Mrart

(MA-art)
The Aboriginal people of Australia have in their mythology a vampiric spirit called a mrart ("ghost"). They believe it to be the restless spirit of a member in the community. Looking like a ghost, at night when its powers are at their strongest, the mrart grabs its victim and pulls him out of the light of campfire into the surrounding utter darkness. The Aborigines believe that spirits can possess a body, even if there is still another soul in it. To make sure that the body of a deceased person never rises again, the Aborigines tie rocks to it when placed in its grave. Oftentimes, the limbs are broken, the person's possessions destroyed, and their personal campsite is never used again.
Source: Charlesworth, Religion in Aboriginal Australia, 224 ­25, 230; Howitt, Native Tribes of South-East Australia, 389, 437­39, 444, 635; Jones, On the Nightmare, 77; Massola, Bunjil's Cave, 143

Encyclopedia of vampire mythology . 2014.

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