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Bulgaria - Armenki, Drakus, Grobnik, Krvopijac, Nejit, Obour, Okostnik, Opachina, Opirb, Opyrb, Oupir, Oustrel, Plotenik, Tenets, Topyak, Ubour, Upyr, Ustrel, Vampir, Vipir

Armenki: Evil spirits that reportedly attacked young mothers and their babies for blood. There are several mentions of this creature in Bulgarian Mythology books, but not a very detailed description.

Drakus: Term used in the Rhodopes region to describe a vampire. According to popular belief, a deceased person became a vampire if something was handed across his body, if a cat or a dog leapt over it, or if a bird flew over or a shadow fell on it. The same applied to the dead man's clothes and his grave. For this reason there existed the custom of watching over the dead during the night before burial. Every unwashed dead man turned into a vampire. The washing of the dead body was a basic ritual and was widespread. It was performed by adult people who washed the corpse with water and a bunch of basil, the water having been brought in complete silence. Smearing the corpse with olive oil and wine was also practiced. An unmourned person, over whom no burial service had been read, also turned into a vampire. Keening was an obligatory part of the ritual - from the time of death to the burial. No keening was done either before or after these two points in time. The ritual keening began as soon as the dead body had been got ready for burial and ended when it was lowered into the grave. No weeping was allowed at night or on the return from the cemetery. The Bulgarian songs of mourning were elegiac improvisations. They were an expression of personal grief and betrayed traces of pagan ideas about death. A deceased who had died away from home or had an unknown grave was also mourned. In such cases the ritual was performed over his clothes.

Grobnik: Name for vampire in the Kukush, Struga and Ohrid districts of Bulgaria. See Drakus.

Krvopijac: Also known as Obour. One becomes a Krvopijac by smoking or drinking during Lent. Reportedly it only had one nostril. To locate your Krvopijac, get a nude teen virgin on a black foal to ride through the graveyard. Where the horse won't go is where your vampire is. To rid oneself of it chain it to the coffin with a garland of wild roses; when the evil becomes apparent: a wizard (or a Djadadjii monk), holding a small saint's image up in the air calls forth the soul of the demon inhabiting the corpse and forces it to go in a bottle of blood that he will then immediately throw into a fire.

Nejit: Being researched.

Obour: See Krvopijac.

Okostnik: Another Bulgarian term used to name a vampire.

Opachina: Another regional term, used in the Rhodopes area, to identify a vampire. See Drakus.

Opirb: Under research

Opyrb: Under research, but possibly just another spelling of Opirb.

Oupir: Another term, used in the Dobroudja region. See Drakus.

Oustrel: Another term used in the Strandja Mountains. See Drakus.

Plotenik: Possibly also known by Plotnik, Plutnik and Plutenik. It was a common term used in northern Bulgaria. See Drakus.

Tenets: Used in the Northwestern areas of Bulgaria. See Drakus.

Topyak: Name for vampire in Southwestern Bulgaria. See Drakus.

Ubour: The Ubour is a gluttonous blood drinker; it can be enticed with excrement or rich food. This vampire is created if the spirit refuses to leave the body after a violent death. After forty days of burial the corpse will dig itself out of its grave and begin to cause poltergeist-like trouble, creating sparks as it moves about, for its mourning family and relations. This vampire is unusual in that it eats normal food and will not attack humans to drink their blood until all other sources of nourishment is gone. Also known as Obur.

Upyr: Continuing to research.

Ustrel: This vampire was believed to be the spirit of a child born on a Saturday, and that had died without being baptized. On the 9th day after burial it would come out of its grave and attack livestock to drink their blood. If more than five cattle or sheep were attacked in any one night the owner of the herd would be forced to hire a 'Vampirdzhija' (vampire hunter) to destroy it. Possibly also known as Istral, Istrel, and Oustrel.

Vampir: Yet another in the list of regional terms for the same basic creature. See Drakus.

Vipir: It appears that this is the modern form due to cross over of Russian culture. Also known as Vepir or Vapir.


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