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  • File :1244762243.jpg-(17 KB, 320x227, s320x240.jpg)
    17 KB Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:17 No.4847968  
    So, after a little discussion the other day regarding basilisks, it's come to my attention that a lot of fa/tg/uys don't know much about the background of some of their favorite legendary critters. Fair enough, fair enough, not everybody has time to look into this stuff. So, I thought I'd provide some educational material. I may not be an expert, but God help me I've got a good 60+ books on these topics, so they can stand in when I do not.

    We're gonna start with a much maligned creature of the night: the vampire. Truly, this poor revenant has been greatly savaged by the likes of Stephanie Myer and Anne Rice. Most of the following information can be found in a slim but very informative book called "The Darkling: A Treatise on Slavic Vampirism"

    Buckle in for a lot of tl;dr.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:20 No.4847999
    Specifically, we're gonna talk about vampires and feeding. It's a major part of the folklore, and it would also be well out of my scope to cover the ENTIRE spectrum of vampire myths. Also, for the purposes of this thread "vampire" refers specifically to Slavic traditions of an undead being that takes sustenance of some form from the living. So, feeding. Any amateur folklorist worth his salt at least knows by this point that fangs were a Victorian invention. Well, that's simplifying it, but just nod your heads like you agree, "Yes Mr. Mythfag sir, Victorians, got it sir". The question then becomes, "well how the fuck did they get at the tasty, tasty blood, then?" The answer is they often didn't. They certainly didn't go for the jugular. Truth is, what vampires ate/drank varies from location to location, or rather from community to community.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:21 No.4848007
    Some traditions describe a sort of life cycle, where the vampire starts out in one weakened form, and after a set period or time, or after eating enough, or some other factor, it becomes a full-fledged vampire. A couple traditions even take it a step further, adding a third (or more) steps, producing some sort of ubervampire. But let's start with the first stage. Interestingly enough, this belief often includes the idea that in its infancy a vampire can't really hurt people, and needs other sustenance. Often, the vamp is more of a nuisance then anything else. It usually returns to its old house (more on that later) and throws stuff around, overturning furniture, that kind of thing. Sort of like a poltergeist.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:22 No.4848013
    Take the Obour, for example. This is a Bulgarian version, and it starts out as just a shadow, but occasionally little sparks pop around the perimeter of its silhouette, giving it away. It does the aforementioned poltergeist activity, but it also smears animal shit and blood all over the house, usually from small livestock it's killed, such as chickens. Rarely gets above anything bigger then a house cat. What's especially interesting is that if it find human shit, it EATS some of it, before throwing the rest on the walls and floor. It'll also eat any human hairs it finds lying around (though not if they happen to be lying on your head; it doesn't seem to have it in itself to attack anybody yet) as well as toenail clippings.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:23 No.4848019
    I approve and may contribute.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:24 No.4848032
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    Usually, vampires don't eat animals. Usually. The hair and shit and toenail stuff with the Obour seems to suggest some underlying belief that while they needed some for of human byproduct as food. Something a person produced. Eventually the Obour (and other variants like it) graduates on up to actually killing people, primarily its family members.

