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Vampires from the Caribbean

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posted on Feb, 6 2004 @ 04:54 PM
Growing up in the islands of the Caribbean, we are treated to stories of creatures that the western world would call Vampires.

As a child, I remember the having to walk past the house one of these creatures. This Old Higue was really a very haggish looking old woman. She was said to be ageless, but she looked about 80. My grandmother use to provide her with food since she was also very poor and from what I gather it was done as a means to protect us from her. Now as a child I had great fear of the Old Higue, but that fear increase when suddenly children in the neighborhood began to mysteriously die. People began to suspect the Old Higue as being the culprit but they were too scared to confront her or act upon it. Several months later the Old Higue abandoned her house and moved away, never to be seen in that area again. Now most people would just brush this story off, but I personally witnessed a "fireball" leaving this woman's house one night and returning just before dawn.

Here are some other writings of the Caribbean Vampire:

The story is that the Old Higue, the Caribbean form of a human vampire, capable of discarding her skin takes the form of an old woman living in a community. At night she transforms herself into a ball of fire, flies from her own house up into the sky and then lands on the roof of another house where there is a baby in a cradle underneath a sheet whose blood she will suck dry and then go home. The suspicions of the community are soon aroused and the school children cry "ole higue" at her; they make chalk marks, on the bridge to her house, the door, the window. But the legend goes that she crosses these marks bravely.

Then the community sets a trap. When the ole higue flies abroad another night she finds that the baby in the cradle is clothed in a blue night gown. There is a heap of rice grains near to the cot and the smell of asfoetida. These cast a spell on the ole higue who has to count the grains of rice, and if she loses her way, she has to start counting again. The light of morning comes and the ole higue still has not finished counting the grains of rice. People burst into the room pick up cabbage broom and begin to belabour the ole higue. They beat her to death, with great emotion.
"The Old Higue waits until the early hours of the morning and when everyone is asleep; then the Old Higue sheds its human skin; then the Old Higue travels in a ball of fire searching for victims; then the Old Higue slips through the keyhole of the house of its chosen victim; then the Old Higue sucks the blood of a child dry, dry, dry! Oh, the deep fear of it is enough to cause a child to remain awake all night, every night."
Excerpt from Caribbean Stories, by Andrew A. Munroe

In Trinidad, this is vampire is called a Soucouyant. She is generally an old woman who travels by night in a ball of fire, leaving her skin behind her, to suck the blood of her sleeping victims. You can tell you've been bitten by a soucouyant if you see two little bite marks side by side, anywhere on your body in the morning. Of course it could just have been two mosquitoes biting you in tandem. And doing so again the next night. Believe what you wish. I am not sure how one becomes a soucouyant, but I do remember tales of a midnight ritual around a silk cotton tree that scared the living daylights out of me when I was little.

Ways to kill a Soucouyant:
Traditionally, you must throw a handful of salt or rice or other small grains by your door or window. That way she won't be able to leave until she has counted every last grain. Hopefully, you can keep there until the sun comes up and she's caught without her skin.
Or you can beat her with a big stick when you encounter the ball of fire. The next day the bruised and battered old lady down the road is revealed as the local soucouyant.
Of course if you already know who she is, the task is simpler. After she leaves her house on her nightly outings, you take her skin and rub the inside liberally with salt and pepper. Then when she returns and dons her skin, she'll die writhing in agony.

Now my question, has anyone ever heard stories of a similar creature??????

posted on Feb, 12 2004 @ 01:12 PM
those are excellent stories. i haven't heard anything like that before, however, i do know how zombies are creating in the voodoo tradition.

posted on Feb, 12 2004 @ 01:15 PM
a) Is this first hand-experience?
b) Why does the Old Higue have to stop and count the grains of rice? Absurd.

posted on Feb, 12 2004 @ 01:17 PM
Very interesting indeed, is it just chance that the chupa appeared in the same area in the beginning?

posted on Feb, 12 2004 @ 07:23 PM
well the first part (1st paragraph) is of my first hand experiences, however I only saw a ball of fire leaving her house. The elders around me stated connection between the ball of fire and the Old Higue.

