It’s vampire lore time! Today’s vampire species is that of the Albanian Sampiro. The sampiro is for sure one of the strangest kind of vampires from vampire lore, it’s definitely not what you would call the average vamp. Its appearance for starters is totally peculiar, the description varies from region to region but the overall view of the sampiro is that it wears its grave shroud or it wears layers and layers of flowing fabric that hides most of its body. What this vamp does is it comes out at night (like most vampires) and follows its victims and if you are so unlucky as to be one of these victims what you will first notice is that the sampiro wears… incredibly high heels which cause it to sway and totter back and forth as it moves. The second thing you will notice is its huge glowing eyes which peer eerily from the folds of its clothing. As it follows its future meal it makes kissing sounds, it is said these sounds are from the monster pursing its lips in anticipation of drinking blood. As funny as the idea of a swaying vampire in heels making kissing noises at you sounds, this vamp was once feared by many.
While this vampire was in fact once the fear of many Albanians, it didn‘t usually kill its prey. It only took a small amount of blood, enough to leave its victim weakened. Although, the sampiro may visit the same person over and over which could result in death. It was often the sight of the sampiro that caused so much fear. Imagine you are in an old darkened alley, the only light coming from the moon and from the shadows appears a dark hooded figure, so covered in layers of fabric that all you see is its glowing eyes. You’d probably piss your pants on the spot. The vamp also preferred to come out when it was foggy, so add in eerie fog into that visual and you got yourself one mysterious and scary creature.
The way to be turned into a sampiro was often quite prejudice. The old Albanians believed that it was the Turks that became vampires. You see there had been a long standing hated and mistrust of the Turkish Ottoman Empire which is how the Turks fit into the Albanians vampire beliefs. They also thought that if you married a Turk you would turn into a vampire or if you ate meat handled by a Turk… yea, not big fans of the Turkish folk. It wasn’t only the Turks that they thought would become vampires though, but also homosexuals and transvestites. Also people that had sex with animals and people that had sex with prostitutes, as well as liars and thieves. It is possible that the myth of the sampiro was used to scare the people of Albania into being moral and good and to keep foreigners out of their land.
Anyway, to destroy a sampiro the best known method was the classic staking. Simply stake the sampiro and you are saved. Well, not so simple, it’s not wise to attack it while it is up at night, rather, wait until the daylight hours and find its grave then stake it.
Beware of foggy Albanian nights, if you happen to hear the clattering sound of heels on stone coming from the cemetery – run!