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.
 “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.’
 “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
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.
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
Islets Nekrothikes and Plati-Pserimos
Demon islands-Nothern Sporades
Santorini islet Kameni
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