The rice now is an interesting part, some say she because she a demon type creature, she is very dumb and counterspells like leaving the scent of asfoetida (an indian spice) she gets hypnotized by the aroma, for some reason if the rice is left out, she will start picking them up grain by grain counting them, allowing her to get caught.

putting chalk marks on the door or entrance of the house is also supposed to help keep her away, however other say you have mark all the entrances, windows and vents included.

I don't believe the chupacabra is related to the Old Higue stories, because the Old Higue operates more like a vampire and didn't go after animals.

I know this wierd and crazy stuff, but there are many many people in different countries in the caribbean that will acknowledge the story and the olders one usually have first hand knowledge of it.

I've concluded that these (sightings/incidents) occurred more frequently in the 1800's when the caribbean area was being settled, they were still fairly common in the 1920-1950's eventually retreating in the 1970's and 80's.

posted on Feb, 12 2004 @ 09:21 PM

Originally posted by browha
b) Why does the Old Higue have to stop and count the grains of rice? Absurd.

alot of vampire stories involve them counting things, or unwinding balls of wool

posted on Feb, 12 2004 @ 09:27 PM
Does Higue mean Hag?
You knew this lady personally?
How many people died around your neighborhood?

Its amazing how many vampire type legends there are around the world.

posted on Feb, 13 2004 @ 08:08 AM
Yep Higue mean Hag.....I can only assume it's the broken english spoken in the islands that led to this word being used. I don't know how the Trinidadians came up with Soucouyant, but again I assume it's from the word succubus.

I saw the Old Higue, once or twice on the streets and whomever the elder person was accompanying me would make cross the street or walk really fast past her and tell me not to look at her. To me she was just a wrinkly ugly old lady. I remember her house more than I remember her. The house was eventually burnt down by vandals.

I just checked with my grandmother who actually knew this woman and she said there was 6 children that died in a 3 month period, these deaths were attributed to the Old Higue. The children supposedly had nothing medically wrong with them and they just fell ill over night, dying within days. She said it was the Old Higue because of the marks on their body. It's hickey like marks that can appear anywhere on the body but was common on the necks.

I do recall this woman coming to our house begging for food and my grandmother would give it to her, but not before sending all of us kids to our room, with strict orders not to leave the room until she told us to.

I brought up this topic because I have heard similar stories in Trinidad and Jamaica and wonder how these stories managed to travel thru the Caribbean without much change except for the name of the creature. I have also heard of similar vampire type creatures in Africa and India, I think the Indian version is called a CHURAIL, don't know what they are called in Africa. Personally I was not aware of the Western version of the vampires until I celebrated my first Halloween in the USA and saw an old black and white movie of the Bram Stoker type creature.

I would love to hear about the other types of vampires (not the bram stoker type) around the world, perhaps there are connections.


posted on Feb, 14 2004 @ 11:29 AM
I don't know when it comes to vampires....I believe in EL Chupacabra but Humans able to transform into fireballs or bats, it just seems to much like folklore to me. The child deaths do not surprise me it is very possible that they were killed by some yet unknown infant disease. The story of the old woman sounds a little too similar to witch stories told up here in the States. As for the fireballs I have no explanation for that, and if you did wittiness them first hand I am inclined to believe that they did in fact happen. I do not think that this woman transformed into fireballs, I believe there is a much simpler explanation however as of now I do not have one. A very interesting story worldwatcher, thank you fro posting it.

posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 12:34 AM
We have alot of old hags running around this town. Give her a Jackson and she'll give

posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 10:44 AM

I personally witnessed a "fireball" leaving this woman's house one night and returning just before dawn.

Originally posted by worldwatcher
however I only saw a ball of fire leaving her house.

