Vampires in Greece

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posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 07:37 AM
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Hello ATS.I was thinking of creating this thread for some time now and i finally made it.I was always fascinated by the tales of vampires in fiction and when i discovered that there are "real" tales and urban legends about them i was thrilled.I though i'd share some from my home country .
Although vampires are a common theme in many countries, they hold a very special position in Greece.No matter where you travel,there is always a tale of a vampire.

The concept of dead,drinking blood,to speak to the living,exists from the ancient times in Greece.
In Homer's Odyssey, when Odysseus needs the advice of the dead seer Teiresias and travels to Hades to find him,the dead spirit must drink blood,in order to communicate with him.


[90] “Then there came up the spirit of the Theban Teiresias, bearing his golden staff in his hand, and he knew me and spoke to me: `Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, what now, hapless man? Why hast thou left the light of the sun and come hither to behold the dead and a region where is no joy? Nay, give place from the pit and draw back thy sharp sword, that I may drink of the blood and tell thee sooth.’

[97] “So he spoke, and I gave place and thrust my silver-studded sword into its sheath, and when he had drunk the dark blood, then the blameless seer spoke to me and said


Homer's Odyssey

Apart from the dead souls that needed blood,there were creatures that had all the qualities of the vampires as we know them today.Empusa, Lamia,and striges,although not undead,they were the precursors of the modern vampire.Empusa was the daughter of the goddess Hecate and was described as a demonic, bronze-footed creature. She feasted on blood by transforming into a young woman and seduced men as they slept before drinking their blood.

Lamia was the daughter of King Belus and a secret lover of Zeus. However Zeus' wife Hera discovered this infidelity and killed all Lamia's offspring; Lamia swore vengeance and preyed on young children in their beds at night, sucking their blood.

Like Lamia, the striges, feasted on children, but also preyed on young men. They were described as having the bodies of crows or birds in general, and were later incorporated into Roman mythology as strix, a kind of nocturnal bird that fed on human flesh and blood.

Lamia


Bearing little resemblance to its Ancient Greek precursors, the modern Greek vrykolakas has much in common with the European vampire. Belief in vampires commonly called vrykolakas, though also referred to as katakhanades, on Crete, persisted throughout Greek history and became so widespread in the 18th and 19th centuries that many practices were enforced to both prevent and combat vampirism.
The deceased were often exhumed from their graves after three years of death and the remains placed in a box by relatives; wine was poured over them while a priest would read from scriptures.(a practice that is still common until today) However, if the body had not sufficiently decayed, the corpse would be labeled a vrykolakas and dealt with appropriately.

In Greek folklore, vampirism could occur through various means: being excommunicated, desecrating a religious day, committing a great crime or dying alone without proper burial. Other causes included having a cat jump across one's grave, eating meat from a sheep killed by a wolf, being cursed,those who practice black magic and of course the victims of the vampires. Vrykolakas were usually thought to be indistinguishable from living people, giving rise to many folk tales with this theme.
Crosses and antidoron (blessed bread) from the church were used as wards in different places. To prevent vampires from rising from the dead, their hearts were pierced with iron nails whilst resting in their graves, or their bodies burned and the ashes scattered. Because the Church opposed burning people who had received the myron of chrismation in the baptism ritual, cremation was considered a last resort.

In many Greek islands they used put the cemetaries in islets,near the main island,because they believed that vampires could not cross the sea(sea water is considered a weapon against vampires).There are many islets that are considered to be vampire colonies.
Some of the most well known are:
Islet Bau-Across the port of Mykonos
Islet Hecate-Near Delos
Reef of Panagia-Northern Evia
Islet Kameni-Santorini
Islet grave-Kefalonia
Islets Nekrothikes and Plati-Pserimos
Vrikolakonisia-Nothern Skyros
Islet Kalathas-Chania,Crete
Demon islands-Nothern Sporades
Islet Goni-Inouses
Islet Venetiko-Chios

Santorini islet Kameni


Kalathas Chania


Nekrothikes island


CONTINUE IN NEXT POST




posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 07:41 AM
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Tales about vampires:

Vampires in Mykono
In the island, according to legend, in the 18 century,lived a terrible pirate. When the people found the corpse lying in a field, made the burial, to rest in peace. Immediately after the funeral he makes his appearance in several places and causing irreparable damage. Transformed into Vourvoulaka as they used to call them.

They organized processions,they undig the corpse,took out his heart and threw it in an area called Kardiokaftis(heart burner).But he was not exterminated and returned to the scene of the crime seeking redemption. The only way to ensure peace is the beheading of a Turkish sword.

