Nelapsi: The Wandering Undead (Slavic Terror)
Note: This was originally posted in our “100 Days of Halloween” campaign in 2014. It has been updated for 2017.
There are many types of vampires from cultures around the world, and we are happy to say that none of them sparkle (well, except for that one, but we’re not looking over there). Today’s featured ghoully is no exception. In fact, this vampire is described as being downright nasty.
Hailing from Slavic folklore, the nelapsi is one creepy monster. This vampire travels door-to-door, seeking shelter, and appearing as a pale, gaunt man or woman dressed in rags. Unkempt, dirty, and a long, greasy mess for hair. Like other vampires of ancient lore, this creature of the night does have those burning-red eyes and dangerous claws, but it is the mouth that is most terrifying. The nelapsi’s mouth is one filled with needle-like fangs. There are no romantic, dainty pinpricks on the neck with this blood-sucker.
Even beyond appearances, the nelapsi is not your typical vampire. He revels in the hunt and torture of his victims, showing no self-control in his need for blood, hunting victims until forced to return to his grave by the rising sun.
It is said that a single nelapsi can kill an entire village due to his gluttony. Further, using commonplace vampire weapons (crosses, holy water, garlic, etc.) produce iffy results. Not recommended, but then running won’t get you far either, so …
We’ve not been able to confirm it (and we haven’t tried very hard), but it is our (@TheMonsterGuys) opinion the creatures in the gruesome vamp film “30 Days of Night” were inspired by the nelapsi. The descriptions certainly match up—greasy, undead wanderers with a mouth full of fangs, terrible strength, insatiable appetites, and a love for tormenting their prey. Not invincible by any means, but certainly unpleasant to face off with.
Keep your wooden-stakes, there are no treats here, only violent, bloody tricks … give us a rocket launcher and some distance.
If you wouldn’t mind, please share using the social media buttons at the top and bottom of this post. We would appreciate helping us spread the Halloween, er…cheer!
Art: Vampire, 1895, Edvard Munch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Still photo of a vampire from the film “30 Days of Night”, Columbia Pictures, Ghost House Pictures, 2017