Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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PRETA

(Par-EE-ta)
The preta ("morbid") is a vampiric spirit from India. It appears as a fresh corpse whose stomach is bloated and large but its mouth has shriveled up, leaving only a small opening. Walking the earth lost and hungry for human blood, the Buddhist faith sees the preta's condition as a fitting punishment for a person who had too many desires in life.
Source: Crooke, Introduction to the Popular Religion, 1 53; Dani?lou, Myths and Gods of India, 27, 213, 301, 311; Turner, Dictionary of Ancient Deities, 184
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