The bruxsa are a feared species of vampire found in Portugal. This bloodsucker was usually a woman who became a vampire through witchcraft. That’s right, more witchy vampire goodness!
The bruxsa are considered vampires due to their love for drinking children’s blood. When she’s not feeding on children, she likes to torment travelers. Like the aswang, she leaves her home at night and flies in the shape of a large bird to search for her prey. But she also assumes the form of other animals, like a rat, ant (vampire ant *cringe*) or wolf. Due to their animal transformations, bruxsa are often associated with the lobishmen, which are Portuguese werewolves.
It was believed that a bruxsa’s powers were confined to the hours from midnight to 2:00 in the morning. She got her powers from Satan, who she worshipped together with others of her kind. The bruxsa would gather at crossroads on Tuesdays and Fridays to get their worship on, once finished they gained even more evil powers.
Unlike most vampires, there is no known way to destroy a bruxsa – they’re invincible. However, there are ways to protect your children from a bruxsa. The most common method of protection was amulets made of steel and iron. On top of that, people would sew garlic into their kid’s clothing, or, they would put a steel nail in the ground and pair of scissors under their pillow to keep the bruxsa away. Yeah… scissors under a kid’s pillow doesn’t sound like the wisest of moves. If all else fails, there are also a handful of incantations that can be spoken to ward of this vamp.
If a bruxsa had already killed a child, the mother could seek revenge! She wouldn’t be able to kill the witch of course – but she could totally hurt it. To do this she had to boil her child’s clothes while stabbing them with a sharp instrument. The vampire would supposedly feel the jabs on her own body, and would be forced to come and beg for mercy. Mercy she probably didn’t get.