Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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KHARISIRI

(Hris-EAR-ee)
Variations: Cholas, ?AKAQ, PISHTACO
The Kallawaya tribes of the Andes Mountainsin Bolivia never had a vampire in their mythology or lore until they encountered the Spanish and were invaded. From the start of the Spanish occupation, the Kallawaya suddenly had vampiric attacks upon their people, and the vampiric demon they named kharisiri suddenly became woven into their culture and mythology.
A kharisiri attacks when a person is intoxicated. It will cut a small hole near a person's liver and enter into his body. Once inside, it eats away at the fatty tissue. What it does not eat, the kharisiri gathers together and sells to bishops and hospitals.
If a person has this vampiric demon inside of him, he will run a high fever and behave oddly. Sometimes there is also a small scar on his body near the liver. Chewing on cocoa leaves has the magical ability to ward off a wide variety of evil beings, including the kharisiri.
Source: Crandon-Malamud, From the Fat of Our Souls, 119­23; Jones, Evil in Our Midst, 67­70; Kolata, Valley of the Spirits, 25­26; Wachtel, Gods and Vampires, 52­71, 146
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