A Conversation for Count Dracula - There And Back Again

Vampires in Ancient Egypt

Post 1

Apollyon - Grammar Fascist

The earlies legend of vampires dates from Ancient Egypt, where it was believed that the condition of a person's physical body was paramount to their well-being in the afterlife. If a person was improperly mummified, or not preseved at all, then they would come back as an undead being not unlike a vampire. They were often said to wear the clothes they were buried in, which seems to be where we got the idea of the 'mummy' from. For more info, see The Vampire Watcher's Handbook, by Constantine Gregory, aka Colin something-or-other.

Vampires in Ancient Egypt

Post 2


I can't say that I've ever heard of vampires in ancient Egypt - ghosts (the _ka_) yes, but vampires? If there is a story there, I haven't heard of it. The closest to blood drinking in ancient Egypt that I know of is the story of the Eye of Ra - A2171657 - where at the bidding of Ra, Sekhmet was sent to slaughter mankind (as the wrath of the sun, NOT in the night!) and "All whom she saw she slew, rejoicing in slaughter and the taste of blood".

Ra eventually took pity on the humans, and tried to stop his Eye, but she wouldn't stop the killing. The gods game up with a plan, and managed to stop her by making a huge pool of beer, coloured blood red. She drank it and "at last she came reeling back to where Ra was waiting; that day she had not killed even a single man". It was then that she became the goddess Hathor.

Other than this, I haven't even heard of the idea that if a mummy wasn't mummified properly that it would rise as undead. The whole deal with ancient Egypt is that rising from the dead was done in the underworld, and at some future point when everyone would return to their bodies and come back to life when Osiris returned (near the end of time).

Anne Rice and Vampire: The Masquerade don't count. ^_^

If you could give an Egyptology-based source for the vampires in ancient Egypt, it would be helpful. (I am very iffy on something not based on archaeological research!)

As far as I can tell, ancient Egypt is one of the few cultures that didn't have stories of undead rising from the gave into the real world and terrorising people (drinking blood or not). Mostly any terrorising that happened was in the journey through the afterlife...

Vampires in Ancient Egypt

Post 3


A lot of modern researchers think vampires are a type of spirit. In a lot of the old myths vampires pass through walls and doors and some are even believed to leave there body in the grave as they search out energy(in lore it was from the chest not the neck that a vampire fed). The phenomenon is closely tied with in legend to the succubus/night hag beliefs that go back into ancient Hebrew traditions regarding Lilith. The ka in Egyptian lore(as I understand it) requires sustenance which is why offerings of food or at least depictions there of were included when a person was entombed. Further if such offerings were not given as was proper the spirit would wander to seek it elsewhere. Thats generally how Egypt's been tied to vampirism(see Vampires the Occult Truth by Konstantinos and Monsters by John Michael Greer for an interesting perspective on this).

Vampires in Ancient Egypt

Post 4


Well, there were more parts to the 'soul' of the ancient Egyptians than just the ka -

There was the Khat (Kha), being the body itself; the Ka, which seems to be ghost-like; the Ba, which was the human headed bird; the Khaibit, which was the shadow of the deceased; the Akhu (Akh, Khu, Ikhu), being the ka and ba united after the deceased passed the judgement in the afterlife; the Sahu, being the spiritual body of the deceased after judgement in the afterlife; the Sekhem, the life force of the deceased; the Yb (Ib, Ab), or heart of the deceased; and the Ren, the true name of an individual. (See A2197109 for more details.)

Now the Ka could inhabit the Khat or even statues of the deceased. It needed such a thing to survive until the judgement of the deceased in the Halls of Ma'ati. Until then, during the day, the Ba would bring air and food to the deceased. The Ka, Ba and Khaibit could all go off wandering. But the Ka could manifest while the person was still alive, but asleep, or go off and inhabit something like a plant. But if left unfed, it would haunt their family until the family did something about it.

It didn't feed off of a person, energy or otherwise, as far as I can tell...

Vampires in Ancient Egypt

Post 5


Just to clarify, the Goddess Hathor and the Goddess Sekhmet are roughly the same thing. Hathor when annoyed becomes Sekhmet. The mentioned change was triggered by the Ancient Eqyptians being disrespectful to Ra. i think

Vampires in Ancient Egypt

Post 6


In the story of the 'Eye of Ra' becomes Sekhment, who goes out to slay mankind, who becomes Hathor after getting drunk (and thus stops the killing). But in general they are considered as two separate deities. There is no further transformation of the two.

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