The Child Vampire

Let us now talk about the child vampire. This is an idea that has been playing around in my head for awhile, but I never knew just how to approach it, being there are in fact so few examples to go by, at least that I have come in contact with. But I think it is a topic that does deserve some attention.

There are no historic of folk-loric references, at least none that I have encountered regarding child vampires. But rather the idea of the child vampire is a modern invention, but even in this day an age it seems to be a concept that is not often played.

Historically the innocence of a child was something near to sacred, and in fact this idea of childhood innocence was protected as much as the idea of a woman’s purity, so much in the same way that women were not traditionally perceived as vampires, it would have been unthinkable to believe that a child could become the manifestation of such evil. The primarily object of the vampire of tradition and historical decades was to install fear, and with the old concepts of both women and children neither posed a very likely candidate for striking fear in the heart of man. But rather the traditional vampire played upon the fears people had of mankind, and just what he might be capable of. Nothing was more fearsome to men once, then themselves.

But with the coming of the modern age, perceptions are changed, new ideas emerge, and old rules of tradition are bent, twisted and broken. Just as the view of the woman has come to alter so much, so has the way children are viewed. In fact the “evil child” now plays a popular role in many horror films, and is usually a very effective tactic for rising fear. Children today, in the media can be just down right creepy.

Part of this comes from the fact that the once “innocence of children” concept has been examined and put to question, with philosophical theories, as well as psychological ideas, it is no longer a given that all children are born innocent, but the idea of the “bad seed” has surfaced.

So it is no longer taboo for children to be altered into charming little blood sucking killing machines. Though even with today’s conventions, the idea of the child vampire is still not a common occurrence.

Of course one reason for this, could be the fact that the concept of the vampire has changed so much. The vampire is no longer the icon of fear that it use to be, but has been transformed instead into an icon of sex. And even with a vampires immortality, even in this world making a child, fangs or no fangs, a sex symbol is not easily pulled off.

So even with the new power to cause terror and nightmares the children have now been given, as vampires, there is the fear that they may perhaps become boring, or stagnant.

I think one of the most infamous and well known and perhaps most chilling of these little hellings. Is Anne Rice’s Claudia. Though, it is interesting to note, that even with as much as she bends tradition and how much she has changed the face of the vampire, the child vampire simply could not be, at least not for long, and had to be killed off soon after her birth as it were.

But through Claudia we are presented with some challenges that the child vampire just may propose. For one thing, children do not understand boundaries. They are ruled by the “id” the “me” factor, the wanting what they want when the wanted without fully understanding their needs and desires and without being able to rationalize these things. So one of the affects we have of the child vampire, is excessive feeding. The other consideration to make, is what becomes of the state of the mind of the child vampire, though within the same body they will always be trapped, if their mind matures over the ages that could prevent some difficulties, to forever having to look like a child, not quite the same thing as being a dashing 20 or 30 all the rest of your years. And we saw these ideas emerge in Claudia as well with her sudden realization of the fact that she will never change, and her than constant desire to be able to do so.

There was one movie which I have mentioned here before, that deals with vamprirism in itself in a very interesting way, but included in this is the idea of the child vampire. The movie is called Meet the Hamiltons.  And the concept behind it, is the fact that vamprirsim is a disease, they live more or less normally, they have relationships and families, but in order to survive they must feed upon the blood of others.  In this portrayal of the vampire, the child vampire which is in fact conceived in the normal human fashion, must be kept locked up like an animal, until they grow old enough to control their urges or they risk becoming a danger, killing without restrain, and can even potentially kill their own parents.

There was a short story I read which had a similar idea, called The Wet-Nurse, in which there was an infant vampire, which did in fact require the nutrient’s of milk as any child, but had a uncontrollable and constant hunger, and would draw blood in with the milk, as well in the process of nursing grew strength by draining away the life force of its nurse.

The show Moonlite has played with the idea in a bit of a different way. There has not been a full fledged child vampire upon the show, but they have introduced adolescent/teen vampires and some of the issues that such might have to deal with. The frustration of ever being stuck in this stage of life, with never being able to grow to maturity, at least physically, and the feelings of rage, and lonliness that can be caused by being trapped in such a state.

