- Eastern European (culture)
- Undead (attribute)
- Humanoid (attribute)
- Deadly (behaviour)
- Vampires (common type)
A Vampire of Russian folklore. They operate during daylight hours unlike most Vampires which are burnt by daylight. They eat the children of the family first and then they eat the parents. There are many variations of the name in different Eastern European languages. It was believed that the Upir was a corpse that had become possessed by the Devil. The only known way to kill this Demon was to impale a blessed wooden stake straight through the heart or to decapitate or cremate the Upir. At night they slept in graveyards, occupying the graves of those who were unfaithful.
Originally the Upir was a person who did not believe in Christ the Lord or who had committed horrendous sins. Such a person according to the law of the Orthodox Church was banished from the community and when they died, their body was buried outside of a church yard. As such, the belief was that a heretic’s body decayed at a much slower rate. The Orthodox church fought against the non-believers in Christ and saw those non believers who had died and not buried in the Church as the zaloznye pokojniki meaning ‘unclean dead’. It was concluded that since they did not believe in God they possibly served the Devil and thus they became undead or were susceptible to being possessed by a Demon to walk the earth again. Those heretics who were alive were seen as Sorcerers.
There was another one believed to be linked to the Olonecian religion. This Upir derived from the belief that a Sorcerer would be able to posses the body of a person dying of an illness. The sick patient would look as though they had recovered but they were in fact an Upir. It was these Vampires that fed on the children and parents of the family. Then other people in the local community would start to die of unknown causes. In the Elatomsk district of east-central Russia, women who sold their soul to the Devil became Upirs. They would then haunt graveyards at night and slept there by day. Some inhabited bath houses but all three types of female Upirs would attempt to destroy people's faith in God.
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