|Similar creatures||Vampire, zombie, revenant, werewolf|
|Parents||vampire and human|
|Region||Balkans, the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa|
A dhampir in Balkan folklore is a creature that is the result of a union between a vampire and a human. The term is sometimes spelled dhampyre, dhamphir, or dhampyr. Dhampir powers are similar to those of vampires, but without the usual weaknesses (like the thirst for blood and vulnerability to sunlight) and sorcery is only inherited from father to son.
In recent vampire fiction, dhampir refers to any hybrid of one human and one vampire parent. They are not vampires themselves, but a half-breed of both.
The word "dhampir" is associated with Balkan folklore, as described by T. P. Vukanović. In the rest of the region, terms such as Serbian vampirović, vampijerović, vampirić (thus, Bosnian lampijerović, etc.) literally meaning "vampire's son", are used.
In other regions the child is named "Vampir" if a boy and "Vampirica" if a girl, or "Dhampir" if a boy and "Dhampirica" if a girl. In Bulgarian folklore, numerous terms such as glog (lit. "hawthorn"), vampirdzhiya ("vampire" + nomen agentis suffix), vampirar ("vampire" + nomen agentis suffix), dzhadadzhiya and svetocher are used to refer to vampire children and descendants, as well as to other specialized vampire hunters. Dhampiraj is also an Albanian surname.
In the Balkans it was believed that male vampires have a great desire for women, so a vampire will return to have intercourse with his wife or with a woman he was attracted to in life. Indeed, in one recorded case, a Serbian widow tried to blame her pregnancy on her late husband, who had supposedly become a vampire, and there were cases of Serbian men pretending to be vampires in order to reach the women they desired. In Bulgarian folklore, vampires were sometimes said to deflower virgins as well. The sexual activity of the vampire seems to be a peculiarity of South Slavic vampire belief as opposed to other Slavs, although a similar motif also occurs in Belarusian legends.
Some traditions specify signs by which the children of a vampire can be recognized. Albanian legends state they have untamed dark or black hair and lack a shadow. In Bulgarian folklore, possible indications include being "very dirty," having a soft body, no nails and bones (the latter physical peculiarity is also ascribed to the vampire itself), and "a deep mark on the back, like a tail." In contrast, a pronounced nose was often a sign, as were larger than normal ears, teeth or eyes. According to J. Gordon Melton, from his book, The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, in some areas, a true dhampir possessed a "slippery, jelly-like body and lived only a short life—a belief that vampires have no bones."
- Vampire hunter
- List of fictional dhampirs
- List of fictional vampires
- List of vampires in folklore and mythology
- T. P. Vukanović. 1957-1959. "The Vampire." Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society, 3rd ser. Part 1: 36(3-4): 125-133; Part 2: 37(1-2): 21-31; Part 3: 37(3-4): 111-118; Part 4: 39(1-2): 44-55. Reprinted in Vampires of the Slavs, ed. Jan Perkowski (Cambridge, Mass.: Slavica, 1976), 201-234. The reprint lacks footnotes. Most material on dhampirs is in part 4, under the heading "Dhampir as the Chief Magician for the Destruction of Vampires."
- Vampires of the Slavs by Jan Louis Perkowski "The practice of sorcery for the destruction of vampires is carried on in the house of Dhampir's descendants from father to son, throughout the generations."
- 'From Demons to Dracula: The Creation of the Modern Vampire Myth by Matthew Beresford, ISBN 1861894031, 2008, p.8.
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