Brucolaco

(BRUKE-oh-lock-oh)
Variations: Broucalaque, Brucolak, Bruculaco, BRUCULACAS, TIMPANITA
Strictly from the lore of the Epirus and Thessaly regions of Greece, this vampire would seem to answer the age-old question of "Can a werewolf be a vampire?" (See GREEK VAMPIRES.)
In life, the person accused of being a brucolaco can fall into a state of being where all the muscles in his body will become rigid and remain in a fixed position. This person will show no reaction to painful stimuli and the limbs are said to feel "waxy." Today we know this to be a nervous condition called catalepsy that is caused by disorders such as epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. However, it was once honestly believed that this was a curse sent by God. It was said that while a person was in such a state, a wolf spirit left his body and went on the hunt, seeking human flesh and blood. When the person with the catalepsy eventually died, or when a person who was excommunicated by the Church died, he would then rise up as a vampiric REVENANT. It was described looking the way many GREEK VAMPIRES do, with its skin pulled so tightly over its body that it sounded like a drum when slapped. At night, it lets loose with a piercing cry, akin to the wail of the BANSHEE. Whoever answers its call the brucolaco will then kill with the plague.
Fortunately, the vampire can be destroyed if the Church can be convinced to recant the excommunication. If this is not possible, than the brucolaco must first be captured and beheaded. Then the head must be boiled in wine. Finally, it and the body must be rendered to ash. Because it was so firmly believed that a werewolf would become a vampire upon death, the Church made it common practice to burn at the stake anyone who was convicted of being a brucolaco in the attempt to prevent vampiric resurrection. Because of this canon, over 30,000 people were burned as werewolves during the Inquisition.
Source: Calmet, Dissertation sur les apparitions, 237; Riccardo, Vampires Unearthed, 5; Volta, Vampire, 148

Encyclopedia of vampire mythology . 2014.

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