Vampire Legends from Around the World

Dracula; of course. Lestat—cool. Edward Cullen… maybe.

Everyone’s heard of these Pop Culture vampires. But how about Lamias, Upírs, or Striges?

There are vampires of all varieties all around the world, pervading every culture from Romania to India, from China to South America. And believe me, some of them are so horrifying that they make your typical Hollywood vampire look like a not-particularly-threatening school bully in comparison.

Lamastu (Mesopotamia)

Legends of vampires date back to ancient Mesopotamia—the lands of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Assyrian legend speaks of a demon goddess known as the Lamastu (meaning: ‘she who erases’).

The Lamastu preyed on humans, creeping into a house at night to kill babies and drink their blood. Infant death was often attributed to the Lamastu. This legend gave rise to the Lamia and Striges in ancient Greece, which also preyed upon children.

Lamastu - Assyrian Vampire

Lamastu – Assyrian Vampire

Upír & Upiers (Balkans and Russia)

The vampires we know of today in books and films is a direct descendent of the Slavic vampire of the ninth century. Vampire lore from Eastern Europe saw vampirism as a result of birth mutations or evil dispositions; a deformed baby or person with murderous tendencies were said to become vampires. Vampires emerging from the Balkan region were referred to as the Upiers.

The Russian vampire—the Upír—has the power to mesmerize a victim with its evil eye, leading him to his death.

Penanggalan (Malaysia)

Truly horrifying to behold, the Penanggalan is a vampiric ghost of Malaysian folklore. A beautiful woman by day, the Penanggalan will detach its head at night—entrails and organs dangling beneath it—and seek out its victims (often children) to drain of blood.

A person who so much as comes into contact with the fluids dripping from its entrails will become violently ill. One can escape this loathsome creature by luring it into thorny patches, where its viscera will become entangled.

Penanggalan - Malaysian Vampire

Penanggalan – Malaysian Vampire

Chiang-Shih (China)

The Chinese hopping vampire known as the chiang-shih (or jiangshi) is said to come about if a corpse is exposed to sunlight or moonlight before burial. A person who led a dishonest life or committed suicide will also become a chiang-shih according to legend.

Wearing clothes dating back to the Quing Dynasty, it hops stiffly about with its arms out, sucking the life force from its victims. Some legends state that it has poisonous breath, cannot cross moving water, and cannot climb ladders. Cremating the corpse is the only way to destroy the chiang-shih.

Churel (India)

There are scholars who believe that vampire mythology actually began in India and then spread to Eastern Europe through the spice and silk trade routes. India has several vampiric figures, including the Rakshasa, Churel, and Vetalas.

A Churel is the vampiric spirit of a woman who died in childbirth, making her last lover in life as her first victim, followed by her male relatives. The Churel charms men with her beauty, though her demonic nature is sometimes given away by her feet which are turned backwards.

The Vetalas was a part man and part bat, possibly giving rise to the vampire’s association with bats in modern mythology.

Vetala - Indian Vampire

Vetala – Indian Vampire

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The Road to BLOOD FAMILY

April 2, 2004 was the earliest date I have recorded for the inception of Blood Family. Also known as Blood Family ~ Quest for the Vampire Key, the novel was going to be a Young Adult horror adventure which would by my take on vampires and what vampires might be. And when I’d decided that, I knew I was in for an interesting journey, but had no idea where it would take me…

Continue reading

In Vein – Vampire Charity Anthology!

In Vein - Charity Vampire Anthology

In Vein – Charity Vampire Anthology

Recently I was given the opportunity to contribute a vampire-themed short story or novella to In Vein – a vampire charity anthology book where 100% of the proceeds will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital!

My story is entitled ‘Mom’. A lonely school child brings home his first friend, but struggles to hide the fact that his daylight-hating mother is a vampire.

This anthology was spearheaded by the endlessly energetic Jodie Pierce – author of the Vampire Queen trilogy. Thanks, Jodie! You are a star.

In Vein is available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com

Giveaway! A special set of ebookmarks will be sent to the first reader to comment on this post!