This sounds like a load of #.


posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 11:48 AM
I personally do not think that you seeing a fireball come out of her house proves that she is a vampire. Couldn't this fire ball have another explanation aside from it being a paranormal being that sheds human skin? Perhaps it was simply a fireball, those things do happen from time to time given the right circumstances. Did you see the fireball move in unusual ways, did it fly in a straight line?

posted on Feb, 15 2004 @ 07:26 PM

Originally posted by browha
Why does the Old Higue have to stop and count the grains of rice? Absurd.

That's what vampires do. Haven't you ever seen Sesame Street?

posted on Feb, 16 2004 @ 05:59 PM
Counting things-The sroty is that Vampires like small objects and like to count. Also, Dracula was supposedly rich, liked to count his money, small coins, so I guess counting his coins and other small objects get him off some how.

Anyways, this is kinda cool, first hand account. How old were the kids? did the kids stop dissapearing after she left?

posted on Feb, 17 2004 @ 04:52 PM
Thanks for reading and posting to the thread, however I am not looking to convince anyone on the existence of the Old Higue, Souyoucant or Caribbean Vampire. I do not know if the old woman was or was not an old higue. I think I clearly explained that in my previous posts.
Do remember in my culture, these things are taken alot more seriously and it is not a topic that was discussed infront of children. My point for sharing the story was to see if there were any similiar type creatures from elsewhere in the world and to see if there were any connections that could be made.

I did see a fireball, can't say exactly what caused it, if it was related to her or not. But at that time in my life, I had never witnessed such a thing and up till this day I have not witnessed anything similar. When I say a "fireball" I literally mean a ball of fire about 12 inches in diameter. It left from the area of the woman's house rose about 20 feet above the ground then made a sharp turn moving in a straight line away from her house. At this point, the older people who were with me, of course got excited, said it was the Old Higue, made me leave the window, while they continued to look on and speculate on which the direction the fireball was headed. No one really slept that night, they all continued watching for the fireball and just before sunrise which is about 5am in that part of the world, they started yelling that the fireball was coming back. I remember piggybacking on my older cousin in order to see out the window and we (I) saw this fireball move back to over the area of the woman's house and disappeared. That is all I know and can about the fireball and the connection to the Old Higue.

and the age of the children I do not know exactly, I wasn't privy to that much detail, but I am pretty sure they were all under 10...and yes when the Old Higue left town, the mysterious illness that was killing children also disappeared.

NOW, my grandmother who instilled these ideas in my head is still around to re-enforce her assertions that the Old Higue is real creature....and she is not the only one who believes this.

posted on Feb, 17 2004 @ 05:08 PM

Originally posted by worldwatcherOf course if you already know who she is, the task is simpler. After she leaves her house on her nightly outings, you take her skin and rub the inside liberally with salt and pepper. Then when she returns and dons her skin, she'll die writhing in agony.

Now my question, has anyone ever heard stories of a similar creature??????

I've heard that exact same story from one of my best friends who spent the first half of his childhood in Grenada...

He said they filled her skin with salt, left and then heard a scream. The next day they found her dead.

posted on Feb, 17 2004 @ 05:13 PM
oooh tell me more bandit, well that is if you know more.

I have only heard the stories of the Old Higue being able to shed her skin....but no one ever confirmed it for me..

and thanks for posting, now I can add Grenada to the list of Caribbean countries that have similiar stories of the Old Higue.

btw, does Aruba have a similiar creature?

posted on Feb, 17 2004 @ 05:34 PM
Well.. That's all I know.

And I've never heard of a similar story on Aruba. An immense amount of stories and first hand accounts of people who have seen them (including relatives), but no vampires...

Thank goodness...

Reminds me of the 1980's soca: "suck meeeee succouyant!!!..."

posted on Feb, 17 2004 @ 05:37 PM
ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh u bring back such great memories of my child hood past all though i am only 20..

they are still just stories.... harmless and untrue......

i remember back in high school i read books like that for english literature...

posted on Feb, 17 2004 @ 05:40 PM
That is a great story.
Especially with other countries having the same tales.

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