And of course I should mention the sort of “monster” vampire childern, as seen in Van Helsing, in which vampire young are hatched from eggs as inhuman creatures.

Mimi

Artist unknwn: Traditional Aboriginal depection of Mimi

The Mimi are an ancient family of Aboriginal fairylike spirits who have concealed themselves within rocks in the Arnhem Land plateau of Australia for over ten thousand years.

The Mimi are described as having such extraordinarily thin and elongated bodies that they cannot venture out on windy days because the wind would cause them to break in half. Hunting is reserved for still days. The tall, fragile beings wear bunches of leaves to cover their genitals.

They are never seen by modern travelers, they were glimpsed by Aboriginal medicine men long ago when people could still see spirits. They are assumed to still inhabit the rocks, upon which they have left images of themselves and their activities.  All Mimi have keen hearing and can detect when a human wayfarer is nearby. When Mimi hear someone coming they run to the rocks and blow on them, and the rocks open like magic doors and allow the Mimi to enter and hide. Certain noises that one hears in this area are the concealed Mimi moving around inside their homes.  Some Mimi are friendly to humans, many are antagonistic and none dependable.

The Mimi are found of singing and dancing, and some say they taught the Aboriginal people how to write songs and dance. They are also said to have taught the art of cave painting, in which their self-portraits are rendered on the stone walls along with drawings of other ancestral spirits.

Mimi keep wallabies, pythons, and certain types of kangaroos as pets as a human might have dogs. They hunt and eat wild kangaroos. If anyone injures a tame animal, it may be a Mimi pet and serious consequences will follow. Injuring a tame Kangaroo or wallaby may lead to madness or death.

The Mimi on a still day are skillful hunters and very adept at hunting kangaroo. It was in fact the Mimi who are said to have taught the Aboriginal people how to hunt and prepare the meat.

 

Devalpa

The Devalpa is a creature of the Arabian Desert. The Devalpa will most often appear along the roadside in the guise of an an innocent old man who is weary and sighing. When people pass by down the road, he will implore them to give him a ride upon their shoulders. If anyone is good enough to place the old man upon their shoulders, the Devalpa instantly shape-shifts, as long snake like legs will wrap around the victim and hold them within a death grip. And commands “Work for me!” If one wants to live, they will do just that, and spend the rest of their life as a slave to the Devalpa.

The Devalpa appears in the well known story of Sinbad. Shipwrecked Sinbad comes across a pathetic old man who he presumed to be a castaway. The old man weakly signaled Sinbad to carry him across a brook. Sinbad agreed to help the man and hoisted him upon his shoulders when he suddenly felt the old man’s scrawny legs grow powerful around his neck. He glanced at the tightening legs to see them now covered in rough black skin. He tried to take the old man off but was squeezed into unconsciousness. When he awoke he found the Devalpa still crouched over him and was commanded to walk. Sinbad found himself in position as slave to the “old man” once when walking the man around he found some grapes that he picked and fermented to make into a potent wine to make his position feel less desperate. Seeing the affects of the drink on Sinbad the Devalpa demanded Sinbad make some for him. When Sinbad gave the drink to the “old man” with its effects, the snake like legs began to lesson their pressure until eventually the Devalpa fell off Sinbad’s back drunk and Sinbad was able to escape.

A Different View of Eve

I know that Eve, is typically seen as something of a villainous figure and the one who is responsible for the fall of man and the exile of mankind from the Garden of Eden which is portrayed as a paradise of innocence and joy, and a play free of death, pain, and suffering, but I offer a different perspective on the story.

I know this is not how the Bible intended the story, but as a non-Christian, this is my own personal interpretation, and how I choose to view, though of course this is all speaking in the hypothetical sense I did not actually believe in the story of Adam and Eve and the Bible.

In my view Eve, was not in fact the bringer of sin, and I do not see her actions as being sinful. But even with ill, and negative aspects which might come, knowledge is still better than ignorance. Eve was the give of knowledge to man. She was the bringer of free will to man. Though some might choose to than act wrongly or do a bad thing,  it is still better to have the choice, than to live in complete bliss like nothing more than a child, not knowing that there is the possibility of making a choice, for one to know their own mind, and to than act accordingly.

