The Vampires of Russia

Russia is absolutely full of folklore and history of all kinds, but most importantly, it  has myths about our beloved bloodsuckers. Russian vampires share many similarities with other vampire species in Europe, particularly the countries nearby, but here’s a look at two vampire species found in Russia.

Eretica: This horrifying vamp was often associated with the idea that heretics in Russia would become the undead. An eretica (plural: ereticy) was a woman who sold her soul to the Devil when she was alive, returning after death and, during the day, assuming the form of an old woman in rags. But once the sun set, she and the others of her kind would meet up in a ravine for a sabbat. The legend goes that the eretica was only active in the spring and the late fall, sleeping in coffins of those, who in life, had been quite naughty. If a person fell into the grave of an eretica, then they were doomed to slowly waste away. More on the eretica HERE.

Upyr: The upyr is not to be confused with the upior, upir, upor or the upier – which are separate vampire species found in surrounding countries. The upyr is the main vampire species in Russia, but with Russia being so massive, the legend varies from region to region. The bloodthirsty upyr would first drink the blood of children and then move on to the kid’s parents. This vamp has teeth made of iron and it uses them to chew through obstacles, usually in the winter when their hands freeze in the cold earth. Like many vampires in lore, this vampire doesn’t sleep during the day,  it usually wanders around from noon until midnight. If someone is looking to track and kill this vampire, they need to hook some thread to one of the upyr’s buttons and use it to follow the vamp back to its lair. Once inside, one must sprinkle holy water all over the place and then stake the vampire in its heart – BUT, this must be done with care, because one strike into the heart will kill it, but two will bring it back to life. It can also be killed with fire and decapitation.

– 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).


  1. Another interesting fact about Russian vampire lore is that it’s one of the few cultures to associate magic users with vampirism. Anyone considered a witch or a shaman would become a vampire at death. Kind of weird considering Kiev didn’t convert fully to Christianity until 980 AD!

      1. Vampire lore from cultures predating Christianity most often associated vampirism with wrongful death. Improper burials, suicides, dying at childbirth, murder, accidental death, etc. In many cultures, the vampire was a human possessed by a physical entity comparable to a demonic spirit. I think the sorcery aspect of it rode the coattails of the Christian conversions. :-)

    1. The Slavic tribes were the last to convert to Christianity as noted in your reponse. Slavic
      countries and their artwork continue to display a strong pagan influence.

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