Glowing Eyes and… Heels?

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!

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

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).


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  3. I am Albanian and i live in Albania.The word “sampiro” is not albanian.. I’ve never heard it before. In northern Albania people call vampires “dhampir” that is formed by “dhamb” & “pir” which in english means “teeth” and “suck”.”Dhampir” is an old Albanian word that it is still used in remote regions of Albania..especially Northen part. We today call them just vampir/vampira. Next time ,gather the right informations and then publish them.. Have a nice day!

    1. Just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t make it incorrect. You should do some research yourself, every vampire book that mentions the sampiro, says it comes from Albanian folklore. An example, I have a massive pile of vampire encyclopedias and books on folklore sitting next to me and every single one mentions the Albanian sampiro. I assure you, I do my research.
      Also, almost every country in Europe has more than one vampire myth or vampire species. So just because the sampiro is from Albania, it doesn’t mean it’s their only vampire myth. The stories vary from area, so the north may believe one thing, but the south will believe in something completely different.

      1. I could be entirely wrong as I am no expert, but I heard that the Dhampir was the offspring of vampire/human unions. They supposedly have vampire powers but do not hunt humans. They tend to be nomads because they are rejected by both humans and vampires. I don’t know where this notion came from or if it is accurate…just thought I’d put it out there for everybody’s studying pleasure 8)

    2. Instead of that, the vampires of your country are speciall dude, because they look much like extras from Zombi: Dawn of the Dead than the aristocratic count from the movies. One of the few zompires in the world mythology.

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