The vampire’s day has come and gone in western popular culture — several times. We’ve had evil vampires, scary vampires, misunderstood ones, emo ones, sexy ones, and, *sigh*, sparkly ones. I’m done for now, unless someone can come up with a new take on the idea.
Or perhaps an old, forgotten take.
According to Ethnologist Tatomir Vukanovic, the Romani people living in the Balkans area tell stories about vampire veg. Seriously.
Wallachian Watermelon and Bloodsucking Pumpkins
According to the legends that Vukanovic collected, any inanimate object left outside during a full moon can become a vampire. The cynic in me wonders if this wasn’t some sort of scare-story parents tell their kids to get them to put their toys away. But I digress.
According to Vukanovic, a specific group of Romani who follow the Islamic faith, believe that pumpkins and watermelons “fight each other,” and it’s this fight that causes them to change into bloodthirsty beasts. If they have been kept together, outside, for more than ten days, the pumpkins will form a sort of Gourd Congress. They will shake and vibrate and even growl. If you notice drops of blood on the pumpkins at this point, you will know that they have turned.
Vampiric pumpkins and watermelons do attempt to harm people, says Vukanovic. However, they’re not very good at it, so most people aren’t too worried.
There are other ways, apparently, that ground fruit can turn vampiric. For instance, if one keeps it around after Christmas. How do you get rid of your vampire veg? Boil it and scrub it out with a broom, then burn them both.
Vukanovic also collected stories of vampiric farm tools. The knot of an oxen-yoke can be a particularly suspicious item, or, as Vukanovic says, “a vampiric object of lesser power.” Good thing there aren’t very many teams of oxen running around modern-day Edinburgh.
Although, quite frankly, I’m not liking the way our backyard barbecue is looking at me.
Featured Image: CC BY-SA 2.0, by saeru, via Flickr