Weekly Features

The Weekly Shaman

Hello again, and welcome to Mars. Many have heard of Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but few have heard of the vampire called a Drude (pronounced “drood”). Described as a vampire witch well versed in the black arts, the Drude was features in Austrian and Bavarian folklore. Tales of this creature go all the way back to the 12th Century. Like other legendary goblins and ghouls, the Drude’s main power lay in nightmares. The Drude often takes the form of a beautiful woman but can also appear as a night bird. Her preferred victim is a healthy and handsome young man, who is usually quite helpless against this particular type of vampire. The Drude will inflict horrible visions and nightmares on her intended victim but will run away in terror from a drudenstein (drude stone) or a drudenkreuz (drude’s cross), which is essentially a pentagram. In France and Trinidad there is a vampiric being known as a La Diablesse( lah-dee-ah-bless) or Devil Woman. Like the Drude, La Daiblesse usually takes the form of a beautiful woman who wanders lonely roads in a long billowy dress that hides her cloven hooves. Her favorite victims are also young handsome men, whom she drains their blood. Although her favorite hunting grounds are secluded roads, she will also sneak into local celebrations in search for prey. My own guess is that these “Fatal Attractions” stories of vampire folklore work as a warning to youths with a wandering eye. Tale of young men who succumb to gorgeous, sexy vampires are quite common. Again, my guess is that these beliefs were created to frighten boyfriend and husbands out of cheating. By the way, Charles Dickens died before he could finish The Mystery of Edwin Drood, causing it to be even more mysterious.