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The Origin of the Vampire Mythos

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7/30/2013 5:31:06 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Vampires were originally Wind Demons of Death, which were associated with the Owl.

The Lilitu was a Mesopotamian wind demon , responsible for sickness and death. The Lilitu were malevolent creatures that lived in the desert, and were associated with screech owls.

In Sumerian cuneiform the Lilitu was spelled Lil2-Lil2-Gi4. The Sumerian cuneiform Lil2 means secret knowledge, plains, wind, ghost, and sickness. The Sumerian cuneiform Gi4 means to kill, or to change course.

The Mesopotamian wind demon gave rise to the succubus myth, as well as the Abrahamic myth of Lilith.

In Greco-Roman mythology, the Strixes were creatures that feasted on human flesh and blood. They were associated with the owl, which is they shared the same name as the Greco-Roman word for owl. The Strixes were said to have lived on the outskirts of the underworld. The Strixes later became the Romanian Strigoi, which was the precursor to the modern vampire.

Likewise, Greco-Roman mythology also associates the Keres with owls. The Keres were spirits of violent death, who feasted on human blood. They were depicted as women drenched in blood, who possessed fangs, wings, and talons. The Keres were depicted by the Norse as Val-kyries. Unlike Greek mythology, the Norse viewed the Valkyries as benevolent.

The Celtic Banshee myth also originated with the screech of the Barn Owl. The Banshee, like the Keres, were harbingers of death.

In conclusion, the screech owl is the original source of the vampire myth. Vampires were originally seen as harbingers of death, such as the Grim reaper. Furthermore, the Vampire mythology likely has a Proto-Indo-European origin.

As a side note, many other monsters associated with death and destruction in Greco-Roman mythology was depicted as having wings and talons. For example the Gorgons, the Sirens, and the Harpies.
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