It’s time for Vampire Wednesday.

The ancients believed hawthorn offered protection from witchcraft, sorcery, vampires and other evils.
It was often placed in cradles – to protect the sleeping infant. (No wonder child death rates were so high! Nails, scissors and thorny bushes were all placed in children’s beds.)

Barriers of hawthorn were built around houses. The Greeks had pieces of it placed inside of walls of their houses.

Downy Hawthorn Tree photographed at The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois,

Downy Hawthorn – Crataegus mollis

It was believed that Jesus’ crown of thorns was made from hawthorn. (See how sharp it is! Poor sleeping children. )

Crown of thorns

It was put on top of coffins or even on the body before the coffin was closed.
Southern Slavs would also make their stakes from it.

Hawthorn can be found in Europe, Asia, and North America. Hawthorn berries can be eaten or boiled into drinks, be made into jams and jellies

The Chinese have used it for ages as a digestive aid. Recently it is being studied for use in health purposes and heart disease.







Photo Credits:

Hawthorn tree          http://www.cirrusimage.com/tree_downy_hawthorn.htm
Crown of throns      http://dailytimewithgod.com/?p=4418
Hawthorn berries      http://microburin.com/2012/06/30/roses-and-bubbly-white-gill-charcoal-results-just-in/


Time for another Vampire Wednesday!

So I decided to talk a little about Garlic.
Garlic has long been believed to ward off vampires. It was also believed to ward of all sorts of evil beings and spirits.

Like witches!
I find that somewhat hard to believe. Garlic has been used for centuries as a medicine. It still has a reputations as a powerful healing agent. It’s widely used for heart and blood conditions. Some witches were healers, I find it hard to believe that he/she wouldn’t use garlic to heal.

Garlic was rumored to protect from the plague! Kind of strange if you ask me, Italy loves garlic and yet they have suffered the plague a couple of times throughout history.

So back to the vampires…
Vampires who were hiding in their villages and were not detected for who knows how long, would be spotted when they refused to eat dishes made with garlic. –Busted!–
I guess ancient vampires could eat human food. According to this idea of finding hidden vampires they could.

It wasn’t until Bram Stoker that the smell garlic was able to deter vampires. (Filling Lucy’s room with garlic flowers to keep Count Dracula away.)

A special note! Modern vampires aren’t effected by garlic. (Well, some aren’t.)

What do you think about Garlic and vampires?
I know some writers are keeping the myth, others are leaving it behind.
If you write vampire stories, do you keep the garlic myth?

Portugal’s Bruxa

Did you know Portugal has its very own vampire?
It does, she’s called a Bruxa.She can never die!
Yeah, she’s really not a good thing to run into.
Uh-huh. Everything you’ve ever thought you knew about killing vampires; won’t work with her.

So how was the Bruxa created?
It’s believed when a woman was a witch in her life, when she dies she becomes a Bruxa.

I’ve also heard that the witch will leave her house during the night (depending on where you read, as a beautiful woman or a bird); she torments travelers and drinks blood from infants.
She can carry and birth her own children, which are usually her main source of food.

There are ways to protect your child from a Bruxa. The first being put a pair of scissors under the child’s pillow. (huh? You heard me right; the Bruxa is more dangerous than a pair of scissors.)
If that’s a little too dangerous for your taste; you can place iron nails along the floor around the child’s bed, or nail it into the ground.
You could sew garlic cloves into the child’s clothes. Witches didn’t like garlic either (Who knew?).

If you suspect a Bruxa is tormenting your child, boil his clothes. Stab a sharp object -preferably iron or steel- into the boiling pot, the Bruxa will crawl to your house and beg you to stop.

I’m thinking about making Wednesdays Vampire Day. I’ll post about Vampires that day. What do you think?