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117 Pontianak Source:

117 Pontianak Source: Georgieva, Bulgarian Mythology, 98; Lecouteux, History of Vampires; MacDermott, Bulgarian Folk Customs, 66, 67 P’o Variations: P’AI As far back as the Chou Dynasty (1027–402 B.C.) it has been believed that a person has two souls. The p’o, which first enters into a human during the development of the fetus, was characterized by yin and was associated with a person’s material aspect. Normally the p’o descended into the underworld, or the Yellow Springs. However, if a person had a very powerful p’o or if a deceased body was exposed to either sunlight or moonlight, it could cause the p’o to remain, animate the body, creating a REVENANT, and use it to fulfill its own needs. When this happens, a vampiric being known as a CH’ING SHIH is created. Source: Heinze, Tham Khwan, 37–40; Kuhn, Soulstealers, 96–97; Watson, Death Ritual, 8–9, 56, 193; Werne, China of the Chinese,231–33 Polong (POE- long) In Malaysia witches can create a vampiric familiar out of the blood of a murdered man. They take the blood and place it in a bottle, then perform a magical ceremony that can last as long as two weeks. During the ceremony, a bond develops between the witch and the developing familiar. Finally, when the sound of chirping is heard coming from within the bottle, the spell is complete and the vampiric familiar known as a polong is finally created. Before the creature is released from the bottle, the witch must let the polong bite her finger and drink her blood to permanently seal the bond between them. It will continue to feed from her daily. When not in use by the witch, it will stay inside its bottle home. The polong looks like a one- inch- tall woman and is a trickster and a liar. Witches who have a polong oftentimes have another familiar, a type of vampire called a PELESIT. Together, the two familiars will attack whomever the witch sends them after. The PELESIT will cut a hole with its sharp tail in the victim and the polong will crawl inside, causing sickness and insanity in the person. A person who is ill because of a polong will have many unexplained bruises on his body as well as blood around his mouth. A polong is resistant to the magic of other people, unless it is completely overwhelmed. It can be captured and with the use of powerful magic be forced to tell the name of its witch. Charms can also be made to neutralize and destroy a captured polong. Source: Endicott, Analysis of Malay Magic, 57–59; Folklore Society of Great Britain, Folklore, vol. 13, 150–51, 157; Kadir, Hikayat Abdullah, 113–17; Masters, Natural History of the Vampire, 62 Poludnica (Poe- low- NICKA) Variations: Lady Midday, Poludniowka, Polunditsa (“noon- wife”), Psezpolnica, Rzanica In Slovenia there is a vampiric demon that looks like a beautiful, tall woman wearing white or dressed as if in mourning. In either guise, a poludnica (“noon”) carries a scythe or shears. During harvesttime, right around noon, a poludnica attacks laborers who are working and not taking their proper rest, causing them to be afflicted with heatstroke or madness if they are lucky. If not, the poludnica will lure them off with her beauty and when she has them in a secluded place, attack viciously, draining them of their blood. It also will break the arms and legs of anyone it happens to come across. If a poludnica comes up to a field worker, it will start to ask him difficult questions. As soon as he cannot answer one, it will chop off his head. If a poludnica is seen, one must immediately drop to the ground and lie perfectly still until it meanders off. The male version of the poludnica is called polevoy. Typically a bundle of grain is decorated when harvest starts to keep poludnica at bay, and when harvesttime is over, the effigy is burned. In addition to attacking laborers, it also steals children that it found wandering unattended as the adults worked. Most likely the poludnica is a nursery bogey used by parents to keep their children from wandering off and damaging the crops. It is also an excellent story for a worker who wants to take a break. Source: Grey, Mythology of All Races, 267; Oinas, Essays on Russian Folklore, 103–10; RouVek, Slavonic Encyclopaedia, 237 Poludnitsi (Pole- ah- NITS- ee) The poludnitsi is a vampiric spirit from Czechoslovakia. It preys on young and first- time mothers and their children. Source: Georgieva, Bulgarian Mythology, 103 Pontianak (PONT- ah- nook) Variation: Buo, Kuntilanak, MATI- ANAK, Pontipinnak In the folklore of Indonesia and Malaya there is a vampiric demon known as a pontianak. When a woman dies in childbirth, as a virgin, or as the victim of a pontianak attack, she will then transform into this type of vampire unless specific

