The World’s First Vampire?
Dating back 6,000 years ago is what is believed to be the first recorded vampire – the edimmu of Mesopotamia (also known as the ekimmu). This angry and violent victim of an improper burial not only drank the blood of those that passed by, but would also suck them dry of their life force as well, making them not only one of the first bloodsuckers, but also the first psychic vampires.
The edimmu’s anger was mainly directed toward those that had not followed its funeral rites correctly – if someone died and you didn’t give them the burial they deserved, then you were screwed. But it didn’t just stop at those people, it pretty much preyed upon anything that was living. The edimmu caused family disasters, disease and it even inspired criminal activities in otherwise law-abiding people who didn’t even know the creature when it was alive. Its wrath was extreme, bringing all kinds of awful things and death to their victims and destroying entire households. However, the myth varies quite a bit, some sources claim that the edimmu never physically attacked their victims, that they simply possessed them. It’s also said that an improper burial wasn’t the only way an edimmu was born, that sometimes a very violent death could do the trick.
Descriptions of the edimmu vary from legend to legend. Sometimes they were portrayed as winged demons, sometimes walking corpses, sometimes as moving shadows, or even as rushing wind.
There are few ways to protect oneself against this creature, probably because the Babylonians and Sumerians believed that prevention was better than a cure, and so they avoided the places in which an edimmu would dwell. But, archaeologists have unearthed a number of “spirit bowls,” which were said to offer protection against the vengeful dead. These small bowls were made of clay and inscribed with powerful incantations or spells.
The legend of the edimmu didn’t die out all those thousands of years ago, nowadays it is said that the edimmu hide among the homeless in big cities, bringing with them a life of disease and pain. Living in dilapidated modern buildings is quite fitting for an undead being whose final resting place was a desolate unvisited grave.