Cat Legends: Cats and Vampires

Did you know that until Dracula was published by Bram Stoker in 1897, there was no association between vampires and bats? Vampires were traditionally either cats or wolves.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there was a widely held belief in central Europe that cats could possess a corpse and turn a dead body into a vampire. This belief may have been associated with the link between cats and witchcraft, or possibly in origin to the Greek legend of Hecate. People kept cats out of rooms where a dead body was laid out, and if a cat managed to wander into the room accidentally, she was chased and killed. She was killed because in the original vampire legends the vampire not only sucked the blood of its victim, but then injected it into a recently dead body, thus reviving it and claiming possession. Then the revived body could do the bidding of the devil.

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