Region of origin: Mesopotamia
Evil vampiric spirits, the ekimmu or edimmu were the unquiet dead of people who in life had behaved immorally or improperly, either towards the gods or their fellow mortals, or did not receive an proper burial. The ekimmu were invisible but were thought to be able to be perceived as a gust of wind. An ekimmu would attach itself to either an individual or a household and drain their life force until they wasted away and died days later, and could also possess a person and control their actions. There were spells or similar protections used to ward ekimmu away from a home, or they could be removed by providing them with the funeral rites they never received. Considered an early precusor to traditional vampire folklore, their methods are similar to the preta, “hungry ghosts” of Hinduism and Buddhism, and the strigoi of Romania and eastern Europe.