Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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PLATNIK

(PLAT-nic)
Variation: Pl?tenki ("fleshed out"), Plotenik, Plutenik, Plutnik
A vampiric being from Bulgaria, the platnik has a measurable and precise life cycle. After the body is buried, the spirit spends the first nine days of its unlife in the grave, and as it develops, the surface of its grave begins to sink in. As soon as that time has passed, the platnik rises from its grave as a spirit and begins attacking its family members for the next 40 days. In spirit form it looks like the shadow of a dog, hen, or person. Platnik attacks will range anywhere from breaking dishes to running off the cattle at night to vandalizing homes as well as physically assaulting people. To prevent a platnik from attacking while still in its spirit form, one must utilize the things it is afraid of: animal skulls, fire, iron, light, and wolves—it will not stay in an area where these things are present. Unfortunately, only a bolt of lightning will kill it, and the chances of that happening are rather slim. Exhuming the body on a Saturday and then piercing the corpse with a red-hot poker may also work.
If the spirit vampire can manage to drink enough blood and not get itself destroyed in the process, at the end of its 40-day rampage, it will become a platnik: a full-blown, solid-form vampire. It can now pass for a normal person except for having no fingernails and red eyes; furthermore, it will have the ability to shape-shift into a dog or wolf. Its new body does not have bones, but rather a cartilage-like substance. The first thing a new platnik will do upon developing its body will be to seek out its widow and attack her in broad daylight, torturing her to death. As soon as she is dead, the platnik will leave town and seek out a new place to live as far from its old community as possible. Once established in a place where no one will know it is a REVENANT, it will marry and have children. The offspring will be born VAMPIRDZHII. If the platnik is discovered for what it is, it can easily be killed. Any simple cut will prove to be fatal, causing it to bleed out and die. Its blood will be thick, dark, and jelly-like and is called pixtija.
Source: Georgieva, Bulgarian Mythology, 98; Lecouteux, History of Vampires; Mac Dermott, Bulgarian Folk Customs, 66, 67
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