Porcelnik 118 burial rites are followed. Glass beads must be placed in the corpse’s mouth, an egg in each armpit, and needles driven into the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. A pontianak can pass as a human woman except for a hole in the back of its neck and smelling exactly like the tropically sweet frangipani flower. It will also announce its presence with a call that sounds like a crying baby. At night, it leaves its home in a banana tree and shape- shifts into a bird. Then the pontianak flies out looking for prey. Although any person will do, it truly prefers the blood of infants and pregnant women as it is filled with hatred for never having been a mother itself. When it finds a suitable target, the pontianak then changes back into its human guise and detaches its head from its body, dangling its organs beneath as it flies back to where it saw its prey. If it can, it will rip the unborn child right out of the mother’s body, eating it on the spot. The pontianak has a unique fear among vampirekind. It will flee in terror from anyone who manages to pull a HAIR out of its head. Also if a nail can be placed into the hole in the back of the neck, it will change into a beautiful woman and remain that way until someone pulls the nail back out. It is fortunate to know that the pontianak has these weaknesses, because there is no known method for destroying one. Source: Laderman, Wives and Midwives, 126–27; McHugh, Hantu- Hantu, 74; Skeat, Malay Magic, 326–28 Porcelnik (Pour- SELL- nick) In Russia, there is a type of human sorcerer that practices vampiric activities; he is called a porcelnik (“harmer”) (see LIVING VAMPIRE). When he dies, the porcelnik’s body must be burned to ash on a pyre made of aspen wood or else the body will rise up as a type of vampiric REVENANT known as an ERETIK. Source: Melton, Vampire Book, 525 Porphyria (Poor- FEAR- ee- ah) Porphyria is a rare hereditary medical condition in which a person’s body does not produce heme, the main component in hemoglobin. Those who suffer with this disease have a sensitivity to sunlight, allergic reactions to GARLIC, excessive HAIR growth, scars that easily break back open and never heal properly, and a tightening of the skin around the gums and lips that gives the illusion of the incisor teeth being larger than normal. These symptoms certainly add up to what many people consider being textbook vampiric traits. However, there are no vampires, mythologically speaking, that fit this profile. People who claim to suffer from porphyria and claim that their craving to drink blood stems from the disease are incorrect. Although the craving may be real, there is absolutely no medical evidence to support the idea that porphyria sufferers crave blood, human or otherwise. Source: Bunson, Encyclopedia of Vampires, 210; Evans, Porphyria; Ramsland, Science of Vampire, 91 Potsherd (POT- shard) On the Greek island of Chios (see GREEK VAMPIRES), as well as in various places throughout Europe, a piece of pottery called a potsherd was buried with a person to prevent him from rising as an undead creature (see UNDEATH). Typically placed in the grave by a priest, the potsherd was inscribed with the phrase “IXNK” which means “Jesus Christ conquers.” The Kashube people of Pomerania and western Prussia would place a potsherd into the mouth of their deceased in order to give them something to chew on in lieu of their burial shroud. Source: Argenti, Folk- lore of Chios, 338; Barber, Vampires, Burial and Death, 47; Crawford, Antiquity, 502; Daniels, Encyclopedia of Superstitions,812 Prêt (PRET) Variations: Bhoot, Bhot, Jakhh, Kinner In India, the soul of a male deformed or stillborn child will return as a vampiric spirit called a prêt, or a paret if a female. When it returns, the prêt is no larger than a person’s thumb, but it carries disease with it as it is compelled to wander the earth aimlessly for the next year, in a state of sorrow over not having its body any longer. It will gravitate to cemeteries, cremation grounds, and dark places. If food offerings are left for it and it is otherwise left alone, the prêt will remain nonviolent. After a year of sorrow, it will dissipate. Source: Angoff, Parapsychology and Anthropology, 229; Crooke, Introduction to the Popular Religion, 153; Crooke, Religion and Folklore of Northern India, 185; Smith, Self Possessed, 113 Preta (Par- EE- ta) The preta (“morbid”) is a vampiric spirit from India. It appears as a fresh corpse whose stomach is bloated and large but its mouth has shriveled up, leaving only a small opening. Walking the earth lost and hungry for human blood, the Buddhist faith sees the preta’s condition as a fitting punishment for a person who had too many desires in life.

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