Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

A B C D E F G H I J [K] L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z


In Russia, a koldun is a vampiric sorcerer whose name means "one who uses magic." (The female form of the word is koldun'ia.) Generally speaking, he is a poor man of marginal social status among his people, who victimize him while simultaneously asking for his assistance. The koldun, in life, uses his magic to do harm to others, either by evil inclination or because he was hired to do it, accepting jobs out of whimsy if not financial necessity.
Kolduns are carefully watched by the people of the community that they live in or near, as they are both feared and respected. Akoldun who has accumulated a great amount of magical knowledge has the ability to "spoil," a power that causes crops to fail and causes illness and death to live-stock and people. Apart from his herbal lore, the sorcerer has a power source that he can tap into—a vampire that gives him the ability to cast spells.
Although the koldun is a human, it may be possible that he is a LIVING VAMPIRE, but after his death (particularly if he dies by committing suicide, dies by drowning, or was never baptized), he will return to unlife as a vampire himself.
Source: Oinas, Essays on Russian Folklore, 121; Paxson, Solovyovo, 165­66; Ryan, The Bathhouse at Midnight, 39, 43, 50­52, 68, 73­90; Warner, Russian Myths, 65

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