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A Vampire Legend from Hungary

There are many vampire animals that we know of, bats and fish being the most common. But, a chicken? Yep, this vampire legend comes from Hungary and it entails a hen, or rather the egg of a hen, that has vampire tendencies and eventually will leave their owner sick and weak after drinking their blood. The upside? They also tend to make their owners very rich.

These chicken vampires are known as Lidercs, and it’s from this term that the word “lidercnyomas” comes from, which is still used in Hungary today and means “nightmare.” The Liderc is thought to be the first egg given by a black hen although just like all legends, this one also has many versions with some saying that any egg from a hen can be a Liderc, or any egg at all that is particularly small in size. The original form of this legend seems to state that the egg must be placed in manure in order to hatch while others state that the egg must be placed under a human’s arm.

Should the owner of the Liderc be a woman, the hatched egg will turn itself into a man to seduce her. However, instead of actually acting as their lover, they will instead sit on them and drink the woman’s blood. It’s true that the Liderc will collect gold of many forms for its owner, making them rich but gold doesn’t do you much good if you’re too weak to get out of bed, does it? For this reason, those who are suffering from the Liderc that they own often want to get rid of it. And luckily, there are a few ways to do this.

Assigning the Liderc to an impossible task such as collecting water in a sieve or pulling sand by a rope is one way to get rid of a Liderc. And if you’re lucky enough to happen across a hollow tree, locking the Liderc into the tree is another way to get rid of the annoying creature.

Other Hungarian legends state that Lidercs are actually tiny little devils and that while they may also come from hen’s eggs, they are usually found in rags, old clothes, boxes, or glass bottles. These Lidercs also make their owners very rich but these owners also have superhuman strength. This is thought to be because once a Liderc appears, the owner’s soul is given to the Liderc, or to the Devil.

A third take on this legend also comes from Hungary and while there’s no mention of them drinking blood, they most likely do and also have other qualities that scream, “Vampire!” These traits are such things as haunting cemeteries and not being able to come out during the daytime. These Lidercs are also thought to be able to fly at night while they are in their animal form, and while in flight, they sprinkle flames around the Earth. These Lidercs do not always assume an animal shape and can change into human form. While in human form, they can sneak down chimneys or through keyholes to strike doom on its victims. When it leaves, it will shoot flames and dirty the walls. The entering of this form of Liderc can be stopped by burning incense and birch branches.

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kate • November 20, 2009


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