    That's another thing. Vampires almost exclusively go after their immediate family first. Once they've killed them all, they sometimes move on to friends, or jump straight into the killing of random locals. In the case of the family deaths, the vampire doesn't actually seem to DO anything to them. It's more like a plague that falls upon the house. Everybody in it starts to wither and die. Sometimes they die one at a time, or sometimes all at once. In the cases where they die one at a time there may be an order of sort. For example, they might die from youngest to oldest.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:24 No.4848040
    I'm sure some goddamn new age hippie goth idiot would tell you about "psychic vampires" right about now, how the vampire just takes the people's "life essence", but the truth is much simpler. Slavic peasants didn't usually think it that far out into "life essences," or if they did they didn't put it into words. They just thought that the people died, and the vampire got stronger. If anything, you could argue that it's feeding off their "death essences", that as they fall ill and perish, the very process of them dying is what nourishes it. The fact of the matter is, the people who believed this sort of stuff devoted far more time to a vampire's habits then to its metaphysical origins/functionality.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:25 No.4848048
    The simplest way to look at it is that if a vampire is around, people die. simple as that. Some vampire stories read almost like ghost stories in this regard. For example, there's a short one (unsourced) about a man whose wife died recently, and the baby would cry for her every night. One night, it stopped crying. The silence woke the father up, and he went into the baby's room, only to find the un-decayed visage of his late wife, looking completely normal, just standing there, holding the infant in her arms. She looks up, sees him, quickly puts the baby down, and races out the door while he stands there in shock. He snaps himself out of it, and runs to the cradle only to find the baby dead, just from being in proximity to the deathly aura of its mother.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:26 No.4848061
    It's a particular pain in the ass with this kind of vampire, because it's much harder to distinguish it from a revenant. Revenants are people who come back from the dead for a variety of reasons, but they often come back pissed, and like these vampires they kill people just by being in their vicinity (or by breaking every bone in your body; they're strong, usually) and they also often go after family members and friends first. The big difference is that there's no element of nourishment involved with revenant stories. They kill in similar ways, but for different reasons.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:28 No.4848073
    know what?

    I love you. Do Manticores at a later date, because they fucking rule.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:28 No.4848074
    This is terribly interesting. Please continue.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:28 No.4848076
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    Now, there are some cases where vampires do physically injure and then consume part of their victims. It's not usually in the form of blood, though. In Russia, they have the Upir, which is a cannibal; it feeds on the living and the dead alike. In one Russian folktale, a young woman follows her mysterious suitor to the church, only to glimpse him inside eating the flesh of a corpse recently laid out for burial. Upir and things like them are common in the northern part of the Slavic world, extending into the Ukraine, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Belorussia. In the cases where a vampire actually drinks blood, it doesn't fuss around with the neck. It goes straight for the source. In Romania, the vampires rip or cut you open, and they either bite into your heart, or maybe just dislodge a tube and stick it in their mouths like a straw. Then they just let the rich stuff pump right down their throats.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:31 No.4848103

    I think I have a nit to pick here.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:32 No.4848111
    I'm going to end this with an actual folktale, in this case about a blood drinker. I don't know this one's country of origin, but I suspect it's Hungarian. I at least have reason to believe that it is genuine. It seems to be an old take on the classic "phantom hitchhiker" story
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:33 No.4848120
    The story starts with a peasant who is driving his cart home late one night. Who knows why he's out so late, maybe he was visiting the next town over, maybe he was busy in the fields, who the fuck knows. Anyway, he's driving past the cemetery, when he sees a guy walking by the side of the road. The stranger waves, and asks if he can get a ride. The guy's clothes are kind of shabby, with the exception of his shirt, which is very clean and a brilliant crimson in color. He's carrying a bucket. The peasant, being a decent sort, says "Sure thing," and the stranger climbs up. They drive into the town, and the stranger says he'll tell the peasant where to stop. As they pass each house the peasant hears the stranger muttering under his breath "Closed... Closed... Closed..." He realizes that each house the guy says "closed" at has a crucifix on the door. Finally, they come to a house without one, little more then a hut, and the stranger asks the peasant to come in with him in a tone that indicates it's not actually a request.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:34 No.4848128
    As they walk up to the house, the front gate swings open even though there's no wind, and the door unlocks as the stranger touches the handle. Inside, they find two men, a young man and an old man, asleep in a bed. The stranger grabs the old man, wrenches him upright, puts the bucket in front of the geezer's face, and hits the man on the back so hard that he vomits blood into the bucket. The stranger then does the same thing to the younger man. He then pick up the bucket and drinks deeply. He wipes his mouth, smiles, and tells the terrified peasant to take him home. Home turns out to be the cemetery again. Once they're pulling in amongst the graves, the stranger hops down, takes another drink from his bucket, and then reaches for the peasant. But the first rays of dawn break over the horizon, and the vampire retreats back, clambering into and open grave. The peasant thanks God and probably a couple of his peers, just to be on the safe side, and races back to his own home. The old man and the young man are alter discovered dead in their hut.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:38 No.4848166
    That's all for today. Tune in another time for more; I have some stuff about a giant Native American leech monster I think I'll do next.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:39 No.4848187
    I am a huge mythology buff (mostly Greco-Roman and some Norse stuff, but dabbling in "horror" mythos too) so reading about stuff like this is really attention-grabbing.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:40 No.4848188
    I request a similar 'tell-all' about Chimeras. Thanks.
    Good work today!
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:41 No.4848201

