Earlier this week I was contacted by a gentleman in India. He had discovered some past blogs of mine on Vampire legend and lore while researching to prepare for a class. “I see that you are a teacher of Vampire history” he said. I had to chuckle, I replied back, “I am a student, there is always more to be learned”. Nonetheless, he made my day!
The gentleman then proceeded to ask me if I wanted to know more about Vampire legends in India, Well of course I was intrigued! So, I began to do my homework and am pleased to say that there is more than a little vampire history in India!
Many scholars believe that Vampire legends began in India and spread throughout other cultures along the spice and silk trails. Several blood sucking creatures with Indian heritage could certainly be classified as vampire. Tonight I want to share the legend of the Chedipe.
The Chedipe could be classified as a hybrid, a witch-vampire. Her legend originated around the Godavari River region of India. They are sometimes associated with the devedasis, girls who were dedicated to a Hindu Temple God, often treated as prostitutes, which would transform into a Chedipe at death. It was also said, a woman that died an unnatural death, such as in childbirth or by suicide, would often become Chedipe at death.
Legend indicates that the Chedipe is a vulgar woman which rides on the back of a tiger through the moonlight. The Chedipe then selects a house, magically opens the door and enters naked. She then casts a spell on the inhabitants, rendering them to a deep sleep as she sucks the blood from between their toes. Some traditions state that she feeds only on the strongest male in the house, other indicate that she targets only the male that she dislikes. When her victims awake the next morning, they will feel weak and dizzied but there will be no recollection of what happened the night before. Once the Chedipe has targeted her victim, she will return. She will continue to feed on her victim until he becomes so weak that he will not recover. If the legends are accurate, It is not all bad for the victim. Legends state that the Chedipe had sexual pleasure with the sleeping victim, which resulted in suspicions of infidelity the victims’ wife. This suspicion will eventually result in discord within the house, ending all peace and trust. This appears to have been the motive of the Chedipe all along as she feeds on the sadness and pain. An evil girl she was! It was not beyond the Chedipe to inflict physical wounds onto her victim. Some say she would sometimes rip the tongue from her victim causing him to drowned in his own blood during his spell induced sleep.
The Chedipe is one of many creatures that I will research, stay tuned for more Vampire Legends from India!