India is a fascinatingly diverse country, with thousands of different languages. Each place in India has its own culture, food, religion. And each place seems to have its own vampire myths. In the Godavari region they tell stories of a vampire called the chedipe. The word literally means “prostitute.” But the chedipe vampire is described as many things. Sometimes she is called a sorceress or witch. She is sometimes depicted as a naked woman riding a tiger in the night beneath a sky lit with moonlight.
Some of the more rare legends say that she has the power to shapeshift or change her form. She can transform herself into a tiger form, though one of her legs remains in human form.
The chedipe is said to have hypnotic power, much like many European vampires and modern vampires today. She will not merely attack one victim, she will lay siege to an entire household. She will enter the home naked, and use her hypnotic powers or sorceress spells to put everyone in the house into a trance state. They fall into such a deep sleep that they will not be alarmed into waking, or become aware of the vampire intruder.
And then the chedipe hunts for the strongest man in the house, the stories say. In some stories she sexually assaults the man as he sleeps, so she is somewhat of a succubus type of vampire. But in most stories she will bite his toes and suck the blood of his body out through his feet. So she is seen as somewhat of seductress who brings impurity into the home.
She doesn’t usually kill the man in one night, the chedipe likes to revisit the same house again and again. She draws out the man’s death for a long time. The man will wake in the morning with no sign of the vampire’s presence save for a weak feeling. Each morning he will feel more and more drained of energy and over the course of the attacks he will begin to waste away, grow sick, and die.
The stories don’t tell of how a chedipe can be defeated, or if she can be destroyed. But there is protection from this spooky witch. To prevent a chedipe from entering into a household, the home must be sanctified with incense, mantras, and holy icons.