We’ve all heard the legends and tales of vicious bloodsuckers crawling out of their crypts, ready to bite into our necks and drink our blood. If that wasn’t scary enough, if you trace the origins of vampires back to its inception, you might come out with a new perspective on these creatures of the night. 

The legend of the vampire was thought to have originated during the Dark Ages in Europe as a lot of people were buried prematurely and would essentially have to crawl their way out of their graves. The lack of medical technology meant that people back then had no idea that the friends and family they might be burying might still be alive! 

This in turn gave rise to the legend of the vampire in Europe. 

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But here in India, the myth of the vampire was no new thing. Because India is a vast and diverse country, even the legend of the vampire differs from state to state. Although, if you think about it hard enough, these horrifying tales in India definitely precede that of Europe. We already knew what these creatures that hunted humans were, way before the Dark Ages. 

Here are 4 terrifying legends from India that could have influenced the myth of the vampire.

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1. The Pey and the Peymakilir  

One could look at the legend of the Pey and the Peymakilir as one of the main progenitors of the vampire myth. The Pey was more of a traditional vampire who thirsted after human blood and was more-or-less a male demon while the Peymakilir was a female flesh-eater. It preferred to dance manically while tearing off flesh from it’s unfortunate victims. 

The Peymakilir was supposed to be incredibly ferocious and fearsome. 

2. The Vetala

Another creature that could have been an inspiration for the vampire was The Vetala. Primarily known as an evil spirit, it would posses the flesh of the dead and make its way through the world. The creature could also possess animals and living humans. They would manipulate the possessed body into performing vicious acts of violence and bloodshed. 

They were also known to be incredibly malicious, causing miscarriages and driving people to the edge of sanity. 

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3. Rakshasa

The most popular mythological creature that could have been an inspiration for the vampire was the Rakshasa. They are another classification of demons who only hunt and feed at night, thus adding more credence to the vampire comparisons. They are incredibly fierce creatures who would feed on the flesh of the living.

They could also possess the dead and use their bodies to create havoc!

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4. The Pishacha

The Pishacha is another scary as all hell vampiric demon that had a feminine bent to it. Swollen eyes and bulging veins are the hallmarks of this vicious creature. They could only explore the world during night time as sunlight was their mortal enemy. Again, they were able to possess people and make them do vile things. 

According to legend, anyone possessed by the Pishacha would die a painful death within 9 months! 

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Even though the West has kind of cut off the fangs of most vampire legends to turn them into glittery idiots, the true legend of the vampire is very, very scary. These creatures didn’t care about human life. We are essentially playthings and cattle for these subhuman beings. The world is craving for the vampire of old; the vampire that was terrifying and remorseless, not the silly Twilight nonsense! 

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Are you sufficiently scared now? Good, you don’t want to fall asleep only to have a Vetala possess you. So beware!