Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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YARA-MA-YHA-WHO

(YA-rah-M A-Y A-W HO)
Australia's premier vampiric creature, the yara-ma-yha-who, looks like a short, red-skinned man with an exceptionally large head and mouth and suckers on its fingers and toes. What is most unusual about this vampire is that it has no teeth whatsoever. It dislikes sunlight and prefers to spend its daylight hours in caves near a water source. An ambush predator, the yara-ma-yha-who hides in the branches of fig trees and attacks anyone who walks underneath it. It grabs him up and, using the suckers on its fingers and toes, drains the blood from its victims. When it is finished, it swallows the body whole. Ashort while later it will vomit the person back up, whole and alive. A person who is repeatedly attacked by the yara-ma-yha-who will gradually become shorter and shorter until he is the creature's size. Then he will start to grow HAIR all over his body and become a yara-ma-yha-who himself.
The spirit of the fig tree can kill a yara-ma-yha-who by climbing into its ear and making a noise that causes the vampire's own soul to flee its body in the form of tree fungus.
Source: Harrap, Myths and Legends, 342; Reed, Aboriginal Fables, 142­44; Rose, Giants, Monsters and Dragons, 403­44; Smith, Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals, 342­44
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