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Monday, 14 April 2014

AtoZ Day 12: L is for Lemon, Loogaroo (Soucouyant), Lifeforce

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Everyone knows how garlic is used to ward off vampires, but did you know that in Saxon regions of Germany lemon was also used? It was placed in the mouth of suspected vampires to prevent them rising from the grave. The particular breed of vampire vulnerable to this method is called a Neuntoter and is a plague carrier.

What do you think is the most exciting method of vampire disposal: Sunlight, a stake through the heart, decapitation, nailing into the coffin or something else?

Creature Feature:

Loogaroo (Soucouyant)

She's not a nice lady is the Loogaroo of Haitian Folklore. Also known as a Soucouyant in other parts of the West Indies she is a witch who trades blood for supernatural powers with the devil or a demon.

According to Wikipedia and Vampire Underworld she takes off her skin at night and flies around like a fireball, entering people's houses and taking their blood so they wake up fatigued and lethargic. However, according to Monstrous.com that's the Granada version and in Haiti she takes off her skin and grows wings with flames shooting from her armpits and anus. She then transforms into a cockroach or other insect to enter a home. She's still after blood though.

'Loogaroo' is derived from the French 'loup-garou' which actually means werewolf.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Lifeforce
Summary: A long range mission comes into contact with unknown life forms in a comets tail and the female and two males are brought back to Earth. They turn out to be some form of vampire and turn London into a battle field of creatures who must suck the life from others every two hours.
Why you should watch this: These are psychic vampires and in places the film is a little bit over done, but the kind of vampire and the effects of their life draining abilities is so interesting. There's also something of a twisted love story going on and I just love the film. I think it is very underrated.

(#12 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Not wanting to take her new hellhound puppy out just yet, Ianthe invited Cal over to her place for a change. Usually she avoided it, because, as much as she enjoyed Alex's disapproval, sometimes she preferred not to antagonise him too far.

"Did you know in some legends lemons can be used to ward off vampires?" Cal asked as she handed him a gin and tonic with a slice of lemon floating in it.

"I hadn't heard that one," she admitted, sucking her own piece of lemon between her teeth to prove the point.

"It's German," Cal said, grinning at her.

"Not the most ridiculous legend out there I have to admit," she said and sat down.

Lilith immediately put her head in Ianthe's lap, so she scratched the puppy behind the ear.

"You're spoiling her I see," Cal observed, "good for you."

Lilith looked pleased by that if the way her tongue lolled out the side of her mouth was anything to go by.

"Of course I am," she replied while giving Lilith's head a good ruffle. "She deserves spoiling."

They fell into a companionable silence. That was one of the things Ianthe really liked about Cal; sometimes they could just sit. However, her mind was moving and she couldn't help herself.

"Talking of legends, what's the most ridiculous one about werewolves?" she asked.

"Has to be silver," Cal replied without even having to think about it. "Silver bullets just make us money once we dig them out."

He laughed even as Ianthe winced.

"And how many times have you done that?" she had to ask.

"Three," was the honest answer.

"And how old are you again?"

Cal just smiled; damn werewolves were as cagey about their ages as some of the older vampires. Unlike vampires where bloodline counted for a lot more than age, werewolf power definitely seemed to come with experience.

"What is your favourite vampire legend?" Cal countered without answering.

"Coffins," she decided, "definitely coffins. I even grew mushrooms under my bed for a while pretending it was grave earth. Alex nearly blew a gasket."

"One day you will push him too far," Cal said and rolled his eyes.

"Nah, I know where the real lines are. Besides which I am embarrassing enough just for existing, if he actually failed to make me into a half decent vampire he'd die of mortification."

Cal didn't look so sure.

"I hung garlic flowers all round his door once," she revealed.

"You didn't!"

"I did."

Cal almost fell off his chair laughing. Ianthe grinned; it was good to have friends

A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

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  1. The Loogaroo sounds... interesting. o.O

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

    1. It's the rocket power that made me laugh :).

  2. Did not know that about Lemons....
    My last name is Lemmon... lol

    1. :D I didn't know that about lemons either until I stumbled across it when researching.

  3. In my research, I have come across Lemon being used instead of Garlic, and I was like "WTF?"

    I'm still debating on the effects garlic has on vampires, but I think lemon will simply be a old wives tale. Probably vampires have the same reaction as humans if you shove a lemon in their mouth and force them to bite down on it.