    I think that can be arraigned.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:46 No.4848236
    contributing some weeaboo, because this IS 4chan after all.

    Nukekubi (抜首)meaning Detachable Neck
    . By day, nukekubi appear to be normal human beings. By night, however, their heads and necks detach smoothly from their bodies and fly about independently in search of human prey. These heads attack by screaming (to increase their victims' fright). then closing in and biting.

    While the head and neck are detached, the body of a nukekubi becomes inanimate. In some legends, this serves as one of the creatures few weaknesses; if a nukekubi's head cannot locate and reattach to its body by sunrise, the creature dies. Legends often tell of would-be victims foiling the creatures by destroying or hiding their bodies while the heads are elsewhere.

    By day, nukekubi often try to blend into human society. They sometimes live in groups, impersonating normal human families. The only way to tell a nukekubi from a normal human being is a line of red symbols around the base of the neck where the head detaches. Even this small detail is easily concealed beneath clothing or jewelry.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:47 No.4848249
    Oh I forgot to add. If you do your research it actually turns out Stephanie Myer got Vampirees right. It has been modern writers that perverted them into monsters, where as traditionally they are much more human.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:49 No.4848271

    This is a troll, folks. Maybe I should get a tripname. Hmm. Anyway, I'm not posting again today; anything else is a troll.
    >> Mythfag 06/11/09(Thu)19:50 No.4848279

    Yeah I be trollin. I would recomend you get a trip.
    >> sage 06/11/09(Thu)19:51 No.4848295
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    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:54 No.4848332

    Relax, Zoltar, it's just trolls.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)19:55 No.4848344

    I look forward to your next thread; this one was really rather interesting.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)20:01 No.4848402
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    Most entertaining thing I've seen on /tg/ in awhile.

    Hope to see you around Mythfag.

    Pic related: Urkel Vampire
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)20:02 No.4848410

    >> Adeptus Munitorum Magus O'Grady 06/11/09(Thu)20:08 No.4848461
    I whole-heartedly support this and all future attempts to expound upon the origins of our beloved XP-generators erm... I mean 'monstrous foes'. Please continue.
    >> Anonymous 06/11/09(Thu)20:10 No.4848490

    I believe they prefer "experience enhancement agents."

    Damn unions.
    >> I apologized on 4chan 06/11/09(Thu)20:15 No.4848535
    >But let's start with the first stage. Interestingly enough, this belief often includes the idea that in its infancy a vampire can't really hurt people, and needs other sustenance.

    To be fair, this aspect was in Dracula, it;s just people tend to ignore it.

    I mean Drac spent something like 3 to 400 years hiding in his castle building up strength slowly and carefully, encouraging really bad rumours about him and his castle to keep the peasants from finding out that 5 of them with holy symbols could probably take him out.
    >> Adeptus Munitorum Magus O'Grady 06/11/09(Thu)20:15 No.4848536
    I don't think he should need a trip. Hell, I never use one, and aside from one isolated incident during a /b/ overflow I've never had a problem. Besides, I've seen tripcodes spoofed or duplicated enough times to know they're worthless.

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