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Greek Vampire History and Legends: The Vrykolakas

Updated on March 24, 2012
kittythedreamer profile image

Holding a complete fascination with vampires and werewolves, Kitty enjoys writing about the undead in their many forms in folklore.

Vampires in History: The Greek Vrykolakas

All over the world the idea of the "undead" has permeated our fears and our dreams for centuries...maybe even for thousands of years. We hear tales about vampires from Romania and other places in Europe but not usually from Greece; however, in this hub we are going to take a look at one of the most frightening and elusive of Greece's "undead" creatures - the vrykolakas.

Quite the opposite of the picture shown here, the vrykolakas has been said to be a very ugly vampire. He gives off an appearance that the blood has been fully drained from his body, leaving a shriveled up shell of a dead man. The vrykolakas is prevalent in Greek folklore and has been for centuries and is still somewhat prevalent today.

Recently I read a detailed story told by the Occult author Konstantinos in his book Vampires: The Occult Truth about a terrifying experience that one particular town in Greece had with a vrykolakas. Apparently this occurrence was no earlier than the 1950s. A woman had a husband whom she loved very much. They had no children, however. The man became depressed after losing his job and began to go out all night, not returning home until morning. Of course this left his lonely wife afraid and worried. Night after night this happened, when finally the wife realized that he had been drinking heavily and was an alcoholic by this point.

Someone decided to follow the man on one of his nightly outings and went to a particular spot that the man liked to drink..under a tree. There under the tree...the man was hanging. Dead. The wife was devastated for days. Something happened when people began to notice that the wife wasn't acting normally. She was staying indoors 24-7 and not answering her door to visitors. She also looked very tired and sickly. Apparently she finally admitted to the town's religious official that her husband was haunting her...even though he'd been dead for weeks.

He had come the very next night after his death and knocked on the door. He begged her to let him in and said something about needing his shoes. She was terrified but did as her dead husband asked. After that first visit, the visits continued and it only escalated from there. Eventually she told local clergymen that she had "lain" with her husband every night for a couple months straight. Whether the vrykolakas actually fed on blood is unknown or at least untold, but one can assume that because the wife was so sickly that it is possible the vrykolakas fed on either her blood or her energy.

The religious officials were concerned for the town's safety and decided that they were going to destroy the vrykolakas. It was believed in Greece that because the man committed suicide and was buried on unconsecrated ground, this is why an evil spirit was allowed to enter his body and become the vrykolakas.

After the townsfolk found the man's undead body (shriveled and disheveled), they drove a stake through its heart during which they all said they heard a strange moaning noise escape his body. There was also accounts of the body turning to dust. Now that the vrykolakas was dead, they had another problem on their hands...the vrykolakas' pregnant widowed wife. The story ends there, unfortunately.

Many similar stories of the vrykolakas permeate the folklore told by Greece's elders. Is the vrykolakas a brother or cousin to the Romanian vampires or something totally different? Are they simply creatures that are controlled by demons or something else entirely?


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  • profile image

    mts1098 5 years ago

    Interesting...I will have to check my Greek relatives to see if they remember hearing of this tale...cheers

  • TheBudness profile image

    TheBudness 5 years ago from Appalachia

    The idea of the vrykolakas in Greece was borrowed from the Slavs. It's not a Greek idea, it's a Slavic belief that exists in modern Greece. The tale retold here is relatively recent. The Slavic tales, that are nearly identical, are much older. But a vampire in the Greek pantheon of gods would have been awesome!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    Hi, scary stuff! I wanted to know what happened to the wife! lol! I never realised that Greek mythology had vampires, I learned something new! great stuff! voted up! cheers nell

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    prasetio - I'm happy you enjoyed it. :)

    Daniella - It's weird how recent it happened, huh? I found that the most interesting of this tale. Thanks for reading and blessings to you.

    wolfshadow - I'm happy to bring back some memories of Greek mythology. I love all types of mythology and especially those that delve into the paranormal. Come back soon! ;)

  • wolfshadow profile image

    wolfshadow 5 years ago

    Very interesting. Never heard of the Vrykolaka lore before, so thanks for teaching me something new. I loved Greek mythology when we studied it in school and this hub brings back memories.

  • Daniella Lopez profile image

    Danielle Lopez 5 years ago from Arkansas

    Fantastic hub, Kitty! I especially enjoyed the tale and how recent it occurred. Blessed be!

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Very informative hub and I really enjoy the history of vampire. Good job and rated up. Have a nice day.


  • flashmakeit profile image

    flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

    Oh gee too scary!!! That was an interesting hub about Vrykolakas the ugly vampires and his soon to be child.

  • CMHypno profile image

    CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

    Hmmm, next time I go on holiday to Greece, I must remember not to have too many retsinas and get lost in the dark! The story of the wife is a creepy one, I can't imagine what it would be like to open the door to your supposedly dead husband

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi Kitty! Another fascinating hub and a very creepy one! I think what is really interesting as well is the recent time of this story. Many of the vampire-like encounters are quite a bit older, so it's refreshing to get one more up to date. And here we have another account of what seems like a 'physical' vampire-like creature and not what many of us believe in more, the 'psychic vampire'.

    This was fabulous and absorbing hub + creepy! Voted up awesome!

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

    Only one word needed here.............brilliant !!!!

    I really enjoyed reading it ;so gripping and here's to many more for us both to share on here.

    Take care and I wish you a wonderful weekend.