in Drury Lane. Written by George Chapman and James Shirley. 4to, 1639. This Tragedy was licensed by the Master of the Revels 29 April, 1635.
82. Studies in the Psychology of Sex, vol. iii. Philadelphia, 1926, p. 121. n2.
83. Bulletin Internationale de Droit Pénal, vol. vi, 1896, p. 115.
84. “Le Baiser en Europe et en Chine,” Bulletin de la Société d’Anthropologie, Paris, 1897, fasc. 2.
85. Studies in the Psychology of Sex, vol. iv, Philadelphia, 1927, p. 216.
86. Johannes Secundus Everard, 1511-1536.
87. Jean Bonnefons, born at Clermont in Auvergne, 1554; died 1614.
88. G. Alonzi, Archivio di Psichiatria, vol. vi., fasc. 4.
89. News of the World, 21 December, 1924. Under heading, “Vampire’s Victims.”
90. This is hardly correct. Hans Sennenfeld, who frequented “Zur Schwülen Guste” was twenty years old. Another victim, Hermann Bock, aged twenty-three, was a young rough, “a fellow well able to take care of himself.”
91. News of the World, 7 December, 1924.
92. Traité sur les Apparitions. . . . Tome ii, Paris, 1751. p. 299.
93. Phenomena of Materialisation by Baron von Schrenck Notzing. Translated by E. E. Fournier d’Albe. London. Kegan Paul, 1923, p. 10.
94. Op. cit., p. 26.
95. Op cit., p. 26.
96. London, 1926. c. vi. “Diabolic Possession and Modern Spiritism,” especially pp. 248-269.
97. M. Pierart was a professor at the College of Maubeuse, and afterwards secretary to Baron du Potet. He founded La Revue Spiritualiste in 1858, and was esteemed as the rival of Allan Kardec. He died in l878.
98. Survival. By various Authors. Edited by Sir James Marchant, K.B.E., LL.D. Putnams, London and New York.
99. See Schwicker, Geschichte des Temeser Banates, Nagy-Beeskerek, 1861.
100. Afanasief, Poeticheskiya Vozzryeniya Slavyan na Prirodu [“Poetic Views of the Slavonians about Nature”], 3 vols., Moscow, 1865-69, 8vo, vol. iii, p. 576, quotes Vuk Haradjic to this effect.
101. Leone Allacci, De quorumdam Graecorum opinationibus, cap. xii, sqq.
102. L. Strackerjan, Aberglaube und Sagen aus dem Herzogthum Oldenburg, Oldenburg, 1867, I, p. 154.
103. M. Alex. Castron, Vorlesungen über die finnische Mythologie. St. Petersburg. 1853. p. 337.
104. Shway Yoe (Sir T. G. Scott), The Burman; His Life and Notions, London, 1882, ii, p. 338. Captain C. J. F. S. Forbes, British Burma, London, 1878, p. 93.
105. J. A. E. Köhler, Volksbrauch Aberglauben, Sagen und andre alte Überlieferungen im Voigtland; Leipzig, 1867, p. 251.
106. Adolf Bastian, Die Mensch in der Geschichte. Leipzig, 1860. ii, p. 331.
107. C. J. Anderson, Lake Ngami, Second Edition, London, 1856, p. 226.
108. An old line runs: Ligna Crucis palma, cedrus, cupressus, oliva. The gipsies say that the Cross was of ash-wood. According to Wiliam Ellis, The Timber-tree Improved, London, 1738, 8vo, p. 178, there was a local belief in Herefordshire that the Cross was of service wood. Some think the Cross was of pine.
109. Dictionnaire des Superstitions, Erreurs, Préjuges et Traditions populaires, Troisième et dernière Encyclopedic Théologique. 2 vols., 4to, 1855.
110. The Voyage. and Travails, first printed Westminster, 4to, 1499. A convenient edition is London, 8vo, 1725.
111. Dioscorides, περὶ ϗΥγρα?vε;᾽λης Ἰατρικῆς, De arte medica, I, 119, Ed. Sprengel, Leipzig, 1829-30.
112. The scholiast on the Θηριακά (1. 861) of Nicander of Claroe. Keil’s revision (1856) of the 1816 edition of Schneider, Leipzig.
