Werewolf Fact of the Day

Real Vampires
ISBN: 9781578592555

What shape-shifter myth is found in most cultures?

  • Japanese variations feature a nature spirt called Kami.
  • In Arabic legends, it features evil demons who can assume any form to do evil.
  • Indian versions feature blood-drinking fiends.
  • One set of tales features the epic battle between Cacodaemons and Agathodaemons.

Supernatural Shape-shifters from Parallel Dimensions

It is interesting to note that all of the world's major religions speak of a duality of the gods or demigods that came to Earth--some to exploit; others to teach; some to enslave; others to free.

In Arabian and Muslim traditions, the Jinns are evil demons who possess a wide variety of supernatural powers. Some scholars declare the Jinns a bit lower than the angels, because they were created of smoke and fire. Their leader is Iblis, once hailed as Azazel, the Islamic counterpart of the Devil.

The Jinns are mentioned frequently in the Qu'ran, but the entities were known before the Prophet Muhammad wrote of their existence. In pre-Islamic Arabia, the Jinns were revered as godlike beings who inhabited a world parallel to that of humans.

The Jinns are accomplished shape-shifters, capable of assuming any form in their avowed mission to work evil on humans. On the other hand, Jinns may also, on occasion, influence humans to do good, and they may also perform good deeds for those who have the power to summon them. According to some traditions, King Solomon possessed a ring that gave him the power to summon the Jinns to fight beside his soldiers in battle. In addition, it is said, that Solomon's temple was constructed with the help of the Jinns.

Primarily, though, the Jinns are feared as creatures who exist for the purpose of tormenting humans. Some old beliefs affirm that a human dying an unrepentant sinner may become a Jinn for a period of time.

Many scholars of mysticism and the esoteric declare one type of Rakshasas as the Hindu equivalent of the Nephilim, the giants of the Bible, who declared war on the greater gods. The evil Rakshasas most often appear as beautiful women who drink the blood and feed off the flesh of men and women. The Rakshasas also possess shape-shifting abilities, and they take great delight in possessing vulnerable human hosts and causing them to commit acts of violence until they are driven insane.

In appearance, the Rakshasas are most often described as being yellow, green, or blue in color with vertical slits for eyes. They are feared as blood-drinkers and detested for their penchant for animating the bodies of the dead and stalking new victims.

The great Hindu goddess Kali is herself a vampire, and it is said that her image manifests over battlefields, her long tongue lapping up the blood of the fallen.

In the Shinto traditions, there are millions of Kami, nature spirits that can do either good or evil to humans. Although the Kami are by no means angelic, neither is it their sole purpose to harm humans. They can be brutal or benevolent, depending upon the intent or the purpose of the individual. Even the Kappa, a bloodsucking demon that haunts the night, generally considered the most evil of the Kami and can reverse its nature and single out individual humans to teach both medical and magical practices.

The ancient Persians and Chaldeans named those angels who fell to Earth the Cacodaemons. Cast out of Heaven (another world, another universe) for rebelling against the prevailing order, their leader, Ahrimanes, was determined to rule Earth and the primitive humans who resided there. However, regardless of where he endeavored to establish his kingdom, the Agathodaemons, the representatives of universal law, prevented Ahrimanes from exploiting or interfering with the natural evolution of humans.

After attempting to wage a violent war of defiance on Earth against the Agathodaemons, Ahrimanes and his army were once again defeated. According to the Persians, the Cacodaemons were rejected from Earth and took refuge in the space between Earth and the fixed stars, a domain which is known as Ahriman-abad. It is from this dimension that Ahrimanes, resentful and revengeful, takes his pleasure in directing his demons to afflict and torment human beings. Throughout all of history, these paraphysical beings, mimicking our human forms, have walked among us unnoticed, sowing discord wherever they wander, sapping our soul energy, invading host bodies whenever possible, causing vulnerable humans to seek the blood of their fellow beings.

There are numerous ancient legends that refer to a great war that occurred in "Heaven" before the defeated angels or demigods came to Earth; and, after the Nephilim had transgressed against the laws of God, there was another violent conflict that raged on Earth between the forces of light and darkness in humankind's prehistory. It was the defeat of the armies of darkness that forced them to return to their noncorporeal state and withdraw to other dimensions of time and space. Because of the dark forces' continued efforts to corrupt and to possess humans, some mystics argue that the warfare continues unabated and that the great prize is the spiritual essence of humankind.

From Real Vampires, Night Stalkers and Creatures from the Darkside by Brad Steiger, (c) 2009 Brad Steiger Terrifying tales of the hideous wraiths and creatures that lurk in shadow, from spine-tingling classic tales, to stories of famous mass-murderers, to hair-raising testimony.

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