Region of origin: Catalonia

A black dog myth from the Catalan region, but unlike other stories of black dogs who serve as death omens but rarely directly interact with the people who see them, the dip is a vampiric beast in the employ of the Devil, descending in packs from the mountains and attacking anyone they come across to drink their blood. The dip has become particularly associated the town of Pratdip, coincidentally named but etymologically distinct, where the dog is featured on their coat of arms and an annual celebration, the Pratdip Llegendari, is held just before the weekend of All Saints, featuring stories and games symbolically hunting and rounding up the creatures.

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Region of origin: Caribbean islands

A shape-shifting, vampiric jumbie from Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean regions, by day the soucouyant will appear as a normal human woman, usually elderly, but at night will cast off her skin and take on its true form of a flying fireball. The skin will be stored somewhere such as a mortar to protect it while the soucouyant flies out to look for victims. In this form they are said to be able to fit through any size hole or crack in a building and descend upon whoever they find sleeping there, draining them of their blood or life-force through the bottom of their feet or other limbs. The victim may eventually become a soucouyant themselves or, if drained to death, the feeding soucouyant may take their skin as a replacement for their own. The soucouyant’s hidden skin is the key to dealing with one; similar to European witches the soucouyant will be compelled to count every grain of rice or salt spilled on the ground which can prevent them from making it home and back into their human disguise before dawn. Alternatively it will give you a chance to enter their home while they’re out and find the skin before they can return to it, where you can sprinkle the skin with salt or hot pepper which will render it unlivable to the soucouyant. Witches may also take the skin to be used as a component in magic spells or rituals.

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Sigbin (updated)



Region of origin: The Philippines

A vampiric goat-like creature, the sigbin will hunt its prey at night and is said to be able to drink a person’s blood and life force through their shadow. Their diet is thought to also consist of yellow squash, coal and dead animals, the latter which may account for a distinct rank odor they produce. They are kept as pets by aswang, another demonic creature from Filipino folklore, and it is believed capturing one for yourself will result in good fortune; there are rumors some prominent businessmen may have sigbins in their possession.

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Region of origin: Greece

Daughters of Nyx and Erebus and sisters to the Fates and Furies among others, the Keres were spirits of violent or cruel deaths, including war, murder and disease. Swarms of vulture-like Keres numbering in the thousand would hungrily hover over battlefields, descending on any fallen soldier and consuming their freshly-spilled blood while they removed the soul to be ushered to the Underworld. In some versions of the story, the Keres were included among the evil spirits released by Pandora from her box or jar.

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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.

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Yara-ma-yha-who (updated)



Region of origin: Australia

A small red imp of a figure with a head disproportionately larger than its body, the Yara-ma-yha-who makes it home in fig trees. If anyone stops to rest under its tree, it will descend and latch on to them with its leech-like fingers and toes, draining blood until its victim passes out, at which point it swallows them whole and, sated, falls asleep. Upon awakening, it will regurgitate the person, who find themselves worn down, slightly smaller and redder than before but with no memory of the encounter. The Yara-ma-yha-who will repeat this process over and over until eventually the victim themselves has become a new Yara-ma-yha-who. Tales of the Yara-ma-yha-who are used to discourage children from entering potentially dangerous areas.

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An updated version of this post

Leanan Sidhe


Leanan Sídhe

Region of origin: Ireland and Scotland

The “Fairy Sweetheart”, the Leanan sídhe is a vampiric fae muse who appears before an artist or poet as a beautiful woman and, if they accept her as their lover, she will latch on to them for life, providing them incredible artistic inspiration, but in return she feeds off their life-force. This results in an impressive body of work for the artist in exchange for declining physical and mental health and eventually an early death. It’s thought in earlier folklore the Leanan sídhe was considered a more benevolent figure but the influence of Christianity and a conflation with succubi myths led to more modern interpretations of her instead being viewed as a dangerous entity.

Originally posted on Tumblr on November 22, 2016