    1. Me too, lemons just don't seem dark enough somehow :)
      *shudder* that's a little too much acid.

    2. "Ive vant to suck.." lemon shoved into vampires mouth.

      Vampire licks lips, "mmmm...lemony."

  4. The most dramatic form of getting rid of a vampire has to be staking in the coffin - usually with the obligatory splash of blood hitting the hero across the face ;P
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

    1. I hardly call it a splash, more like a typhoon of blood hitting across the face.

  5. When Life gives you Lemons .... Make Lemon-Ade.....
    But what if you were born a Lemmon...???
    A "Vampire Name and Character Generator" (from the late 90's) gave us the "Vampire Name"... of "Forlorn Wormwood"... Cool...

  6. I knew about garlic, but lemon was something new. Thanks for the information.

  7. I knew about garlic but this information on lemons was interesting. Thankyou!

  8. I never heard about lemons being a weakness of vampires. Unique.

    1. Me either, which is why I had to include it :)

  9. I loved Lifeforce and saw it a couple times in the theatres. I really should get a copy on BluRay sometime.

    Timothy S. Brannan
    The Other Side, April Blog Challenge: The A to Z of Witches

    1. Oh and Loogaroo. I have often wondered about the relationship between this creature and the Loup Garou which is more of a werewolf.

    2. Lifeforce is very underrated I think. It's actually a very complex movie. I hadn't thought of the possible Loogaroo and Loup Garou connection before, I wonder if there is anything in it. Problem is information is not exactly thick on the ground.

  10. Thank you for the new information. Never knew any of this. Thank you, Tasha. Re the Loogaroo, I'd wonder if "Soucouyant" derived from the same source as succubus? Is the fiction you've got self-contained for the A-Z?

    1. It would be interesting to know the source of some of the legends, but unfortunately there wasn't a huge heap of info out there. I think I linked to most of what I could find :).
      The Ianthe story is specifically for the AtoZ, yes, but once the AtoZ is done I'm going to take all the parts and rewrite it into a novel or novella, probably change bits here and there. Then I'll ePublish along with the rest of my work via my company Wittegen Press :).

  11. Hi Tasha .. I knows nuffin about 'dem lemones or 'dem plague vampires or being buried alive with a lemon in my mouth .. sounds very distressing - my face is scrunching up ... Garlic v Lemon .. and Saxon v Romans and Egyptians ..

    Interesting - I think I've done enough thinking here .. cheers Hilary

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by :) I don't think many people knew about the lemons ::g::

  12. At least with lemons their breath won't smell as bad. Nearly choked on my drink with laughter when reading the piece about the Loogaroo, though! Flames shooting from the armpits and anus, brilliant, lol. :)

    1. Good point :).
      Oh yes, that part made me laugh too, sounds very undignified ::g::

  13. Lemon? Who knew?!

    First the Loogaroo terrified me - I think it was the shedding of the skin that did it - but then the part about the shooting flames made me laugh.

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

    1. The shedding skin is rather nasty isn't it :) You wonder how anyone ever found the whole flames thing scary don't you :).

  14. I did not know that lemon was a vampire deterrent/slayer. That's awesome!

    True Heroes from A to Z

    1. It's one of those things that just appeals isn't it :) I wonder if squirting them with lemon washing up liquid would work as well, because there is a ready made cannon in those bottles.

  15. I think you have to go with a stake through the heart - it's a classic! I never knew lemons were used, that's pretty cool.

    1. I can only think that Bram Stoker never though lemons were scary enough so he never wrote them in to Dracula :)

  16. When I was visiting New Orleans, my storyteller friend told me a lot of tales about the Loup Garou, and also about a girl who could peel her skin off and walk around in the bayou invisible. They have some creepy stories down there...

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Tales of colors
    MopDog - The crazy thing about Hungarians...

    1. There is just something shudder worthy of a person peeling their skin off isn't there :)

  17. I had never heard of lemons being a vampire deterrent! Thanks for sharing ~ I love learning facts like that!

    1. It's fun isn't' it - I hadn't either until I stumbled on it when looking for a N vampire.

  18. Great story and excellent banter! Loved it.


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