Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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ASEMA

(AH-say-ma)
Variations: Aseman, ASIMAN, AZ?MAN, Aziman, LOOGAROO, OBAYIFO, SUCOYAN, SUKUYAN, WUME
From the Republic of Suriname, this VAMPIRIC WITCH looks like an old man or woman with red eyes and toes pointed downward.
At night, before it can go out hunting, the asema will remove its skin, fold it up neatly, and hide it. With its skin safely hidden away, the asema shape-shifts into a ball of blue light, much like a CORPSE CANDLE. Flying through the air, it slips in and out of people's homes through even the smallest of openings. Finicky blood drinkers, the asema will avoid those people whose blood has a bitter taste to it. Once they find someone whose blood they find palatable, they return to the victim again and again, night after night, until the person eventually dies. Telltale signs of attack are large red and blue spots at the site of the bite.
The simplest way to prevent being attacked by the asema is to regularly consume some herb, like GARLIC, that will make one's blood taste bitter.
Another method is to keep a handful of tossed sesame seeds or rice mixed with some pieces of owl talon behind the bedroom door. The asema is one of the species of vampires that is mystically compelled to pick up or count seeds before it can attack its victim. Every time the asema picks up one of the owl talon pieces, it will become annoyed it is not a seed, drop all of the seeds it had already accumulated, and start the process all over again. Hopefully there will be enough seeds and talon pieces to distract it until daybreak, as the asema is vulnerable to sunlight when its skin is removed. If it does not flee before dawn, it will die.
One need not confront an asema to destroy it.
If one can find where it has hidden its skin, all one needs to do is cover it with SALT so that the skin will shrivel and dry up. When the asema returns, it will find that its skin no longer fits. The light of day will then destroy it.
Source: American Folklore Society, Journal of American
Folklore, vol. 58­59, 242; Brautigam, Asema, 16 ­ 17; Bryant, Handbook of Death, 99; Gallop, Portugal, 216
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