In the long run, I think when one makes the choice to act rightly, and of course by this I personally do not mean that the “right” thing to do is accept the will of God, but to simply make right and moral choices, in life in general, would mean far more if one is knowingly and willingly living their life in a way that is helpful and beneficial to fellow living creatures, and knowing they could take another path, and choose not to, opposed to simply doing the “right” thing, because one does not understand that there is anything else that could possibly be done.

I do not see the serpent in the Garden as being an incarnation of evil, but instead as the bringer of knowledge, and woman being the one to give this gift to man.

Eve is not a villain, but rather she is a heroine.

*Image info: Adam and Eve by Pierre Paul Rubens

 

Ghouls

Today the Ghoul is seen as being something of a ghost like, or zombie like creature. It is commonly seen as being an undead creature that still walks the earth, and are often thought to haunt graveyards.

The Ghoul originated in the Arabian desert and its name means “destroyer” It is considered to be a highly malicious creature which is part of the army of Iblis who is a fallen angel in the tradition of Islam.

The Ghoul is said to have matted shaggy hair which hangs over its eyes and possesses the ability to shape-shift, but all forms that it takes maintains hooves as feet. The Ghouls most commonly will transform into an ox, camel, or horse and often appear in human form.  They light fires at night to deceive travelers and they call out “Good evening!” as if they were human.

A Ghoul is also gifted with the ability of song, much like the Siren, and can use their signing to lure in travelers to their camp. Once the traveler is gotten the Ghoul will show its claws and rip apart its prey and devour it whole.

However like many of these creatures, in spite of their ability to be malicious, they can also be generous if they are treated well.  If one were to cut the hair of a Ghoul, and groom him so that he can see well, he will go out of his way to help that person.

The Si’lats is a female Ghoul and are said to be hideous in appearance. They operate in the same way as their male counterparts, but they too have a generous side. If a human nurses at the breast of a Si’lats she will treat him well and as own of her own.

Whenever possible I always like to try and find a visual to go along with my posts, and particularly when talking about myth and lore I like to try and find an image that most resembles the traditional depiction of the creature, as often such things are “misinterpreted” or reinvented by the modern age, and so when looking for a decentghoul picture I found it interesting to see how one of  its formally most distinguishing traits, being its hair, as well as its cloven feet, have been removed, the majority of modern depictions of the ghoul show it to be bald, and often with taloned/clawed, feet opposed to cloven feet.

It is also interesting that Ghoul’s today are most often seen to have been formerly human, and in some more modern interpretations of the legend, are said to be grave robbers. As well as having been reduced to rather unintelligent beings which can oft do little more than moan and groan and follow pure “animal” instinct.

Narwahl-Unicorn Theroy

There is something that has always sort of bothered me and I know I get obsessed with odd things at times and things that might seem irrelevant and that most do not perhaps pay attention to, but some things to me just seem so obvious that I do not know how others seem to completely miss it, or not see it.

I have heard on countless different accounts on various shows on the History channel and other such sources from different scholars, and historians, and such types, that one of the most common theories explaining the idea of the unicorn might be the narwhal. Which for those whom do not know a narwhal is a whale and it looks like this:

 

They live in Artica costal waters and rivers.

Now the thing that has always baffled me about this theory and explanation of the Unicorn, is the fact that the people of the Middle Ages and even pre middle ages were perfectly familiar with the concept of horses, they used horses on a regular basses and the unicorn is very clearly described as being an equine, horse like create but with a horn. I personally find it illogical, and just generally very hard to believe that people even living back then, happened to see a narwhal swimming in the water, and somehow got it confused with a land dwelling mammal which strongly resembles the horse an animal they were closely familiar with.

I really do not see how they could have spotted a narwhal and then began spreading stories about some sort of horned horse running around. There is just no way a person whom has seen a horse before, can in any way shape or form get it confused with a narwhal however strange the creature might look.

Here are some images of the unicorn created between 1495-1505

 

The below image came from a very rare collection, Topsells book of The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpants, it was put togethe in the 1600s

It can clearly be seen in all the above images that the unicorn was an animal the people of the day associated with the land and with horses. I do not think there is anyway that the narwhal could have been mistaken for the animal that can be viewed in the above images.