Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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Gaki are doggedly persistent vampiric spirits from Japan that are created when an exceedingly greedy person dies. They are returned to earth and forced to wander with an unquenchable thirst for blood. Gaki are described as having a cold body, hollow features, and pale skin. Agaki's stomach is enormous but its neck is narrow. Although they can shape-shift into mist, gaki enjoy attacking people in one of the physical forms they can assume, that of an animal, a red-skinned humanoid with horns, or a specific person.
Gaki need not physically assault their prey; just being near them is enough to drain them of blood. They chatter incomprehensibly up until the point they actually attack. Once they do, the gaki enter into a feeding frenzy, completely fixated on their target.
The gaki are impervious to damage in mist form unless attacked by weapons especially designed to affect a ghost. Although such a weapon will cause harm, it will not destroy a gaki. The only way it can be destroyed is while it is in a physical form. The best chance of success is to attack while it is feeding, as it will not have the presence of mind to defend itself.
There are several species of gaki and each hasa specialized diet. The most dangerous gaki consumes flesh, human blood, and souls. Another dangerous type feeds on a person's thoughts while they meditate. Other gaki feed on samurai top-knots or tattoos. Still others eat incense, paper, sweat, or tea. These less dangerous gaki can be saited by Zen monasteries making small offerings of food to them.
Source: Ashley, Complete Book of Vampires; Covey,
Beasts, 96; Davis, Myths and Legends, 388; Smith, Ancestor Worship, 41

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