African village attacked by vampires.
December 24, 2002 7:36 AM   Subscribe

African village attacked by vampires. I thought this article was an email hoax until I found it at Yahoo news via AP. Bizarre.
posted by fred_ashmore (24 comments total)
frightened villagers beat to death a man suspected of being a vampire, attacked and nearly lynched three visiting priests and destroyed an aid group's encampment they feared was the vampires' headquarters

These sound like entirely justifiable measures in the name of Homeland Security.
posted by zaelic at 7:49 AM on December 24, 2002

The wonders of a lack of basic education.
posted by PenDevil at 7:56 AM on December 24, 2002

I find the bit about the Roman Catholic priests to be rather amusing. "Drink, this is my blood..."
posted by wobh at 7:59 AM on December 24, 2002

I loved this bit:

Three visiting Roman Catholic priests also were beaten in Thyolo by a mob of angry villagers who did not recognize them and suspected them of being vampires, police said.

Made me wonder if the villagers were worried about their necks. They may have just used the vampire rumour as a cover story to protect their kids :)
posted by DrDoberman at 8:03 AM on December 24, 2002

I guess they weren't blessed with their own Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency. Sucks to be them....
posted by ph00dz at 8:06 AM on December 24, 2002

yeah , its ok for people to attacked isnt it , you sick fuck.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:14 AM on December 24, 2002

This happens all the time in sub-Saharan Africa, although usually it's "witches" instead of "vampires."

I found the "spraying suffocating gas in my house" part very interesting, since this is a recurring mass panic worldwide. I remember one in Midwestern America not too long ago -- people convinced that someone was sneaking around in the dead of night spraying poison gas through their bedroom windows.
posted by kozad at 8:14 AM on December 24, 2002

Mass hysteria is always kind of funny when viewed from the perspective of the non-hysterical, or when the hysteria is over. It's also not limited to the undereducated, or somehow "primitive", cultures.

Wasn't it that long ago when highly-organized groups of satanic child molesters were abusing children at day care centers across the United States?
posted by yhbc at 8:19 AM on December 24, 2002

The wonders of a lack of basic education.

Y'know, we've got just as much ignorance in the US. There are people who believe that listening to certain music will make you go nuts and shoot people. Others believe that the theory of evolution is a tool of the devil, and an all-powerful being planted dinosaur bones to test our faith. Still others believe that the US government orchestrated the September 11th attacks.

It's very easy to laugh at other cultures' ignorance. It's hard to recognize our own.
posted by jpoulos at 8:27 AM on December 24, 2002

Also, what yhbc said.
posted by jpoulos at 8:28 AM on December 24, 2002

Salem witch trials anyone? And any number of mass hysterias in the US which culminate in the imprisonment/deportation/disenfranchisement of people.

I've always wondered where all those remaindered Ann Rice pulp novels ended up.
posted by anathema at 8:39 AM on December 24, 2002

Good point jpoulos and yhbc. I still maintain that vampires are inherently funnier than conspiracy theories and the like. But for my money, you're not going to beat the monkeyman scares.

"He (the attacker) looked like a monkey." Some even alleged the creature "jumps and sparkles red and blue lights".

I graduated with a degree in anthropology, and even four years of trying to combat ethnocentrism can't make me think this isn't very, very silly.
posted by Samsonov14 at 8:41 AM on December 24, 2002

jpoulos: I'm not laughing at these people for their own ignorance and I don't see how you got that out of my post.

The fact is that where there is no education in peoples lives, ignorance and superstition such as this, take it's place. The causes of this lack of education are numerous - poverty (this is rural Africa we're talking about here), the government (Malawi's first priority at the moment is to feed it's own people) and the legacy of superstitous beliefs. Living in South Africa I can tell you how the Tokoloshe is still something many people believe in.
posted by PenDevil at 8:47 AM on December 24, 2002

Innocent people getting killed or hurt isn't funny.

People believing in vampires is funny.

I wonder how this all got started? Was there some sort of root cause/incident? Like a would-be robber who woke someone up and struck him/her in the neck?
posted by orange swan at 8:52 AM on December 24, 2002

That tokoloshe site was fascinating, and maybe deserved a post of its own - I had never heard of them before. Thanks, PenDevil.
posted by yhbc at 8:57 AM on December 24, 2002

This is a silly link and I'd have said it wasn't worth posting except for 1) The unexpectedly high level of commentary it's produced (kolad, yhbc, jpoulos, PenDevil, a tip of the languagehat hat to y'all) and 2) This priceless quote from the president:

"No government can go about sucking (the) blood of its own people," Muluzi said Sunday. "That's thuggery."
posted by languagehat at 9:01 AM on December 24, 2002

"No government can go about sucking (the) blood of its own people."

Now *that's* funny.
posted by mediareport at 9:39 AM on December 24, 2002

I may be a sick fuck but I am not the only one.

Funny how what goes around starts to come around isn't it.
posted by wobh at 9:57 AM on December 24, 2002

wow. what jpoulos said.

and in other news, the boogieman was sighted last night under the bed of a 6 year old in Queens...
posted by quonsar at 11:11 AM on December 24, 2002

Their poor and undereducated want to kill their vampires, but our poor and undereducated want to become vampires.
posted by RylandDotNet at 11:19 AM on December 24, 2002

Maybe there was this regiment of Goth foreign aid workers, and...
posted by orange swan at 2:16 PM on December 24, 2002

starts to come around ?
ever heard of the roman empire mate ?
and i'll also think you'll find the guy who started the religion
was crucified.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:59 PM on December 24, 2002

"Edna Kachisa said the vampires drilled a hole in her mud-and-thatch house and sprayed a suffocation gas inside. The attackers fled after she banged on a drum and awoke the village, she said...."Because of the smoke I inhaled I could not speak for three days and I am still suffering from a recurrent stomach ache," she said. "

Vampires who use poison gas? They sound like very odd vampires to me! Aren't vampires suppossed to be able to simply hypnotize their victims with a well placed gaze?

Anathema - the remaindered Ann Rice pulp novels are burned in local incinerators. The resulting toxic gas by-products are vented into the air and tend to increase area incidence of Autism and Aussberger's synrome.
posted by troutfishing at 9:51 PM on December 24, 2002

European vampires may be able to mezmerize their victims, but I'd wager that African vampires are of a different breed.
posted by tolkhan at 6:13 AM on December 27, 2002

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