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Vampire Vednesdays: Obayifo

Joe Thomissen [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D

Obayifos (called asiman by the Dahomey people) are “living vampires” created when an evil spirit takes possession of a person and causes him or her to commit evil deeds. Obayifo is an Akan word often translated “witch” or “sorcerer.” Though originating in Africa, they are also found in South America and the Caribbean, especially Jamaica.

These creatures have shifty eyes and an obsession with food, especially cacao beans. When it comes to blood, they are picky eaters: they won’t eat blood that tastes bitter, so it’s a good idea to eat a diet rich in things like garlic if you want to be unappetizing to an obayifo. They feed on fear and despair but will also steal the blood of children. Strangely enough, they also like fruits and vegetables. When deprived of blood, they’ll simply suck the juice from fruits and vegetables to hold their hunger in check until they can feed again.

Obayifos are averse to the holy in the form of West African sacred symbols and spiritual practitioners. They emit a telltale light from the armpits and anus. They often hunt by transforming into a ball of blue light, in which form they can fly through the air. In some stories, they achieve this form by sloughing off their skin and reclaiming it later.

Finally, these creatures are able to possess a mortal victim and bend it to their will.

Only a person of great holiness can discern the true identity of an obayifo.



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