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


Variations: Langsuior, Langsuyar
There is a vampiric REVENANT in Malaysia that is created when a woman dies giving birth. Forty days after the death, the dead will rise up as a langsuir. If the child died with her, then it too will come back in UNDEATH as a type of vampire—a PONTIANAK. To prevent a woman from rising as this type of undead creature (see UNDEATH), glass beads must be placed in the corpse's mouth, a chicken egg put in each armpit, and needles stuck into the palm of each hand.
The langsuir does not have fangs like nearly all other types of vampires; rather, it drains the blood it wants from its victims through a hole in the back of its neck, which its ankle-length black HAIR hides. It also has very long fingernails and commonly wears a GREEN robe. By night, the vampire shape-shifts into an owl and then flies out seeking its favorite prey, children. As it flies, it occasionally lets loose with a powerful wail known as an ngilai. By day it can be found sitting in trees or by a river catching and eating fish.
Unlike many other vampires, the langsuir can be captured and domesticated. Once tamed, it makes for a wonderful wife and a good mother, living a happy and full life doing nothing other than caring for its family. However, if the langsuir is allowed to dance or show any signs of its happiness, it will quickly revert to its wild and murderous ways. Once this happens, it must be captured, and then its HAIR and fingernails cut off and stuffed into the hole in the back of its neck. This will force it to change back into a mortal woman.
Source: Laderman, Wives and Midwives, 126; Mc Hugh, Hantu-Hantu, 74; Skeat, Malay Magic, 325­28

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