The Dhampir

dhampir        The legend of the Dhampir stretches back for centuries, its’ root hales from Balkan history, its’ name is thought to derive from the Albanian language where pire means “to drink” and dham means “teeth” thus Dhampir – to drink with ones teeth.

In the Balkans it was believed that male vampires have an insatiable lust for women, it is said that a male vampire will rise and seek out his widow or other female that he had been attracted to while mortal in order to have intercourse.  The offspring of the vampire/mortal union, the Dhampir, is born into the world without the weaknesses of his Vampire father, but inherits his Fathers’ inhuman strength and other vampiric characteristics.  There have been many recorded cases throughout Serbian history where a widow has claimed to have been impregnated by her deceased spouse.  The legend of the Dhampir was quite common in this era; many Serbian men claimed to have been Dhampir, using the guise to pursue women that they desired.

It is rare to hear of a mature Dhampir, many do not survive childbirth and many that do survive are typically extinguished upon birth.  Those few that do survive mature into fierce warriors, extremely dangerous to whichever race they choose to be their foe.  Most are trained to become vampire hunters as they prove a worthy adversary to the undead.  This concept did not originate from the “Blade” Series but from Serbian history, though Blade is a perfect character to depict both the ability and conflicts of the Dhampir.

In some Serbian legends, Vampires are believed to have the ability of becoming invisible, the Dhampir alone has the ability to see the Vampire.  Villagers that have witnessed an encounter between a Dhampir and a Vampire, report that only the Dhampir can be seen flailing about as the invisible vampire is extinguished.  The last recorded occurrence of such an encounter was in 1959 in the Yugoslavian province of Kosovo.

The Dhampir have roots in both Slavic and Serbian legends, though both versions confirm similar traits, descriptions of their appearance varies.  The Serbian legends describe the Dhampir as energetic children with dark and untamed hair which cast no shadows.  Bulgarian legends describe the Dhampir as being dirty, sometimes having larger eyes, ears or nose; some are said to have been born with tails.  Most legends in reference to the Dhampir all agree in one aspect:  Because of the unique abilities passed down to them by their Vampire Father, they are depicted as strong yet lonely and secretive individuals which live their lives battling  their inner demons while struggling to hold fast to their humanity as it lies subject to their vampiric tendencies.

 

Author Lyn Gibson's, "To Be His Soulmate"

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