The Civatateo were Aztec vampires, the most vampiric of all the Aztec deities. They were hideous creatures with pale faces, arms and hands covered in white chalk (called ticitl) and crossbones painted upon their tattered dresses. But, believe it or not, they were once beautiful noblewoman. But these lovely women died in childbirth and therefore were doomed to return as a horrific Civatateo.
They were said to be servants of the gods Tezcatlipoca and Tlazolteotl. Tezcatlipoca being the god of the moon, nocturnal sky, god of the ancestral memory, god of time and the Lord of the North. Tlazolteotl was the goddess of the moon, of ritual cleansing (she was known as âthe Eater of Filthâ), human fertility and of sexuality. As the godâs servants, the Civatateo had the magical powers of a priest. The Civatateo were also given the honorific title of civapipiltin (princess) for dying in childbirth.
Supposedly, the wicked Civatateo returned to earth riding broomsticks, haunting crossroads and holding sabbats with others of their kind. When they werenât doing that they were wandering the night looking for defenseless children to feed upon. They left the poor child either paralyzed or diseased. But thatâs not all; some also believe that they would mate with human men, giving birth to vampire children.
To keep their children safe, the people would create shrines full of food at crossroads in hopes that the food would sate the hungry vampires (it was believed that their favorite offering is a cake in the shape of a butterfly). But that wasnât their only reason, they also hoped that a Civatateo would be so busy eating its feast it wouldnât notice the rising sun, for the sun would kill a Civatateo.