Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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LAMMIKIN

(LAMB-ah-kin)
Variations: Balcanqual, Ballkin, Lambert Linkin, Lamkin, Lankin, Lantin, Long Lankin, Long Lankyn, Longkin, Lonkin, Rankin and similar variations
In a Scottish cautionary ballad from 1775, a mason named Lammikin was hired to build a castle for a nobleman. He was never paid for the work and thereby embittered, he enlisted the help of the nobleman's nursemaid. She let him into the castle one night and Lammikin set about killing the lord and his entire family. Lammikin and the nurse were captured, tried, and executed for the crime. The moral of the story was perhaps that noblemen should pay their bills and keep their house staff loyal.
As time wore on and the ballad traveled, it changed a little with each telling and no doubt was adapted to the region and local events that it was currently being sung in. In all, there were 22 different variations of the story that have been saved, and in one of them Lammikin was not a mason seeking revenge but rather a vampiric creature who fed off mothers with young children. The story goes that at night it would slip silently into a home with a child. Once the child was found, Lammikin would then poke it until it cried and its mother came to see what was wrong. Then Lammikin would attack, draining the mother dry of her blood and filling a bowl with blood from the baby. Some scholars believe that Lammikin the vampire had leprosy, as washing with human blood was once thought to be a cure for the disease and this cure was still in practice at the time the ballad was popular.
Source: Child, English and Scottish Ballads, 307­12; M'Dowall, Among the Old Scotch Minstrels, 84 ­91; Rose, Giants, Monsters, and Dragons, 220
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