Africa is a land rich in beauty and history. This gorgeous continent isn’t only home to jaw-dropping scenery and ferocious wildlife, but also to some of the most unique vampire legends out there. As I have said in the past, nearly every country, ever culture, has their own vampire myths and vampire species – Africa included.
This living vampire, found in West Africa, was said to be either male or female. In some versions of the legend, the obayifo had the power to leave its body and travel to its victims in the form of a big ball of light. Others say that this creature stayed in human form, but that a bright green light emitted from its ass and armpits. Seriously. It’s favorite meal was the blood of children, but it also drank the sap and vital juices in crops, causing horrible blights.
This creature looks like a freakish baboon and can be found in the southernmost African plains. The tikoloshe is a kind of psychic vampire that doesn’t feed upon blood, but instead on the energy of its victims. It is best known for it horrific sexual appetite – most stories tell of this monster raping and then feeding off of the life force of women. Some say that a witch-doctor can trap and destroy a tikoloshe’s powers by luring it with milk.
A vampire feared by the Ewe people in Southern Togo, the adze took on the form of a firefly. A firefly may not invoke a lot of fear in anyone, but this vamp isn’t one to be taken for granted. If caught this being may revert to a quasi-human form – that of a human-like figure with a hunchback, sharp talons and jet-black skin. It was in this form that it was most dangerous, for it could then kill its victim, drink their blood and eat their heart and liver. It is said that children are the adze’s favorite food.
A vampire known among the Ashanti of southern Ghana and by the people in the areas of the Ivory Coast and Togo. The asanbosam is said to live deep in the forests where it preys mainly upon hunters. It looks mostly human, except that it has teeth made of iron and its legs are hooks. Ok, so maybe its not so human after all. Anyone unlucky enough to walk by a tree that this vamp in dangling from will be scooped up and killed.
This vampire is very similar to the asanbosam, for they also live in trees and drink the blood of anyone that walks under them. The difference though is in their appearance, while the sasabonsam also looks humaniod, it doesn’t have hooks or iron teeth. Instead, it looks like a mix between a human and bat. Its arms are short and stubby and it has big wings. Some legends say that its wingspan reaches twenty feet.
This vamp hails from the eastern Cape region of Africa. The impundulu is actually a witch’s servant, or rather, her familiar. It’s usually owned by a female witch and is later passed on to the witch’s daughter. This vampire had an insatiable love for blood and would feed on not only humans, but on cattle as well. The witch that controlled an impundulu had to make sure that it was always well fed, otherwise it would turn on her. Unlike other African vampires, which usually appeared in some monstrous form, the impundulu looked like an gorgeous young man, which is why some legends claim that the witch and her impundulu would become lovers.
This is a strange kind of living vampire found among the Betsileo tribe of Madagascar. The ramanga is a person that performs disgusting services for the chiefs of the tribe. Whenever a person of high standing had his or her nails clipped or endured a medical treatment in which blood was spilled, the ramanga was expected to eat the nail clippings and drink the blood. If there wasn’t a ramanga nearby at the time, the clippings and blood were carefully preserved until the return of the ceremonial vampire.
Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).