Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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ABRUZZI

(Ah-BRUTS-ee)
Variations: Abruzzo
Each November 1, the citizens of the town of Abruzzi, located in central Italy, hold a ceremony for their dead. Both the ceremony and the type of vampiric spirit they call are named after the town.
An offering of bread and water is placed on the kitchen table and beckoning candles are lit and placed in the windows of the home. Similar candles are placed on the graves of loved ones, allowing their spirits to rise up. Slowly the spirits gather together and form a line as they march back into town and to the homes they once lived in. Leading the procession are those that in life would have been considered "good" people, followed by "evil" people, then those who had been murdered, and finally, those who are condemned. Once they return to their old homes, they consume the essence of the food offering left for them.
There is a very complex magical ritual that can be performed at a crossroads that would allow the practitioner to see this procession of the dead. However, this is a very dangerous undertaking, as to see the dead walk ill cause insanity, followed by death.
The celebration of Abruzzi is all that is left of the ancient Roman religious tradition that pertains to the Feast of Lemuria, which is similar to the ancient Greek festival, Anthesteria.
Source: Canziani, Through the Apennines, 326; Frazer, The Golden Bough, 77; Summers, Vampire in Europe, 1 5; Summers, Vampire in Lore and Legend, 77
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