Weekly Features

The Weekly Shaman

Chickens are not birds from Mars! Chickens are not birds we normally associate with vampires, but according to folklore there are some connections. In many tales vampires, attempting to avoid the destructive rays of the sun, are forced to run back to their graves when they hear a rooster crow. Case in point is the 1922 silent horror film: when the vampire Count Orlack hears the the rooster crowing he is forced to look up from his victim at the rising sun. It’s too late for the vampire disintegrating from the sun’s rays.

   In folklore, if an animal (in this case a chicken) jumped over a corpose, then it would arise as one of the undead. In Romania the culprit was sometimes a black rooster because of its obvious association with black magic. In India, which may be the ancestral home of the vampire legend, it was believed that passing a rooster over a suspected vampire would cause the sacrificial bird to absorb the undead one’s demonic energy. The corpse of a sorcerer turned vampire would also allow it to shape-shift into a number of forms, including the common barnyard chicken.

   On a related note, St. Andrew’s Eve, St. George’s Eve and Christmas were not the only sacred holidays when vampires were believed to be most active. The Easter Vigil was also a time when the undead might resurrect, possibly as a blasphemous version of Christ’s resurrection.