Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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ISITHFUNTELA

(EYES-it-von-tel-la)
In West Africa witches are known to disinter the bodies of those who have committed suicide (see AFRICAN VAMPIRE WITCH and VAMPIRIC WITCH). Through a magical ceremony, the witch cuts out the person's tongue and embeds a wooden peg into his head, thus enslaving her construction, a zombielike REVENANT vampire known as an isithfuntela, into doing her bidding. It makes up for its lack of physical strength by having an array of abilities at its disposal, including shape-shifting into bats and rats and the power of hypnosis. Its most powerful ability is it can raise the dead and command them until the sun rises, after which the animated corpses will turn into dust.
The isithfuntela must feed off human blood to survive, but it is not strong enough to take a healthy person on its own. Rather, it uses its powers of hypnosis to make a person stand still while it drives a wooden peg into his brain, killing him. Then it feeds at its leisure from the corpse.
Wolves hate the isithfuntela and will rip it apart should a pack ever come across one. Otherwise, a stake driven through its heart or decapitation will destroy the construct.
Source: Hammond-Tooke, Bhaca Society, 287
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