When you picture the Caribbean you think of white sandy beaches, warm weather and, uh… Johnny Depp. But I bet you didn’t picture a giant blood drinking fireball! If you did then you either have a very strange mind or you know of the Trinidad vampire, the soucouyant.
The soucouyant is a nasty and unique supernatural creature that falls into the class of evil spirits/demons known as Jumbies. What makes this vamp so different that others is that she is actually an old women that sheds her skin at night. Yes, she slips her skin off like a suit of flesh. Ew.
This skinless phantom then flies into the night in the form of a big fireball. In this form she is able to enter the house of victims through a keyhole or a crack. Once she is inside she drains the sleeping residents of their blood. It is said by some that if she drains too much blood her victims may become a soucouyant themselves.
The soucouyant is said to hide her skin under a stone mortar, the very same one she uses to grind her normal food. When she is out and feeding she must be back home to slip back into her skin before the sunrise and the cock crows, otherwise she will never be able to get back into it again.
If one would like to control a soucouyant for whatever reason they must get their hands on her empty skin, then with the use of Obeah magic they are able to control the creature (Obeah is the kind of folk magic used in this area, it is somewhat similar to Voodoo, Hoodoo, Santeria and Palo).
If someone doesn’t want to control her but instead keep her away or destroy her there are a few things they can do. She can be stopped by scattering rice at the front of the doorway. Like many other vampire species around the world she will be forced to stop and count all the grains. If there is a large enough amount she will spend the entire night counting each one, not paying attention to the rising sun she will be taken by surprise and will be destroyed. Another method of destruction is to sneak into her home and sprinkle salt onto her skin. When she puts the skin back on she will burn to death.