Contributing Authors:

Tara Fox Hall

Mark Knight

Ann Snizek

Mark Mackey

Zoey Sweete

Autumn Starr

Geoffrey Porter

Frank Franklin

Jay Wilburn

Errick Nunnally

Samuel Southwell

Lourna Dounaeva

Mathias Jaanson

TP Keating

T.G. Reaper

Laurie Treacy

Charie D. La Marr

Jodie Pierce

9 Things Vampires & Space Adventurers Have in Common – by M. Pax

Welcome back to fantasy and Sci Fi author, M. Pax!

M. Pax is known for her hit ‘Backworlds’ series of novels and the adult urban fantasy Hetty Locklear series. I am very pleased to have her back on Written Worlds! She has taken a fun look at the similarities between bloodsuckers and spacefarers – and also has a special announcement for her fans!

Take it away, M. Pax!

'Backworlds' author, M. Pax

‘Backworlds’ author, M. Pax

What fun to swap blogs with Mark Knight today. You’ll find him at mpaxauthor.com. We both have a love for things in the night.

Nine Things Vampires and Space Adventurers Have in Common:

1. Both work in the dark
2. They both fly – Vampires as bats. Spacepeople in spaceships
3. An irresistible allure – Vampires use their eyes. Spaceships use tractor beams.
4. Traveling at high speeds — Vampires faster than the eye, Spaceships faster than light
5. Both types of stories search for understanding of what it means to be human
6. Both space explorers and vampires enjoy seeing other people in red shirts
7. Eating a lot of garlic repels vampires and your shipmates
8. Some people think space travelers and vampires exist, some think it’s bullarky
9. Space travelers can also be very pale from a lack of sun if in space a long time

Can you think of any more?

I’m celebrating the audio release of The Backworlds. Currently available from Audible. You can win an audiobook by commenting at Samantha Geary’s blog on THIS POST before October 18, 2013.

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendents to survive in a harsh universe. This is the first book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. Try it for free. A space opera adventure.

After the war with the Foreworlders, Backworlders scatter across the remaining planets. Competition is fierce, and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to improve his fortunes by destroying his son. He tells his only boy their moon isn’t big enough for them both and gives Craze a ticket for the next transport leaving the space dock.

Treated worse than a stranger, like the scuzzbag of the galaxy, Craze is forced to flee his home. Cut off from everyone he knows with little money and no knowledge of the worlds beyond his, he must find away to forge a new life and make sure his father regrets this day.

And stay tuned! Backworlds #4, Beyond the Edge will be available any hour now.

M. Pax — Inspiring the words I write, I spend my summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where I live with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. I write science fiction and fantasy mostly You can find out more by visiting my website: mpaxauthor.com

Beyond The Edge

Beyond The Edge



Come chat on Twitter or FB. I spend a little time on Pinterest and Wattpad, too.

Backworlds - Audiobook

Backworlds – Audiobook

Teen Zombie Blues…

We all know that zombie games and zombie movies are at the height of their popularity. Zombie novels? They are big too. I always wanted to write one, but I knew I had to do it differently.

As well as the ‘Blood Family’ sequel, I am currently preparing my teen adventure novel, ‘Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls‘ for publication.

I wrote this supernatural tale in 2010, having been interested in exploring Irish folk tales and mythology, and setting a story in Galway, Ireland – a magical place where my parents now live and where my father was born.

Popular author and mythologist Dr Bob Curran helped me research this book.

The novel is intended for a slightly younger audience than Blood Family.

Urban Dead

Solomon is a 15-year-old British teen who gets himself cursed – and becomes undead. Now, he has to find a cure.

Just as ‘Blood Family‘ was a new take on vampire lore, this is my own twist on zombie mythology. Plenty of magic, strange creatures, and rollicking adventure here… plus a trip to the Underworld.

‘Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls’ is due for Amazon release end March 2014.

Here for you is the textless cover artwork by noted fantasy artist David M. Rabbitte along with the back cover blurb, which should set the stage for you!

I hope you will love this book – aimed at teens, but also meant for everyone
~ Mark Knight.

Solomon Grimm supernatural novel

Solomon Grimm by Mark Knight

BLURB

Solomon Grimm is a pretty average teen. He goes to school. He hangs out with friends. He plays guitar in a band. There’s a lot to look forward to—new friends, playing gigs around the country, and hopefully a special girl to become part of his life.

All that is about to change.

