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Michael Bell
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Posted By Michael Bell

Continuing Schierup’s (1986, 179) quote regarding the Wallachian vampire, moroi:

As a rule, moroi haunts close relatives, with whom it has experienced some kind of conflict before death. Moroi can be one who has died to whom the proper ceremonial homage has not been paid, or who has a reason to return in order to redress acts of injustice committed against him or her during life. Moroi never haunt those who have behaved well towards them, but only those who did not pay proper respect. Moroi can take up domicile in the bodies of weaker persons—small children or old people. It will creep into their heart and “eat it up”. People giving shelter to moroi will start bleeding from their nose. These “weaker” people are relatives of the “wicked” persons, whom the moroi persecutes in order to redress injustices (Schierup 1986, 179).

Vampires sometimes are linked to witches and wizards. In Romania, Murgoci found accounts of a “live-vampire type”—a person fated to become a vampire after death who, while still alive, can send out its soul, or even its body, to meet with reanimated corpses at the crossroads. Murgoci observed that this kind of vampire “merges into the ordinary witch or wizard, who can meet other witches or wizards either in the body or as a spirit” (Murgoci 1926, 321). She also documented a belief that vampires cannot drown because they always float on top of the water (Murgoci 1926, 332), connecting Romanian vampires to the witches of colonial New England who were sometimes tested to see if they floated upon being thrown into water. Those who drowned were proclaimed innocent while those who floated were condemned as witches.

In Romania, one might easily confuse strigele, the spirits of witches, with strigoi, the most common name for vampires. The strigele are spirits of either living witches or dead witches unable to find a resting place. According to folk tradition, they are seen as little points of light floating in the air. But in Italy, the strega, or witch, can also play the part of a vampire insofar as “she sucks the blood of sleeping people through the little finger, thus inducing an inscrutable and therefore incurable marasmus” (Coote 1878, 214).  Marasmus is a gradual loss of flesh and strength for no apparent cause, a condition that could very well be ascribed to consumption.

Next we will look at David Hufford’s examination of being “witch ridden” in relation to subjective accounts of vampire attacks.

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