Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Nelapsi

The Nelapsi is one of the undead, a once-living deceased human without a soul, doomed to kill and feed on the living for its own sustenance. This thing from beyond the grave is also one of the most dangerous vampire species known to monster hunters. Typical for vampires, the Nelapsi usually inhabits cemeteries in Czechoslovakia and the surrounding countries in Europe.

The Nelapsi is a type of vampire, feeding on the blood of both humans and animals. It is never satisfied, and will not cease hunting until dawn (although the sun’s rays cannot harm the creature).

The Nelapsi is a walking corpse, although no signs of decay are usually evident. The creature has pale skin, a lean and muscular body, and sharp talons on its hands and feet. It has a head full of long, greasy black hair, and a mouthful of needlelike fangs. The creature may be dressed in the tattered remnants of its burial shroud or what remains of the clothing it was buried in, but more often than not, the Nelapsi stalks its prey completely naked.

One would be hard-pressed to find a vampire as vicious as the Nelapsi. This revenant delights in desecrating and utterly destroying villages, glutting itself on the blood of the villagers and their livestock alike. The only things left are wreckage and bloodless bodies. The Nelapsi prefers to kill by tearing into the victim’s neck with its needle-sharp teeth, or it will smother or crush its prey in a bone-crushing embrace. Any survivors (if any at all) are killed off by the plague that the Nelapsi inevitably brings. When angered, the Nelapsi will torture its victims and, being a devious and patient predator, can make the torture last for weeks before killing and feeding on the unfortunate victim.

The Nelapsi is among the most powerful of the vampires found in folklore and legend. The Nelapsi possesses supernatural strength and speed, as well as a phenomenal degree of endurance and agility. When cornered by vampire hunters, the Nelapsi has the power to kill with a fierce glare from its burning red eyes, or it may choose to fight with its formidable claws and teeth. As mentioned earlier, the revenant carries a virulent disease wherever it goes, and the resulting plague kills any survivors.

It is said that the Nelapsi has two hearts and two souls, making the revenant extremely difficult to kill. Conventional weapons like firearms and blades do little more than annoy the Nelapsi, more often than not succeeding in arousing the creature’s anger. At best, ordinary weapons are inadvisable.

As said previously, the Nelapsi is extremely hard to kill as far as vampires go, so one of the best defenses is to prevent the creation of the creature in the first place. One way is to purposefully bump the deceased’s coffin on the threshold while carrying the dead out of the house for burial. This supposedly knocks off any lingering misfortune or evil spirits, so that demons will not become attracted to the coffin’s occupant.

Seeds from the opium poppy (papaver somniferum) should be sown inside and outside of the grave, as well as along the road leading back to the village. Millet seeds should then be used to fill the mouth and the nose of the corpse. Like many vampires, the Nelapsi is compelled to stop and count each and every single seed. Some legends say that the flower of the opium poppy should be placed inside the coffin, causing the revenant to fall into a narcotic stupor that should make the Nelapsi unwilling or unable to rise from the grave. This may not actually work because, according to folklore, if the Nelapsi has been around for some time and fed often enough, the revenant’s intelligence increases. It will recognize the trickery and will not fall for it (although it may laugh). Therefore, this may not work.

To finish the preventative ritual, iron nails are driven deeply into the arms and legs of the corpse, effectively pinning the body to the coffin. Smaller nails are used to secure the hair and the clothes as well, and the jaws are bound shut with a stout leather strap. Vampires are known to engage in manducation, or the eating of one’s own flesh, from time to time. This feeding will give the vampire enough strength to smash through its coffin and claw through six feet of lose earth to the surface, so this practice was necessary. Although the Nelapsi is not harmed by sunlight, the creature cannot be out during daylight, and this is when the creature is at its most vulnerable.

When all else fails, there is no other choice than to destroy the Nelapsi. First, one must locate the grave. A young virgin (usually a boy) was placed on the back of a snow-white horse that had never stumbled. The horse is then walked through the entire cemetery, until the horse reaches a grave, which it refuses to step over. This is the vampire’s grave, which is then dug up (sometimes taking hours at a time). When the Nelapsi is exposed, a long stake of blackthorn (a relative of hawthorn) is driven through the revenant’s heart or its skull (usually the skull). However, this doesn’t kill the creature, but only immobilizes it. A sword is then drawn and, with a single stroke, the swordsman quickly decapitates the revenant. Fresh garlic cloves are then stuffed into the mouth and scattered throughout the coffin. Garlic was believed to sever the bond between the evil spirit and the corpse. At this time, the body could be reburied. The head was then placed facedown between the legs. If any doubt remains, the creature’s body and head must be thoroughly burned, and the ashes scattered to the four winds.

As for actually engaging in a fight with the Nelapsi, it is unknown if blessed weapons, silver, holy water, or holy icons will work on the revenant. Getting close to the Nelapsi is very strongly discouraged unless the Demon Hunter is supremely confident in his abilities (or has a death wish). Even then, care must be taken. It is recommended that the aforementioned methods be tried to test their efficacy, but it is best to be entirely prepared.

To cleanse a village of the revenant’s evil, a bonfire is lit, using only new wood. Effigies of evil creatures (vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.) are thrown into the fire, along with any animals suspected of being the Nelapsi’s familiar or that came into contact with the creature. Once the fire has burned down, the villagers and their livestock quickly walk through the smoke and ashes, believing that this act purifies them of the Nelapsi’s taint. Each villager takes some of the still-glowing embers from the bonfire home with them, using them to restart their hearth-fires. The ashes from the fire are then cast over the fields and along the roads as a final precaution against evil and the Nelapsi itself.

Among the most feared of all vampires is the Nelapsi, an undead abomination hailing from the European country of Czechoslovakia. Although no evidence is known from folklore, one is inclined to believe that the Nelapsi is the corpse of a suicide, murderer, or a practitioner of the dark arts, reanimated by a demonic spirit from Hell. The result is a sadistic, gluttonous undead monstrosity with an insatiable need for blood, and the bond between the demon and the flesh is so strong that the Nelapsi is virtually unkillable by conventional methods. The thing is, the Nelapsi enjoys every minute of it. The Nelapsi is still believed to exist to this day, arising from the grave when darkness falls to hunt and kill once more…


Maberry, Jonathan. Vampire Universe. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp. Copyright ©2006 by Jonathan Maberry.

Maberry, Jonathan. The Vampire Slayer's Field Guide to the Undead. Canada: Strider Nolan Publishing, Inc. Copyright ©2003 by Jonathan Maberry.

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