113. Diogenes Laertius, Uitae philosophorum, iv, 54-57. Ed. C. G. Cobet, Paris (Didot), 1878.
114. The first quarto has no date, but is probably 1609-10. I quote from Dyce’s recension.
115. La Fida Pastora. 12 mo. Londoni, 1658, p. 21.
116. E. S. Harland The Legend of Perseus, London, 1896. Vol. iii., p. 23.
117. Voyage du Sieur Paul Lucas au Levant. A la Haye. MDCCV. Vol. ii, p. 209.
118. R. Pashley, Travels in Crete, Cambridge and London, 1937. Vol. ii, p. 201.
119. Russian Folk Tales. London, 1873, p. 323.
120. Cf. c. vii. p.
121. The Cardinal Bishop of Olmutz gave Gioseppe Davanzati, Archbishop of Trani, the following account of the methods of dealing with vampires in his German diocese. Tribunals were summoned to take information and decide upon the course of action. “I ministri di questi predendone esatta informazione, e formandone un giuridico processo ne vengono ad una sentenza finale contro al sudetto Vampiro, mediante la quale viene solennemente e con tutte le formole legali decretato: che il publice Carnefice portandosi al luogo, ove si trova il Vampiro, apra il sepolcro, e con una sciabla o larga spada a vista di tutto il popolo spettatore recida il Vampiro il capo, e dopo con una lancia gli apri il petto, e trapassi col ferro da parte a parte il cuore del Vampiro strappandoglielo dal seno e poi ritorni di nuovo a chuidere l’avello. In tal maniera, mi disse il Porporato, cessava affatto di più comparire il
Vampiro, quantunque molti altri di questi, che non erano stati ancora giustiziati, nè esecutoriati non cessavano di comparire, e di produrre i calamitosi effeti come i primi. Ma quel, ch’era da notarsi, e di maraviglia insieme, secondo il medesimo Autore si era, che molti de’detti Vampiri giustiziati, si trovano ben colorati, rubicondi, con occhi aperti, e turgidi di vivo sangue, come se fossero attualmente vivi, e di prospera salute; a segno tale, che alcuni di questi al colpo della lanciata, che loro veniva inflitta, mandavano uno spaventoso grido, e scaturivano dal petto un copioso ruscello di sangue, il quale per la copia arrivava ad innaffiare non solo il catalette, ma spargendosi al di fuori guingeva a bagnare il prossimo terreno. Cosa non men orrida, e spaventosa a vedersi, che orribile a descriversi ed a concepirsi.”
122. De Quorundam Graecorum Opinationibus, p. 142.
123. pp. 218-219.
134. vii, p. 490. Compare Heineccius, De absolutione mortuorum . . , p. 20.
135. Chronica rerum Anglicarum, Liber V, c. xxii. “Talia saepius in Anglia contigisse, et crebis clarere exemplis, quietem populo dari non posse, nisi miserrimi hominis corpore effosso et concremato.”
126. H. F. Tozer, Highlands of Turkey, ii, 91, quoting Newton, Travels and Discoveries in the Levant (i. p. 212).
127. Arthur and Albert Schott. Walachische Maehrehen, p. 298.
128. Who ascended the Papal Chair as Adrian IV, 9 January, 1522.
129. In the Uniculum Spirituum it is related that Solomon imprisoned three millions of infernal spirits with seventy-two of their kings in a bottle of black glass, which he cast into a deep well near Babylon. The Babylonians, however, hoping to find a treasure in the well, descended, and broke the bottle, thus releasing these legions of darkness. The story of the Djin and the Fisherman is one of the most familiar tales of The Thousand and One Nights. The idea of enclosing spirits in a bottle would seem to be Oriental. Don Cleofas, the hero of El Diabolo Coxuelo, by Luis Velez de Guevara (first printed in 1611) having accidentally entered the house of an astrologer, delivers from a bottle where he had been confined by a potent charm el diabolo coxuelo who appropriately rewards his liberator. The situation is even better known owing to Le Diable Boiteux and the release of Asmodée, which Le Sage has amply borrowed from the Spanish romance. In China there is the story of a Vampire who is caught and imprisoned in a jar which is thrown into Lake T’ai. See G. Willoughby-Meade, Chinese Ghouls and Goblins, pp. 235-37.
130. Dr. R. Römer, “Bijdrage tot de Geneeskunst du Karo-Batak’s,” Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-Land-en Volkenkunde, i, (1908), pp. 212, sqq.
131. Aubin-Louis Millin, Voyage dans les Départemens du Midi de la France, Paris, 1807-1811. Vol. iii, p. 28.
132. J. J. M. de Groot, The Religious System of China, v. 725, 744, 749, sqq.
133. G. F. Abbott, Macedonian Folklore, p. 221.]