11 July 2009

Indian Vampires

The people of India "believed in vampire-like beings several millennia ago. In fact, the people of the Indus River valley...were the first to believe in the concept of vampire gods" (Konstantinos 22). "There were all sorts of flesh-eating vampires, evil and cunning goblins, the ghosts of the deceased who were all too willing to roam the earth and take vengeance on anyone they believed had done them wrong, as well as the demons who spoiled sacrifices, ate the flesh of the recently dead and possessed babies who would then die" (Walsh).

Evidence of ancient vampires is found in "pieces of art, which date back about five thousand years" (Konstantinos 22). These images "depict hideous creatures with green faces and fangs. Those beings are believed to be the first vampire gods" (22). From the Indus Valley, the ideas of vampirism spread throughout the region. Eventually the creatures acquired specific names and horrifying descriptions.

"The first" to be named "was the Nepalese Lord of Death...The god seems to have taken his sustenance from blood and death." The Tibetan Lord of Death "had similar features to the vampire gods...and was considered a creature who lived off the blood of humans" (23).

In India, the Pacu Pati is a powerful vampire who is "deemed as the lord of all beings of mischief. It is seen at night in cemeteries and places of execution" (Remains). "A more recently worshiped vampire-like deity is Kali" (Konstantinos 22). Although, "Goddess Kali is clearly not a" traditional/human "vampire...she does drink blood, and certainly has a relationship with divine thirst...a nocturnal force of nature, she is also sometimes represented with fangs, and is an avatar of destructive beauty" (Wikipedia).

The vampire gods of of India vary dramatically from the modern concept of vampires. These creatures were regarded strictly as deities. They were superhuman and divine. "In addition to the mythology of vampire deities, beliefs in vampire-like creatures in India and surrounding areas developed over the years" (Konstantinos 22).

Pacu Pati developed into a flock of vampiric creatures also called the Pisacha who, "were a race of flesh eaters" (Remains). The Pisacha were not alone. "A particularly vicious species of vampire was the raksashas or raksashis...those creatures were described as having fangs, five legs, and bodies soaked in blood. To add to their vampiric traits, the raksashas and raksashis...have been described in many texts as 'blood drinkers'" (Konstantinos 24). "The Rakshasa was a powerful Indian vampire and magician. They like to confuse those around them by appearing either in human form with animal attributes (claws, fangs, slitted eyes, etc.) or as animals with human features (feet, hands, flattened nose, etc.). The animal side is very often a tiger. They are known to eat the victim's flesh in addition to drinking their blood." The sole motive of these creatures was "to steal the elixir of immortality." "The Rakshasa were no longer human but still possessed a physical nature, they loved to prey upon the helpless." (Remains)

"Other Indian vampires include the vetalas, which have appeared in various forms. Of particular interest is the old hag who sucks blood...hags are associated with vampirism in other countries as well" (Konstantinos 24). Similar are the Churel (or Churail), these are "vicous vengeful ghost-like vampire(s) found in India. It is normally a woman who died while pregnant during the Diwali festival or while unclean at any time...They preyed upon young men, keeping them captive and slowly draining their life forces until they become withered old men." (Remains).

A few other creatures may be of interest to you. The Hantu saburo "is a being who commands dogs and uses them to hunt humans. When the animals catch the prey, the vampire feeds." (Konstantinos 25). The Hantu dodong "resides in caves and lives off the blood of animals," and the Hantu parl "looks for wounded individuals and drinks their blood when they are helpless to stop it" (25).

Vampire are prolific in India. The tales of ancient vampire gods may be the oldest stories of blood drinkers, and are certainly among the most interesting.


Consider reading our Malaria blog article entitled Malaria in India

Konstantinos. Vampires.
Remains of the Desi: < http://remainsofthedesi.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/vampires-of-indiafor-the-blood-is-the-life/ >. 10 July 2009.
Walsh, John. Magic in Ancient India. "Monsters, Ghosts and Vampires in the Imagination". 1 Nov 2007.
Wikipedia: "Vampire". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire


  1. I heard of some creature from one of the Caribbean islands called the Chupacabra that drinks the blood of goats...

  2. @Lance Darnell : Yes the Chupacabra has become wide spread in recent times. Some of the first reports of this creature came from Puerto Rico

  3. meheli said
    do u really feel there are still vampires existing...and i think all over everyone should be aware of this fact