Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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IELE

(EE-lays)
Variations: "Those without"
In Romania and throughout Eastern Europethere exists a vampiric, bipedal cat known as an iele. Standing about four feet tall and built rather lithe and thinly, it travels in small groups of three to seven members, looking for prey near cross-roads, fields, village fountains, woods, or anyplace where they may find a person alone and fairly well isolated. Although it feeds mostly on human and sheep blood, it will also entice children into dancing with it, and as it does so, drains away their life-energy (see ENERGY VAMPIRE).
Fond of music and dancing, the iele are occasionally taken to falling in love with a beautiful young person, taking one as its lover and placing itself completely under the person's control. Shepherds who play their pipes exceptionally well are placed under the protection of the iele, whether they know it or not. The iele have their own music ability and are known to join in and play along with the shepherds. Iele are also known to set fields on fire and can cause insanity and paralysis in people.
Source: Ankarloo, Early Modern European Witchcraft, 211, 213; Mc Nally, In Search of Dracula, 68; Senn, Werewolf and Vampire in Romania, 24, 41; Stratilesco, From Carpathian to Pindus, 185­86
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