Crete
I was told this story,by a relative.In the late 60s,a man left his wife and went to work in Germany.The wife was unfaithful and she got pregnant by her lover.One day she got a letter from her husband that was telling her to travel to Germany,because life was good there and he didn't want to return to Crete.She decided to tell him the truth and asked him to send her a medicine to abort the baby.He felt betrayed and instead she sent her poison.
One friend of the wife saw the bottle and warned her not to take it,but she did and she died.By the church it was considered suicide and they didn't gave her a proper burial,but insted they buried her in her farm.
A few days later her friend saw her wandering around,with the baby in her arms.She told the village priest and they went on a Saturday morning,opened her grave and found her alive.She told them that they are lucky,because it was Saturday and she couldn't harm them,but she would kill them first chance she had.The priest after reading some prayers he burnt the body.

In Crete they say that if you walk alone at night and you hear someone call your name,don't answer,because it's a vampire and if you ignore him,he cannot hurt you.

In Northern Greece they believe that people who were born on saturday have special abilities.They can see spirits and fight vampires.They are called Savvatianoi.One such story comes from the village of Soho,that a Savvatianos had trapped a vampire in a barn and nailed him on the wall.

Around 1700 in Evia vampires were considered responsible for a great plague,that left many dead behind.The dead bodies were burned with iron.

In Alonniso the tales speak of black shadows,that attack people and grap them from the neck.

In Skopelo the vampires appear as skeletons and in Samothraki as invisible with flaming bodies.

In the islands of Saronikos they talk about malformed vampires.

In Chios they wear white shrouds and in Tino the vampires use their supernatural powers to smite and kill people.

In Attica,in the mountain of Immitos,the vampire lives in a cave and when he escapes he tries to take over the houses of the living.He is described as swollen and ugly.

In cemetaries in many areas around Greece corpses have been found nailed to their coffins,so they won't be able to leave their graves.


Some more stories:

Vampire of Lesvos

A vampire story from Karpathos

A Cretan tale of vampires

There are literally hundreds of stories about vampires and in small villages still believe in them.I have visited many places with such legends,but apart from the tales of the locals,i never had an encounter with such a creature.

I hope that you enjoyed it and i'm interested to know if there are tales about vampires, where you come from.



posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 07:58 AM
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Thanks, I like these kind of stories too.



posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 08:58 AM
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When i was a vampire i learned that city's are a no go, and preyed on the small farmer villages because there was less of a chance of being detected, but had to make sure there was no dogs because they know, they see what there masters do not



posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 04:43 PM
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I saw a documentary actually that tied some of these facts that you listed as Zombies rather than Vampires. Such as the very last picture you posted of the skull with the brick in his mouth, they claimed they did this as a practice, so that they dead will not be able to bite anyone if awakened. Zombies, Vampires- both dead, eat people.



posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by calnorak
Thanks, I like these kind of stories too.


You're welcome.It's fascinating how stories that now are considered fiction,used to be part of people's everyday life.


Originally posted by Freedom_is_Slavery
When i was a vampire i learned that city's are a no go, and preyed on the small farmer villages because there was less of a chance of being detected, but had to make sure there was no dogs because they know, they see what there masters do not


Soooooo,you used to be a vampire?Nice to meet you i was a werewolf



Originally posted by HeldHostage14
I saw a documentary actually that tied some of these facts that you listed as Zombies rather than Vampires. Such as the very last picture you posted of the skull with the brick in his mouth, they claimed they did this as a practice, so that they dead will not be able to bite anyone if awakened. Zombies, Vampires- both dead, eat people.


Do you remember the title of the documentary?I would love to watch it.
As for the picture,i read somewhere that corpses or sceletons with stakes in their bodies,have been found in different parts of Europe,so you are correct it was a common practice to prevent the dead from rising.



posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by Phantom traveller
 


The documentary is called "History Channels Zombies". Yes its true they give a good amount of european superstition on burial practices. Such as bricks in the mouths, diffrent types of the walking dead, and even how its applied today. Hope you enjoy it



posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by HeldHostage14
 


Thanks i will look it up first thing tomorrow.



posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 02:47 AM
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Originally posted by Freedom_is_Slavery
When i was a vampire i learned that city's are a no go, and preyed on the small farmer villages because there was less of a chance of being detected, but had to make sure there was no dogs because they know, they see what there masters do not



Originally posted by Phantom traveller

Soooooo,you used to be a vampire?Nice to meet you i was a werewolf



I was once but it wasn't all it was cracked up to be, couldn't control the transformations and such,


Drinking all that blood as a vampire was quite time consuming also, and i didn't like the taste



posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 03:04 AM
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Origins The original werewolf tale may lie in the myth recounted in Ovid's "Metamorphoses," in which King Lycaeon wanted to test the Greek gods by giving them food with human flesh.

