Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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CHORDEVA

(Core-DEV-ah)
Variations: Chordewa, Cordewa
There is a VAMPIRIC WITCH or vampiric demon that terrorizes the Oraon hill tribe in Bengal, India, known as a chordeva. By shape-shifting its soul into the form of a cat, the chordeva ("thief-demon") sends it out to prey on the old and sick by stealing their food and poisoning what little morsels it leaves behind. While using its cat form, it can kill a person merely by licking the person's lips. This is why all cats are kept away from anyone who can be perceived as a potential victim, even though the chordeva can be detected by the particular type of mewing it makes. Although it can also shape-shift into a were-cat, a chordeva is only as strong as an average person; however, it has the ability in its were-cat form to place its victim in a trance by direct eye contact.
The chordeva is repelled by water of any kind,as well as HAWTHORN. Anything that would kill a normal cat will destroy the chordeva's cat form, and the physical damage that is delivered will instantly become visible on the chordeva's human body. When it is in its human guise, a wooden or iron stake driven through the heart will kill the vampire, as will prolonged exposure to sunlight. However, it is completely indestructible in its were-cat form.
Source: Briggs, The Cham Irs, 134; Crooke, Religion and Folklore of Northern India, 208; Meyer, Sexual Life in Ancient India, 392; Sinha, Religious Life in Tribal India, 41
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