While on Easter vacation in Ireland, Solomon falls foul of a gypsy woman. He is cursed and joins the marbh bheo—the living dead. Never to breathe, or grow, or love, and now able to see every supernatural being once invisible to him, his fate is to wander the fog-shrouded hills of Shanvarra for eternity… never to return home.

Solomon tracks down the woman who cursed him. She makes a deal with him. If he will bring her abducted daughter, Tara Danan, back to her, she will reverse the spell and restore Solomon to his old self. Solomon now has a terrifying task ahead of him. For Tara has been taken to the Underworld, a place reachable only through the forbidden Well of Souls.

Along with his new friend, the incurably curious Mungo, Solomon must brave the darkening depths of this hidden world, where the slavering, flesh-eating Savage Dead search endlessly for a way to the surface. If Solomon’s bravery—as well as a whole host of undead powers—holds out, he might just find Tara Danan before becoming trapped in the Underworld forever…

SOLOMON GRIMM AND THE WELL OF SOULS by MARK KNIGHT

FIRST 8 CHAPTERS AVAILABLE TO READ FOR FREE NOW ON WATTPAD!

Author Tara Fox Hall!

Tara Fox Hall

Tara Fox Hall

Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance.

Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Tara Fox Hall on vampires: “I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires.”

Tara Fox Hall talks about her latest book: “My latest book is Taken for His Own, the fourth instalment in my Promise Me Series. It takes up where the third book left off. Sar had done her best to rebuild her life when her fiancé Theo went missing. She’s partnered with her former vampire lover Danial to raise Theo’s daughter Elle (Elle’s natural mother is dead from childbirth complications). She’s also had a child of her own with Danial, Theoron, and is trying to come to terms with her inevitable turning from human to vampire.

“When she finds out Theo’s alive, she can’t stop herself from journeying west to find him, and confront him about where he’s been for the last year and a half. This is where Taken for His Own begins. After a passionate reunion and a hasty marriage, the two lovebirds are headed back east. But picking up the pieces is far from easy. While Danial is accepting of Theo’s return, Elle prefers her vampire adoptive father over Theo. More than one enemy is waiting in the wings, making repeat attempts on Sar’s life. Add into the mix Devlin, Sar’s old enemy who’s now turned good guy, and a new paramour for Danial and you’ve got a powder keg primed to explode.”

Promise Me #1

Promise Me #1

Website: www.tarafoxhall.com

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Book Title: Promise Me (Promise Me Series #1) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Pages: 233
Date Released: June 2012

Interview With The Vampire (Hunter)!

These days, people love all things vampire, be it Twilight, True Blood, or The Vampire Diaries. Horror movies reign supreme. The supernatural continues to be very popular.

For those of you who have read my Young Adult urban fantasy novel, Blood Family, you will know that it features a whole host of vampire hunters, including Logan DuPris, her father, Quenton DuPris, and reluctant vampire tracker Pastor Nathan Dark.

But they are fiction.

What about reality? Are there really – I mean REALLY – vampire hunters in this world? Well, I tracked one down and have interviewed him for Written Worlds! Get your crosses and garlic ready, and read on…

Bishop Seán Manchester

Bishop Seán Manchester

You will be more than a little amazed by his blood-curdling accounts of Bishop Seán Manchester.

Bishop Manchester has specialised in the ministry of exorcism for four decades, having entered the Minor Order of Exorcistate in early 1973 and acknowledged by many as one of Britain’s foremost authorities on demonology (including vampirology) and exorcism.

He has appeared on Coast to Coast radio and has written several books, including The Vampire Hunter’s Handbook.

I am very happy (and a little intimidated!) to be interviewing him for Written Worlds…

Mark Knight: You came into the spotlight with the Highgate Vampire case in the 1970s, but your interest and knowledge of vampires no doubt goes back further in time. When did you first start researching this unusual subject?

Seán Manchester: Serious introduction to the subject came about in the 1960s (I cannot recall precisely when) with my reading The Vampire: His Kith & Kin (1928) and The Vampire in Europe (1929), both by Montague Summers, prior to which the supernatural had always held a fascination since early childhood. Summers led me to read more obscure vampirological works from earlier centuries. I have the good fortune to know quite well someone who themselves knew Montague Summers and received from Summers a “vampire protection medallion” (referred to and illustrated in The Vampire’s Bedside Companion anthology published in 1975 where I also make a contribution). The medallion has been bequeathed to me by its owner.

