Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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MAHASOHON

(Ma-HA-so-on)
Variations: Maha-sohon
In Sri Lanka there is the belief in a gigantic,hairy vampiric demon known as the mahasohon, which hunts not only humans but elephants as well (see HAIR). The mahasohon waits at the crossroads at night for someone to pass by; when he does, it leaps out and attacks, draining him dry of his blood and then eating most of the corpse. There is a demon dance ceremony that can be performed to drive it away called Maha-sohon Samayama.
Source: Goonatilleka, Masks, 10, 15, 19­20; Jayatilaka, Dictionary of the Sinhalese Language, 762; Kapferer, Celebration of Demons, 206; Pran Indu, Rituals, 180
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