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16 April, 2023

Polish Vampire Folklore

I thought I'd share this with everyone since it's a great resource for those interested in vampire lore. One of the characters of The House of Ash is Tadzio Michalak, a young man who's traveling in England and finds himself suddenly stuck in a large house with a bizarre history. He's from Poland, and since his family has always been interested in the occult, I needed to dig around for Polish lore on vampires and came up with gold. 

Janion believed this kind of vampirism, itself rooted deep in Slavic prehistory, was central to Polish experience of history. She concluded her study bringing up Gombrowicz and Miłosz, both of whom accused Polish culture of ignoring the isue of Evil –the unde malum, theodicy, the evil's genesis and metaphysics.

She herself believed that the Poles did solve their problem with Evil, namely through the vampirical experience:

By becoming a vampire, a Pole indulged in the “wrong” of revenge on his enemies. The vampire solved – if only for the moment – the ambiguous condition of virtuous Christian soldiers tangled up in criminal intentions – torn between the commandment of love and the desire to avenge.

Because, in the end, what does it mean to be a vampire, or rather a wampir?

Wampir is our doppelgänger, he is our shadow, in the sense that it embodies the evil part of the soul – which remains the soul's organic and most inner element; it is the evil that is lurking in every one of us. Wampir becomes the symbolic figure of transgression into evil," Janion wrote in her study.

Polish Vampires: Bloody Truth Behind Dark Myth

Enjoy the article! It's really enlightening, and I'm even tempted to purchase the book that's listed at the end of it. 

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