Yara-ma-yha-who! Say What?

Yara_ma_yha_whoIt’s vampire lore time! This time we go to the large and wondrous Australia. Home of giant spiders, kangaroos, a thousand stereotypes and one fantastic and very unique vampire legend.

Today’s myth is that of the Aborigine vampire-like creature known as the Yara-ma-yha-who (points for anyone that yells that name out, extra points if it’s in public). This creature doesn’t look like your classic vampire, not even a little bit; it is red, furry, four feet tall and has a massively massive head and mouth…so…like a living bobble head. The big mouth worked out well for the creature since it had no teeth, with the big mouth it could just swallow food whole. But the really weird thing is its hands and feet. The tips of the fingers and toes were shaped like the suckers of an octopus, mini suction cups.

The Yara-ma-yha-who lived in the tops of wild fig trees. This beastie didn’t hunt for its food but instead waited until someone sought shelter under the tree, then the Yara-ma-yha-who dropped on the victim. This story was often told to young children who might wander off, and bad children were warmed that the Yara-ma-yha-who might come and take it away. So this story was the Aborigine’s version of the boogeyman.

You are probably wondering how this creature is vampire-like. Well, when a person camped under a fig tree, a Yara-ma-yha-who might jump down and put its hands and feet on the person’s body. It would then drain the victim’s blood through the suckers on its hands and feet. It wouldn’t kill the victim this way, it would only take enough blood to make them weak, once the prey was weak the Yara-ma-yha-who would then swallow the person whole. According to the story afterwards it downed some water and took a nap. How… normal. After nap time it would regurgitate the person back up and if that isn’t bad enough the legend says the person is still alive. Children were told that if they came across a Yara-ma-yha-who, they shouldn’t fight, that they should just let it swallow them because their chances of survival was better that way.

It is also said that some people were captured several times, because I guess, they didn’t learn the first time for some insane reason (personally, I wouldn’t even look at a fig tree let alone go near one again). Each time these people were captured they grew shorter and shorter until they were the same size as the Yara-ma-yha-who. Their skin would first become very smooth and then hair would grow all over their little body. Over time they eventually became a Yara-ma-yha-who themselves.

So if you do vacation in Australia, not only do you have to worry about poisonous snakes and spiders and dingo eating babies, but also, furry little men that will eat you alive then vomit you back up. Good times.

– 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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  2. Hey! I live in Australia, and we do NOT have Giant spiders!!!
    Well, not often anyway…And africa has bigger spiders!!And as for the yara-maya-who?, I’ve never seen one one and don’t hope to.
    I don’t wanna have a bald head.

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