Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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UPYR

(Oo-PEER)
Variations: Oupyr, Uppyr
In Russia, there is a vampiric REVENANT called an upyr that is created when a heretic, sorcerer, or witch dies. It can also be created as the child born of the union between a werewolf and a witch. Looking like a normal person, the upyr is active between noon and midnight. It attacks people in their homes, going after the children first and then moving on to the parents. It drains each victim of his blood, and, using its ironlike teeth, gnaws into his chest so that it may consume the heart. In fact, the teeth of the upyr are possibly its greatest assets, as it uses them to chew through the ground that has frozen solid in the winter months so that it can escape its own grave.
To discover where the upyr's grave is, she must, if at all possible, attach a string to a button on its clothing as it flees the scene of one of its attacks. Then, a person can follow the string from the spool of thread back to its grave. Once there, the ground must be completely soaked in holy water and the upyr must be staked through the chest to keep it in its grave, but the stake must be driven through in a single blow or the vampire will rise again. Another method of destruction is to decapitate the vampire and burn its corpse to ashes.
Source: Indiana University, Journal, vol. 14, 255;
Oinas, Essays on Russian Folklore, 126 ­27; Summers, Vampire: His Kith and Kin, 18
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