Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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MARA

(MA-rah)
Variations: Mora, Morava, Morina
In Canadian and Scandinavian folklore there is a type of vampire that is similar to both the ALP and the SUCCUBUS. The mara is created when a child dies before it could be baptized. At night, it finds sleeping men and, sitting upon their chests, crushes them to death by pressing down harder and harder. If the mara should drink the blood of a man and he survives the experience, the vampire will fall hopelessly in love with him, returning to feed from him nightly. Unfortunately, its presence will give the man nightmares and, eventually, he will die (see ENERGY VAMPIRE).
Source: Billington, Concept of the Goddess, 42­55; Mackay, Gaelic Etymology, 305; Thorpe, Northern Mythology, 169­70
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