Mark Knight: How much of the current vampire lore is generated by Hollywood and how much of it is genuine? Or is any of it genuine?

Seán Manchester: I am unfamiliar with much of the current culture appertaining to vampires and vampirism, but I suspect it has little bearing on the lore of centuries past. My knowledge, albeit supplemented by experts from yestercenturies, is based more on experience than it is on speculative consideration and contemporary culture.

Bishop Seán Manchester

Bishop Seán Manchester

Mark Knight: Among your fields of research are the areas of demonology and demonaltry. Please can you explain the meaning of these two terms?

Seán Manchester: The word “demonology” refers to the study of demons whereas the word “demonolatry” covers the study of those who practice diabolism and the minutiae of their darkly occult ritualism. Since the late 1950s and early 1960s the word has also been adopted by diabolists themselves as a reference to describe their demon worship. When I use the word it is in its older meaning, that is, pertaining to studying and researching about diabolists and their sinister practices.

Mark Knight: What would you say to someone who insists that vampires and demons do not exist in the real world?

Seán Manchester: I think you will find that most people not only dismiss the existence of demons (vampires are predatory demons) in our largely atheistic, secular society, but all things supernatural. I would merely say that I hope they are never confronted by the demonic whilst I pray they encounter the angelic. To those who do not believe, no amount of words from me will convince them of anything supernatural, whereas no words or convincing are required from me to those who already believe.

Mark Knight: Would you recommend anyone who is interested in vampirolgical research and demonology to get involved and if so, what advice would you give him/her?

Seán Manchester: I would not advise anyone to “get involved” unless they absolutely know they have a definite calling to the ministry of exorcism. Then I would advise them to seek out a traditionalist branch of their Church. Otherwise, study the subject by all means, but do not dabble in it or otherwise become involved.

Self Portrait with Stake

Self Portrait with Stake

Mark Knight: Lastly, what are your current interests and projects? Who is Seán Manchester in everyday terms, outside of all things clerical?

Seán Manchester: I do not like to talk about projects where I am only a consultant or contributor (and there are several) or where I have been asked not to discuss the project until it is in post-production and closer to release. Where I am solely in control I would feel free to engage in that conversation and only then where it does not compromise the integrity of the project or any confidences placed in me by other people.

Outside of all things clerical, I am a portrait artist (oil on canvas), a photographer, poet, musician and composer. I am a collector of antique objects ranging from sacred relics to Byronania, rare books, paintings, phonograph cylinders and 78rpm records, daguerreotypes, Victorian and Edwardian photographs, artifacts, curiosities and miscellany. I have a number of old cameras, my favourite being a 19th century Thornton & Pickard brass and mahogany plate camera. The majority of my antiques are 19th century and earlier with only a few specific items of more recent vintage.

Artifacts most precious to me are the relics of saints and those awaiting canonization, that is, the venerated and the beatified. These are housed in reliquaries installed at my private retreat. I have written a memoir which I doubt I shall ever offer for publication. My current instruction is to have it burned to ashes upon my demise.

If you want to delve deeper into the supernatural world of Bishop Seán Manchester, then open the vault to his website and Facebook page.

Don’t forget your Holy Water…

Vampire Hunter's Handbook

Vampire Hunter’s Handbook

Highgate Vampire

Highgate Vampire

A Message From The Vampire Queen!

The Vampire Queen

The Vampire Queen (author Jodie Pierce)

The Vampire Queen herself has descended from out of the gray and stormy clouds, alighting upon your roof, waiting to ensnare you in your mesmerizing stare!

She is also known – in another life – as my good friend Jodie Pierce, author of the popular Vampire Queen series of books ( The Vampire Queen, Demise of the Vampire Queen, Condemned by a Vampire, and The Vampire Chronicles) and other tales with bite.

Before her message, a little bit about Jodie …

Jodie Pierce lives with her hubby, John in Cleveland, Ohio along with four beautiful step-children. She has been writing since high school where here English teacher took an interest in her and started mentoring her. Jodie has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child and has had a long history with them. It wasn’t until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books that she was truly inspired to write about them.

