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The Unheard Word of Vampires and the Bird

Ahaha rhyming fun. Now that I have your attention, let us take a trip to the past and explore some of the lesser known bits of history involving vampire and birds, yes, birds do in fact play a role in vampire legend.

We’ll start off with one of the more common myths – that animals create vampires. Back in the Middle Ages it was believed by many that if a certain animal, like a cat, were to jump over a corpse that it would cause the body to return as a vampire. It turns out that domesticated birds, such as hens or cocks, were high on the list of animals to keep away from corpses, for if they flew or hopped over a body, the body would return as one of the undead. So if you just so happen to have dead bodies lying around, keep the chickens away.

Oddly enough, it was believed that birds could do more than create vampires, they could also curse vampirism. In India, it was thought that a person afflicted by a vampire could be cured by having a cock passed in front of their face three times. The poor bird’s neck was then twisted until blood spurted out and onto the patient, who then had the blood smeared all over their body. Likewise, Russians back in the day did the same thing with fowl for the same purpose. However, they used a knife to kill the bird, and once finished they buried the blade at a crossroads, but not until the ground had been scrapped with a cross.

The feathery-goodness doesn’t end there, for in some countries it was believed that birds were used as servants of the undead, or that they could become vampires themselves. For example, the Filipino aswang transformed into a bird to feed upon its victims and the Mexican tlahuelpuchi was said to transform into a turkey or vulture.

There you have it, a few roles birds play in the vast history of vampires. Watch yourselves, you never know if that bird on your windowsill is lookin’ for blood.

– 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).

3 replies on “The Unheard Word of Vampires and the Bird”

There’s also such thing as the Stryx. Though my sources aren’t always reliable, they’re supposed to be a race of blood-sucking owls, said to come from ancient Greece, I believe. However, strangely enough, they supposedly nurse their young, so there is some speculation as to if they are supposed to be bird or bat.

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