Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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TARUNGA

On the Bank Islands off the coast of Australia lives a large number of people who consider themselves a type of sorcerer called a tarunga (see LIVING VAMPIRE). These individuals claim to have accumulated so much power that they are able to detach their heads from their bodies and shape-shift into invisible vampires. In this form the tarunga are able to drain away the life energy of the recently deceased, a process that takes a few weeks to complete (see ENERGY VAMPIRE). During this time, people in the community will suffer from exceptionally vivid dreams. To prevent a deceased tarunga from feeding, a watch must be maintained at its gravesite as the vampire will not feed if a person is too near.
Source: Codrington, The Melanesians, 249, 254 ­56; Maberry, Vampire Universe, 275; Sumner, Science of Society, 820
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