Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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ROLANG

(ROLL-ing)
Variations: R?-Lang
A type of Tibetan magic user known as angagspa can perform a very precise and dangerous spell ceremony that will create a vampiric REVENANT called a rolang ("corpse who stands up"). The sole purpose for his wanting to create such a creature is to obtain the creature's tongue, a powerful magical item.
The ngagspa locks himself in a room with a corpse that he has procured. He then lies on top of it and empties his mind of all thought except for the magical incantation he is continuously repeating to himself. He will eventually place his lips on top of the corpse's lips and use his arms to keep the corpse's arms pinned down.
Sooner or later, the corpse, now a rolang, will try to rise and escape. The ngagspa must prevent this from happening while his lips maintain contact with the rolang's lips. If even so much as an instant of separation occurs, the spell will be broken, the ngagspa will lose control of the vampire, and it will rampage through the village, killing everyone it sees by ripping bodies apart. No one will survive the assault; even its touch is fatal. Nothing will remain but a decimated town littered with bodies. It is said that only a scant few lamas are still in existence who know the magical rites that will stop the rolang, causing it to lie back down and return to its former state of being, a harmless corpse.
However, if the ngagspa can maintain the spell and the physical contact long enough, the rolang's tongue will make its way out of its mouth and into the ngagspa's, who must then bite down as hard as he can, severing the tongue. As soon as this happens, the rolang will collapse dead and the ngagspa will have a powerful and hard-won magical item.
Source: Cuevas, Travels in the Netherworld, 95­103; David-N?el, With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet, 127­ 29; Knapp, Women, Myth, and the Feminine Principle, 9­10; Mead, Primitive Heritage, 441­43
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