Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vampires 'n' Judas

On a recent episode of QI I saw the comedian Trevor Noah mention that silver is good for killing vampires as well as werewolves. The tradition being that Judas became the first vampire after his death and that the 30 pieces of silver he was given for betraying Jesus would burn him.

He didn't mention red hair, but Judas is often portrayed with it and I've read elsewhere that red hair has been associated with vampirism. Maybe there's a link. I'd never heard the Judas/vampire thing before, but it would be interesting to see if it's a genuine tradition, and if it is, how far it goes back.

I've just had a quick ping round the Internet and came across this;
Summers' 1928 book The Vampire: His Kith and Kin mentions that in particular red-headed vampires are considered the most dangerous, and trace their red hair back to Judas (or even Cain). He gives some 13th-century Latin references for this myth. Notably he states that in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania, Vampires are called "Children of Judas".

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