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??????