Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R [S] T U V W X Y Z


Variations: LIOGAT
Once any Albanian of Turkish descent would upon death become a type of vampiric REVENANT known as a sampiro, no matter how good a person he may have been or how virtuous a life he may have led. This curse also befell upon any Albanian who had committed an unnatural act, such as beastiality, homosexuality, prostitution, transvestitism, or heterosexuality with a Turkish person. Other means were attending a Moslem religious service, consuming meat handled by a Turk, or being a habitual liar or professional thief in life.
The sampiro returns from the grave three daysafter its death with its burial shroud wrapped around its body and wearing high-heeled shoes upon its feet. Its eyes are large and glow brightly. Asmall amount of dirt from its grave is inexplicably kept in its navel.
Every night it rises from its grave but is particularly fond of nights with heavy fog, as that will make its eyes glow even brighter than usual, as bright as the headlights on a car. Once it finds a victim, it follows behind the person making "kissing" sounds that can be heard clearly over the click of its high-heeled shoes. When it finally attacks, it drains a survivable amount of blood from the person and then flees the scene as quickly as it can totter away on its heels. Victims are left feeling tired and weak, and repeated assaults will eventually kill them.
On nights when it does not feed or after it has already done so, the sampiro will go out to the countryside and peek into the homes of people. Its glare alone will spread a disease that infants are particularly susceptible to. Fortunately, it will not stay long outside of town, as it is hated by wolves, which will relentlessly hunt it down once they become aware of one in their territory. Should it manage to survive a wolf attack but one of its limbs become mangled, the sampiro will retreat to its grave and never rise again. However, should there be an attempt made on its life by people and they fail, they will soon discover that the sampiro is a particularly vengeful vampire. It will seek out those who were directly involved and kill them in an extreme act of violence.
During the day, the sampiro lies at rest in its grave, which is fairly easy to spot as not only will the soil always be loose because of its comings and goings but also because there will be a blue ball of light, similar to a CORPSE CANDLE, that hovers over it. The body should be exhumed during the day when the sampiro is immobile and a stake made of yew wood should be driven with a single blow through its heart.
Source: Abbott, Macedonian Folklore, 216; Ronay The
Dracula Myth, 22; Summers, Werewolf in Lore and Legend, 149; Taylor, Primitive Culture, 311

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