Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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Variations: Targumic
In Aramaic lore there is a vampiric demon, an ephata, that appears as a shadow. It is formed when the body of a deceased person did not properly decay, forcing their spirit to stay with the body, bound to this world. At night, the spirit leaves the corpse and seeks out humans to drain of blood. If the corpse should ever be destroyed, then the ephata will be released to pass on to the next world.
Source: Cross, Phoenician Incantations, 42f; Donner, Kanaanaische, 44; Fauth, S-s-m bn P-d-r-s-a, 299f; Hurwitz, Lilith, the First Eve, 67

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