Vampires - how do different peoples of the world represent them? Among them: Strigoi, Ghoul, Dahanavar, Lame Corpse, Aksharas, Kali, etc.
Tales of the dead shedding blood can be found in almost every culture in the world, even the most ancient. So, in Babylonian demonology there is a mention of Leelu - vampire-like spirits, blood-sucking aksharas - demonesses who kill newborn babies and pregnant women under cover of night - are found even in earlier Sumerian mythology.
Dahanavar in ancient Armenian mythology was called a vampire who lived in the Ultish Alto-tem mountains. He was generous to the inhabitants of his lands and never killed them, but he mercilessly dealt with strangers, drinking their blood. There is a story allegedly written in 1854 by a certain Baron August von Aksausen, which tells of two travelers who fell into the domain of Dahanavar. Knowing about the "tricks" of the vampire, the travelers fell asleep in such a way that their feet were placed under each other's heads. Discouraged by the sight of a strange creature with two heads and no legs, Dahanavar left these lands, and nothing more was heard of him.
In Indian mythology, there are legends about the vetals - vampire-like evil spirits who are part of the retinue of the god Shiva. The vetals take possession of the dead and make them act like the living. At the same time, the corpse stops decaying and walks around the world like a zombie. All this vetals need not to feed on blood, brain and other organs of human flesh, but … out of envy.
In ancient China, there was also an "analogue" of the vampire, who was called the Lame Corpse. True, he ate not blood, but the vital "essence" of a person - the so-called qi energy. The wise Chinese, as always, noticed much more than the European peoples, and, in general, hit the mark. Indeed, in modern popular psychology, there is also the term "vampirism", which denotes the ability of some people to literally "suck" from others their vitality and energy. Have you ever felt, after seemingly innocent communication with some person, to feel severe emptiness, to experience the state of "squeezed lemon"? Congratulations. A psychological "vampire" communicated with you (we will talk about the nature of this interesting phenomenon, which is based on quite prosaic reasons another time).
In Rome, ghosts sucking blood were called lamias, empusae, and lemurs. Among them - the night bird Strix, which fed on human blood and flesh. It is from the name of this bird that the Romanian word strigoi (vampire, witch, in which the hanged people turn - NS) is formed, like the Albanian Shtriga. Although the myths about these creatures themselves are mostly of Slavic origin.
If you believe the Slavic myths, a ghoul (vampires were called ghouls "with the light hand" of Pushkin, who wrote the poem of the same name in 1836) could become anyone who was born in a "shirt", with teeth and a tail, who was conceived on certain days, who died a “wrong” (unnatural, premature) death, who was excommunicated and over whom the wrong funeral rituals were performed. In order for the deceased not to become a vampire, a crucifix should be placed in his coffin, and some object should be placed under his chin (so that the dead would not eat the burial shroud). You could also pin the clothes of the deceased to the coffin or put sawdust there. It is believed that vampires are terribly fond of counting something, therefore, while the awakened dead man counts each of these sawdust, he simply dies. In addition to this, you can pierce the body of the dead with thorns or stakes (hence the tradition of driving a stake into the grave), thus nailing it to the ground. Another faithful and well-known remedy against vampires is garlic.
The already mentioned Strigoi is the Romanian "variant" of the vampire. He looks like a ghoul, including the fact that he was born in a shirt or with some kind of flaw, for example, with a tail or an extra nipple. In addition, he could have been born too early or die a “wrong” death. A vampire is recognized by holes in the ground, an undecomposed corpse with a red face, or by the position of one of the feet if it is in the corner of the coffin. Therefore, the graves were often opened (for example, after the death of a child for another three years), so that the deceased could be tested for a tendency to vampirism.
The most famous vampire-like creature among the gypsies is called Kali. In fact, this is an Indian deity with fangs, hung with garlands of corpses and skulls and having four arms. Temples of Kali are located near cremation sites.
There are also common vampire traits that are common to most folkloric traditions. First of all, this applies to the properties of the vampire himself. So, all vampires are relatively immortal. And although you can kill a ghoul, he never grows old. The vampire possesses supernatural powers and abilities. A corpse that can be recognized as a vampire has a healthy appearance and ruddy skin, and it also does not decompose at all.