Zeus, enraged, changed him into a werewolf as punishment so he would always be doomed to crave human flesh.

From this myth, we get the word "lycanthrope," which means "wolf man."

Vampires legends rose from Eastern Europe, when unexplained deaths were blamed on a dead family member coming back from the grave to assault the living.
They were not the suave, charming night stalkers in the style of Bram Stoker's "Dracula"; they were more zombielike in the original legends.

Plagues, rashes of murders, missing people or dead livestock were often blamed on a vampire or werewolf presence.

Both werewolves and vampires are believed to be able to pass on their curse by infecting a victim with a bite. Victims were originally thought doomed to transform as well, so the bodies of alleged victims were often desecrated or destroyed to prevent it.

Shape Shifting Werewolves and vampires are known for shape-shifting abilities. Werewolves are humans who change into man-wolf hybrids, and vampires can transform into bats or wolves.

The difference is that werewolves are usually considered cursed to change under certain conditions, such as the influence of the full moon, rather than voluntarily.

Their minds also change to a vicious animalistic state in which they lose the ability to think like a man. Vampires can shape-shift from human to animal form at will and do so to hide, spy, stalk others or flee from danger.

They retain their ability to reason and make choices in any form they take. Read More

Metamorphoses (from the Greek μεταμορφώσεις, "transformations") is a Latin narrative poem in fifteen books by the Roman poet Ovid, describing the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Completed in AD 8, it is recognized as a masterpiece of Golden Age Latin literature.


It also remains the favourite work of reference for Greek myth upon which Ovid based these tales, albeit often with stylistic adaptations

Metamorphoses



posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 03:43 PM
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Thanks for creating this thread. It was a very entertaining read. I used to read about Vampires a lot earlier and enjoyed reading your thread.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 09:19 PM
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Hey thanks for the reply in my thread,I'm reading yours right now.I read in a book of folk stories about the vampire offspring,it's somewhere on my computer will look it up and write back.Absolutely fascinating subject.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 01:04 AM
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OP I am resurrecting your thread (look how punny I am). This was a good one that got buried (ugh didn't even try for that. After I delve into this some more I am going to pop back in. I just want to give other members a chance to see this.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 04:03 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


Thank Domo


I hope you enjoyed it and i'm looking forward for your comments.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 05:30 AM
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Originally posted by adnachiel21
Hey thanks for the reply in my thread,I'm reading yours right now.I read in a book of folk stories about the vampire offspring,it's somewhere on my computer will look it up and write back.Absolutely fascinating subject.



I am very curious about your research on the offspring, hope you come back to the thread!



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 08:42 PM
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Bumping this thread again. I love the traditional tales of vampirism and delving into the roots of where stuff like this comes from. I also always wondered if there is a connection between the legends of vampires and zombies. They both rise from the dead and bite people, (well, the modern day zombie myth does)

Maybe different countries just applied different names to the same thing, meanings could have been confused etc.and instead of two different entities it is actually the same thing being described? Although there are many tales of vampires looking and acting nearly normal whereas traditionally zombies tend to have nothing behind the eyes so to speak. No sign of life other than movement. I don't know, all in all I find it very interesting and thank you for an immense amount of information



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 08:57 PM
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Freedom_is_Slavery
When i was a vampire i learned that city's are a no go, and preyed on the small farmer villages because there was less of a chance of being detected, but had to make sure there was no dogs because they know, they see what there masters do not


...when you WERE a vampire? Please, don't say things that make less sense than the things on ATS that make no sense.

By the way, animals adore me. If you're not a vampire now, you never were one.


Freedom_is_Slavery

I was once but it wasn't all it was cracked up to be, couldn't control the transformations and such,


Drinking all that blood as a vampire was quite time consuming also, and i didn't like the taste


Yeah, your sort never was a vampire. It's called being a fetishist. Nothing wrong with that but lets not confuse the people who are ignorant to the topics. Vampires have NO issue with the taste of blood. I think I'd know.
edit on 9-10-2013 by aptrgangr because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 21 2014 @ 09:14 PM
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Very cool story!



posted on Apr, 28 2014 @ 08:10 PM
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how long n how were you made into vampire?? a reply to: Freedom_is_Slavery





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