Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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DRAUGR SEA

(DAW-gr See)
Variations: Sea Trow, Trowis
According to Icelandic lore, a draugr of the sea is created whenever a person drowns in the ocean. They have been described as being "black as hell and bloated to the size of a bull," their bodies covered with curly HAIR and seaweed. Their penis and testicles are also noted as being overly large.
This draugr, a REVENANT vampiric creature, preys on seamen using an array of supernatural abilities. It can shape-shift into rocks along a shoreline, is impervious to mundane weaponry, and has supernatural strength. Like the draugr of the land that it thoroughly hates, it too retains its personality and all of its memories. Usually, it only makes itself visible to its victims, sailing the sea in half a boat.
There is a draugr story that takes place on
Christmas Eve back in 1857. On the Norwegian Isle of Lur?y, all the farmhands were celebrating the holiday. When they ran out of drink, everyone was too afraid to go out to the boathouse to retrieve more alcohol for fear of encountering a draugr—except for a young boy. He made it there, filled his jug, and on the way back to the celebration, a headless draugr confronted him. The boy attacked the draugr, knocking it off balance, which gave him just enough time to escape. As the boy ran for his life, he looked back over his shoulder and saw that not one but a great number of draugr were rising from the sea behind him, ready to give chase. The boy pressed on and jumped over the churchyard wall, hollering as loudly as he could, "Up, up, every Christian soul, save me!" As he landed in the churchyard, the church bell tolled the midnight hour and draugr began to rise from the earth. Within moments the two species of draugr were engaged in battle. The land draugr clutched the wood from their COFFINS to use as weapons; the sea draugr made whips of their seaweed. The boy fled to the servant quarters and told the tale of what had happened. Christmas morning everyone looked to the graveyard. It looked like a battlefield. Bits of broken COFFINS, seaweed, jellyfish, and slime were everywhere.
Source: Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, 916; Marwick, An Orkney Anthology, 261­62; Mckinnell, Runes, Magic and Religion; Shipley, Dictionary of Early English, 686
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