Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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Variation: Talamur, TARUNGA
On the Banks Islands of Australia as well ason the Polynesian Islands there is a type of LIVING VAMPIRE called a talamaur, which can be a force for good or for evil, depending on the person. He is greatly feared by the community he lives in, and the possibility of being banished or even being stoned to death is very real. All talamaur have the ability to astral-project and speak to ghosts. Some have a spirit or a ghost as a familiar (see ASTRAL VAMPIRE).
If the talamaur is an evil and predatory vampire, he will attack people who are dying or the newly dead, feeding off the last bits of their life-energy (see ENERGY VAMPIRE). Should he attack a healthy person, he will do so while the person is asleep, ripping his heart out of his chest and consuming it while it is still beating in order to enslave his soul. The souls of those the talamaur has consumed surround him and are forced to act as a protective shield. This mass of souls is called a TARUNGA, and its specific powers vary depending on the capability of the souls that compose it.
To test if a person is a talamaur, he is held over a pile of burning leaves and forced to breathe in the smoke. If he is a vampire he will confess, giving a full account of all his crimes and naming all of the spirits he controls.
Source: Codrington, The Melanesians, 222; Royal
Anthropological Institute, Journal, vol. 10, 285; Summers, Vampire: His Kith and Kin, 227

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