Jodie was an exchange student in Brasil in high school so you can find some of her experiences from there in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.

She has published five short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in “Midnight Thirst 2“, an anthology (Melange Books), has two self-published books and has several short stories that she still works on. She has a new charity anthology with various authors where all the proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital due out Halloween 2013. She’s always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams.

An important message:

In Vein

In Vein

Hi all!

I just wanted to give you an update on what I’m working on.

It’s a collaborative effort with various other authors and myself. Over a year ago I decided I wanted to write a book and donate all proceeds to a charity. I’d seen other authors do it and thought it would be a great idea. The commercial is on TV for St. Jude’s, the ones with the celebrities, always seemed to touch my heart, thus the book idea was born.

All the benefits of “In Vein” will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. It’s a vampire anthology, a series of vampire mini-stories by so many great authors. I have already read a couple of the stories and they are turning out great! I’m excited about putting this book together which will be available on Amazon, B&N and Smashwords.

I know my own story, though vampire-related, was an emotional one. I wrote about a vampire who helps Cancer patients with his ‘gift’ after living through so much loss in his own life due to the illness. It’s called Spontaneous Remission which is my reference to the ‘gift’ giving of the vampire to the Cancer patients and their transformation.

I’m still inviting people who would like to have their short vampire story told in my story to go to my website (www.vampiricallyrical.blogspot.com) and leave me a comment stating your intent and/or ask questions about the book. Submissions are not due until August 1st, 2013.

The stories don’t have to be written by accomplished authors. If there’s someone out there who just wants to try out their hand at a vampire short story are welcome as well. The book will be released on Halloween, October 31, 2013.

Jodie

Ultimate YA features ‘Blood Family’!

Blood Family – Quest for the Vampire Key is on Ultimate YA!

The feature starts tomorrow and will continue throughout the month with 1-2 posts each week. Learn all about the story of half-vampire Daniel Dark and his perilous quest  to confront his malevolent vampire father.

Ultimate YA

Ultimate YA

From the site:

Ultimate YA is an organization that promotes young adult literature (YA lit) and reading. We feature one YA lit author per month. Each feature includes a short bio of the author, as well as fun facts and an interview.  If you would like to be featured, please send an email inquiry to ultimateyareadinggroup@gmail.com.

In addition to our features, we post quotes and memes of the week that relate to books, writing, and/or reading on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively. We also post anything else that we find interesting regarding reading and writing.

Blood Family - a vampire novel by Mark Knight

See Ultimate YA’s BLOOD FAMILY Feature here

‘Blood Family’ is now available!

I am thrilled to announce that my Young Adult urban fantasy novel, Blood Family ~ Quest for the Vampire Key is now available on Amazon US and Amazon UK! Thank you to all the fantastic people who have supported me and this work, and those who helped give this book a professional shine – Ali Cross of Novel Ninjutsu, Anne Victory of Victory Editing, David Rabbitte for his amazing cover art, and Tatania Vila for her superb cover fonts.

Look out for Blood Family on Ultimate YA – where it will be featuring on April 1st (no fooling’!).

The book will also be the ‘featured read’ on I Love Vampire Novels great site.

And that’s not all, I will be appearing on many sites and blogs over the coming weeks. Find out about more about Daniel Dark’s perilous journey, and what inspired my take on vampire lore.

I will be giving everyone heads-up when each and every one of these features has gone live.

A vampire father, an imprisoned mother, and one perilous journey…

Lazy, goalless New England teenager Daniel Dark never intended his life to change so dramatically. It starts with the arrival of a mysterious package, and the revelation that his true father was a master vampire named Dominus. As his own fearsome powers begin to emerge, he sets out to rescue his birth mother, still imprisoned in Dominus’ stronghold. Strange clues take Daniel to the deep forests of southern Mexico and then to the mist-shrouded moors of England. Hot on his heels is his adoptive father – Pastor Nathan Dark, determined to find and kill he boy he had once called his son.

Urban fantasy for Young Adult readers and beyond.

Life as part of a debt-free, middle-class family in the New England suburbs should have been heaven. But when your father is a Man of God and you’re a vampire, it sure can be hell.

Life as part of a debt-free, middle-class family in the New England suburbs should have been heaven.
But when your father is a Man of God and you’re a vampire, it sure can be hell.