A big welcome to Matthew Quinn Martin who is here counting down the Top 10 Vampire Myths from Around the Globe and celebrating the release of Nightlife (published on October 21, 2013 by Pocket Star). Want to win a copy? Enter using the widget below.
Matthew Quinn Martin’s Top 10 Vampire Myths from Around the Globe
For the past hundred plus years, the vampire has been an enduring figure in western culture. They are everywhere––from Fear Street to Sesame Street…from serial novels to breakfast cereals…and just about everywhere else. Most of these vamps are, in many ways, the direct descendants of Bram Stoker’s most famous creation. However, vampires (in many various forms) pop up all over the world.
As I was researching my (WARNING! SHAMELESS PLUG DEAD AHEAD!) debut novel Nightlife, I got to meet a few of these lesser-known blood suckers. They’ve been bugging me to give them an introduction. Thankfully the fine folks at All Things Urban Fantasy said OK, and now here they are to say hello (and Happy Halloween).
While Bram Stoker specifically states that his Count is Szekély (ethnic Hungarian living in Romania), the Magyars themselves have a few vampires of their own. One is the Ludverc who can slip into your house through the tiniest of cracks and take the form of your lover…right before sucking the life out of you.
Although the word translates roughly as “river child,” the Kappa isn’t someone you’d invite to your three-year-old’s birthday party. They are covered in scales of various colors and are said to inhabit the ponds and rivers of Japan. Most people will tell you they are harmless, if a bit mischievous––except of course for the parents of the children that they’ve drowned and drained of blood.
All the way from ancient Greece we have a serpent woman who feeds on blood (or in some versions, on children). She’s rumored to have been a mistress of Zeus who suffered the wrath of a jealous Hera…and we all know how well that usually works out. By the middle ages stern mothers were already threatening children with a visit from the lamia for misbehaving.
These female vampires are known to prey exclusively on Hebrew men. By all accounts they are as beautiful as they are deadly. Unlike your garden variety vamps, religious icons won’t deter them. So put away your Stars of David and instead bury her…but make sure that her mouth is packed with earth, or she’s bound to come back.
The Baohban sith
Their name is pronounced almost identically to their Irish sisters the Banshee. They haunt the Scottish Highland and often appear in groups, luring young lads out for a dance or two before they feast on the poor suckers. They may, or may not, be sipping cosmos at a nightclub near you.
In the Philippines you can take your pick of vampire creatures (the Wak Wak, the Aswang, etc) but you should be especially wary of the Mananggal––they can separate their upper body from the rest and sprout gigantic bat wings as they circle the skies looking for their favorite prey: pregnant women. When the find one asleep, they will use their long tongue to suck out the fetus’s still beating heart. They are, however, vulnerable to salt and garlic…so stock up before you visit.
This Caribbean vamp lives her daylight life as an old woman. But at night she strips off her disguise in search of blood. If you leave a heap of rice at your door, however, she will have to stop to count each grain…hopefully not finishing before sunrise.
While traveling in West Africa it is best to beware these creatures. They are said to have iron teeth, and iron hooks for feet. If an unwary traveler were to walk under one, they might find themselves caught like a fish…and about to become one tasty meal.
This male vampire from Germany prefers breast milk as his beverage of choice…but in a pinch has been known to drink blood from the nipples of men and young children. While they are at it, they occasionally tangle hair…everyone has to have a hobby.
Haunting Cambodia, the Krasue is a beautiful woman from the neck up…and a horrifying tangle of human entrails underneath. As any good vampire should be, she’s out for blood, but like the Mananggal, she’s particularly fond of human fetuses. When she can’t get either of those she goes for any old crap…and I mean “crap” literally.
Matthew Quinn Martin was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. However, it wasn’t until he moved to Manhattan that he realized he was a writer. These days, he lives on a small island off the North Atlantic coast of the United States where it gets quiet in the winter…perhaps too quiet.
1 ebook of Nightlife by Matthew Quinn Martin
Available on October 21, 2013 by Pocket Star
For centuries an ancient evil has slept beneath the streets of New Harbor. This Halloween, it wakes up.
An action-packed debut horror novel from talented new writer Matthew Quinn Martin, Nightlife pits a feisty bartender and a mysterious loner against bloodthirsty terrors as alluring as they are deadly.
Nightclub bartender and serial heartbreaker Beth Becker might be a cynic. But when her best friend goes missing Halloween night, Beth knows it’s up to her to find out what happened.
Her quest will take her on an odyssey through the crumbling city of New Harbor, Connecticut. Along the way she meets a homeless prophet warning of something he calls the “Night Angel”-a bloodthirsty creature that feeds on the forgotten. And she will form an unlikely bond with a hunted stranger who knows all too well what stalks the streets at night.
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