Saturday, March 12, 2011

Callicantzaro


Variations: Kalikandsaros, Kallicantzaros,
KALLIKANTZAROS, Kapaconcolos, Karaconcolos.

The callicantzaro is different from the other vampires that hunt the Greek islands, most obviously in its method of creation (see GREEK VAMPIRES). It does not matter how good a life someone lived or even if he was a devout Christian— all that matters is when he was born. Any child who had the misfortune of being born between Christmas Day (December 25) and the Feast of the Twelfth Night ( January 5) will rise from its grave as a callicantzaro when it eventually dies. These children are called “Feast Blasted” and are pitied by all who know the circumstances of their birth. The only method of saving the child of its UNDEATH fate is to hold the newborn’s feet over a fire until its toenails burn and blacken. If this is not done, there is no chance of later salvation.
If the child was not saved from its fate and returns after death as a callicantzaro, it can only survive in our world on the days between Christmas and either New Year’s Day ( January 1) or the Feast of the Epiphany ( January 6). It is an old belief that the callicantzaro can only live on earth these few days of the year, going back to the times of antiquity. With that in mind, it seems obvious that these dates are Christianized and the original times that the vampire would have been allowed back to roam the earth was probably something along the lines of from winter solstice to the next full moon.
Nevertheless, when the callicantzaro does return, it is now a horrific creature, looking nothing like the other numerous vampires that roam the Greek countrysides. Half human and half animal, it has a black face, red eyes, very long ears, clawed hands, and sharp teeth. The first time that it returns it will seek out its surviving family members, ripping them apart, limb from limb, with its clawed hands.


Although blood drinking is not a requirement for its survival, that Callicantzaro is something the callicantzaro most certainly revels in. As soon as its family members are slain, it will move on to targets of opportunity.
As the time for it to return to its own dimension draws near, the male callicantzaro will try to capture a woman to take back to its home plane with it. Its goal is to have children by this woman, forcibly if necessary. The offspring of this union will be born callicantzaro. When not seeing to its parental duties, it sleeps in caves by day and terrorizes villages by night.

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