Saturday, 31 December 2011

See you next year!

Rather than a customary reminisce of the year gone by, I thought I'd do something different for New Years' Eve—and give you a treat, instead.

You'll recall one of my recent discoveries involved a pre-White Wolf reference to vampires descending from the Biblical Cain, the first murderer. What I didn't tell you, is that there's more to the story.

The remainder of J. Theodore Bent's article discusses the behaviours and attributes of these 'Cains' in Greek lore:
They come down the chimney at night; so a careful housewife is bound, during this time, to keep embers smouldering on the hearth. When crickets come to a house, they say that it is a sure sign that "Cains" will come and play all sorts of horrible antics with the food and household utensils. Cain was a huge man, they told me, taller than the tallest chimney, with the feet of goats, and wooden shoes; in short, the satyr of ancient days. In like manner they imagine Lazarus to have risen from the grave an abnormally tall, thin man, with a round, flat head; for this reason they call the pole with an oval board at the end of it, which they use for putting their bread into the ovens, a Lazarus.1
Bent also wrote The Cyclades: or Life among the insular Greeks (1885). That book also discusses Greek 'vampires'. Thanks to the magic of the internoodle, you can download it from here. You're welcome!

In the meantime, I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year! Oh, and don't forget to check out Niels' latest post. It's a run-through of essential vampire books published during the year. More stuff for the Amazon wishlist. Better start saving the pennies. Peace out.

1. JT Bent, ‘Personification of the mysterious amongst the modern Greeks’, The National Review, April, 1887, p. 233, 26 December 2011, retrieved from British Periodicals.


Fra Moretta said...

Happy New year you too Anthony:-)

Anthony Hogg said...

Thank you, Fra. :)

Hope you had a good one!

dbaymiller said...

Interesting with the Cains. The household trickery sounds very similar to Boggarts and other spirit household scamps. Perhaps poltergeists even.

Anthony Hogg said...

Which, in turn, actually has a parallel with vampires - particularly the Serbian variety. Folkloric beings often tend to be 'mischievous'.

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