Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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Variation: Elatomsk, Erestan, Erestun, Erestuny, Eretica, Eretich, Ereticy, Eretiku, Eretitsa, Eretnica, Eretnik, Eretnitsa (female), Xloptuny
In Russian folklore, if a dying person is possessed before passing away and then is reanimated by a witch or sorcerer, the body becomes a type of LIVING VAMPIRE called an eretik ("heretic"). Be that as it may, there are other ways a person can become this type of vampire, such as being deemed a heretic, selling his soul to the devil, sleeping on a grave, or making inappropriate noises in a bath house.
However it is that the vampire is created, it will immediately set out to consume the flesh and blood of mankind, starting with its family members first. It causes a person to wither away, eventually dying, but it can glare at a person with such hate and malice that it can kill with a mere look (see ENERGY VAMPIRE). It is most active at night in spring and fall, living in dry riverbeds where it routinely performs Black Masses.
In truth, the eretik is a living being (see LIVING VAMPIRE), but it must be slain as if it were a true vampire: staked through the heart with a wooden stake, beheaded, and then burned to ash.
Source: Dundes, Vampire Casebook, 53; Mc Clelland, Slayers and Their Vampires, 81; Oinas, Essays on Russian Folklore and Mythology, 121; Ryan, Russian Magic at the British Library, 34

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