19 October 2009


Feature this: A dark, dank, fetid, widly overgrown place dominated by alligators and snakes, by tall tupelo trees marching on stilts that, on closer inspection, turn out to be exposed roots. Imagine a dripping, insect-humming monotony of sound that's eerily akin to the uneventful stillness of a mausoleum. This is a place where death is lazy, primitive and anonymous, and thus, vastly more terrifying in its pitilessness (Jakubowski 107).
This is an excerpt from a fictional account of the habitat of a loogaroo in the story Cry of the Loogaroo by John Edward Ames. Loogaroos are "old women, who [have] made a pact with the devil. In return for certain magical powers, they [agree] to bring the devil some warm blood each night" (Melton 431). "The loogaroo is a vampire...Each night she rids herself of her skin, hides it under a tree, and flies off in search of blood, flames shooting from her armpits and orifices, leaving a luminous trail through the sky" (Welland 66).

This "vampire entity [is] found in the folklore of Haiti and other islands of the West Indies, including Grenada. The word loogaroo is a corruption of the French loup-garou, which refers to werewolves. The loogaroo " is a mixture of French demonology and African vampirology. "The loogaroo [is] quite similar to the obayifo of the Ashanti and the asiman of Dahomey" (Melton 431).

The loogaroo "can take on different forms and gain entry" to a home "through the slightest crack, but she has...a weakness: she is an obsessive counter" (Welland 66). Although loogaroos could enter any dwelling, some protection was afforded by scattering rice or sand before the door." Like many other folkloric vampires, the "loogaroo, supposedly, had to stop and count each grain before continuing on its way" (Melton 431). "Compulsive counting appears to be a traditional failing of vampires in a wide range of cultures--presumably Count von Count from Sesame Street is not simply a play on the word" (Welland 66)."

Read the article about malaria in Haiti


Jakubowski, Maxim. The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica
Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book.
Welland, Michael. Sand: The Never-Ending Story

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