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Vampires in South America

In South America, vampire folklore is not spread as commonly as in Western Europe nor as quickly as in North America. In fact, South America is not a place richly mended by the vampire lore. However, the belief of vampire bat originates from the Southern and the Central America. This shows that indeed, some general beliefs of vampirism were present. There is always something about these fictional creatures that fascinate us.

Below is a list of some commonly known bloodthirsty creatures:


Among some of the most popular vampires in South America is the Aseman of Surinam. Surinam is a country located at the North of Brazil. Being able to hide its identity during the day under the disguise of a normal peasant, this creature was generally believed to enter houses throughout the night by flying through the air. It had the fearsome ability to transform back into its real self during the darkness of the night: a vampire. It then went on suck as much blood as it craved from its numerous victims, leading to unresolved cases of murder in the mortal community by the break of the daylight.

During the day, Asemans led the community life of an old man and an old woman. Additionally, it has the fascinating and peculiar capability to take off its skin and become a blue ball of light after it transformed into a vampire.

The people who were under suspicion of being aseman were put under high surveyance. Their identity was determined by the excruciating technique of ripping their skin off. The skin was thus shrinked with salt and pepper so that the vampire could not wear its skin on again.

Also, one of the best protection against the aseman was the use of garlic. Garlic was drank as it was steamed into hot water beforehand. This way, the herbs turned the victims’ blood bitter, making it repulsive to the vampire’s taste.


The Lobishomen arise from the Portuguese mythology in Brazil. Despite the acts of extinction operated against this entity, a small number of Lobishomen has nevertheless escaped in survival. A Lobishomen has the physical appearance of a small, stumpy and hunchbacked monkey being. It took on the regular activity of attacking females, making them nymphomaniacs. It could get easily drunk on blood, making it easy to capture and execute. The Lobishomen were created through witchcraft or non-proper cohabitation between its parents, such as incest. These creatures are not vampires; they represent the Portuguese form of a werewolf. It is furthermore commonly believed that these creatures’ blood is fatal by touch; one had to be careful with his or her own way of battling against a Lobishomen.


The Jararaca (Bothrops Jararaca) is a venomous pit viper that is widely abundant in Southern America. These species have caused important cases of snakebites. Found in Southern Brazil, northeast Paraguay, and in the islands off the coasts of Argentina and Paraguay, these species can reach a maximum length of 160cm. Its bites can lead to death due to shock, renal failure, and intracranial hemorrhage. It possesses heat sensing pits that are located between the eyes and the nostrils to detect their warm-blooded preys while hunting at night.


The Mapuche people of Chile have a shape-sifting vampire called the Piuchen, a feared flying creature that can take on various forms. In most stories, these vampires are described as shape-sifter, but they are otherwise known to carry a serpent tail. Its most frightful power is its supernatural ability to paralyze its victims with one gaze. The Piuchen is known to drain the body of blood, and later on produce a powder to create blisters on the skin.

Desmondus Rotundus


Rather small animals, vampire bats feed solely on -surprise, surprise!- warm, moist blood instead of insects and plants. They use their highly evolved teeth, such as their two highly sharp incisors, to incise the skin of a person and nourish themselves in such manner. Unlike fictional vampires that suck on the blood of the person, vampire bats repeatedly lap it out with their tongue. Their colony number can easily range from a few to a hundreds in subtropical areas, and they only hunt in the darkness, when the moon as settled up.

There are three bat species: the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) and the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi).

These species are distinguished due to their different genuses.

Against common beliefs, vampire bats possess the ability to walk, jump and run on land with the use of their own feet.

Biologically speaking, a nucleus has been discovered in their brains that functions as an infrared receptor, which helps the bats to sense the proximity of blood flows close to the skin of their preys.


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