May 7, 2013
Soucouyants: A Different Kind Of Vampire
Holy water, garlic or a stake through the heart will not stop the soucouyant. According to Caribbean legend, the soucouyant is a type of vampire that takes the form of an old woman by day, but by night, she removes her old wrinkly skin and transforms into a fireball. She flies through the night sky in search of her next victim.
When she finds this unsuspecting soul, she will enter the victims home by way of a keyhole or crack, while the victim is asleep. She will attach herself to the arms, legs, or any other fleshy part and suck the blood from their body. If too much blood is taken from the person, then they themselves will become a soucouyant or perish as a result.
The soucouyant will trade the blood it gathered with Bazil, a demon that lives in the silk cotton tree, for evil powers she will use in her witchcraft, black magic, and voodoo. If a soucouyant is suspected to be flying around a village at night, a pile of rice should be placed either around your house or on any crossroad. The creature is obligated to gather up every grain, one by one. If a large enough pile is left, the soucouyant will not accomplish the gathering before dawn and will be caught.
This creature can be destroyed by placing salt with her skin. This will prevent her from placing it back on, therefore she will die. This skin is claimed to be a very valuable in the practice of black magic.
The origin of this creature is believed to be brought to the Caribbean from European countries as a French vampire myth. In other variations of the legend, a soucouyant does not have to be an old woman. The creature could be anyone, but many believe it has to be a woman, because her breasts hide the creatures wings.
A “Loogaroo” is a term that describes the soucouyant coming from a French mythological creature called a Loup-garou, which is a type of werewolf.
The soucouyant has been portrayed in movies, books, and short stories. Jean Rhys uses the term soucouyant in three books, Voyage in the Dark, The Day They Burned the Books, and Wide Sargasso Sea.
Nalo Hopkinson’s book Brown Girl in the Ring has a soucouyant delayed by another character by dropping grains of rice on the floor.
A novel by Helen Oyeyemi, White is for Witching also features this creature.
The main creature in the book Nightwitch, by Ken Douglas is a soucouyant.
In a novel by David Chariandy titled Soucouyant, the plot is primarily about the creature.
The story is about an aging woman who has dementia and is cared for by a caretaker. But also is haunted by a soucouyant from her childhood.
Join me next time for another bone chilling mysterious legend in Supernatural Endeavors.
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