The Vampires of Albania
Every country has its own vampire myths, its own vampire species and one country with some of my all time favorite vampire legends is Albania. Due to being in the Balkans, with Yugoslavia to the north and Greece to the south, Albania has been susceptible to the cultural influences of the other Balkan states, which means its beliefs tend to blend with others in the area. Yet in spite of this, some of its vampires are completely unique – and awesome.
Sampiro: Like many vampires in lore, this one comes out at night wearing a grave shroud – but unlike other vampires, it also wears high heels that cause it to sway from side to side. It also has glowing eyes, which can be seen from the folds of its clothing and when once these eyes are set on its next victim, the sampiro follows the person around while making kissing sounds. This vamp didn’t kill its prey though; it only took a small amount of blood, saving the rest for later. To kill one of these bloodsuckers all you have to do is stake it in the heart. Much more on the sampiro HERE.
Lugat (also known as the Kukithi): Like the semipro, this vampire doesn’t usually kill its victims. Instead it takes a small amount of blood, feeding off the same person for days or weeks. The bad thing about this is that the lugat’s bite can leave a spiritual, or psychological, taint on the victim that would cause the person to develop a bloodlust of their own. Other than that, this vamp also has the power to shapeshift into other forms – like a human man, a child, a cow… etc. The only thing able to kill this somewhat harmless vampire is a wolf. More on the lugat HERE.
Vrykolakas: This vampire species comes from Greece, and since it is so close to Greece, Albanians also believed in this vamp. The mischievous vrykolakas liked to kill, and its method of choice was to sit on and crush its sleeping victim. When it wasn’t killing it was sneaking into homes pulling on people’s clothes and eating all of their food and wine. It also liked to mock people on their way to church and would even throw rocks at them. This vampire legend is one that varies from area to area, so there are different versions of the story. In some legends though, to kill this vamp you need to chop of its head, while others say to impale it on a spike. More on the vrykolakas HERE.
Which one is your favorite?
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).