Enemies And Friends Of Man III

excerptsTHE WATER PIXY. Representations. The Water Pixy and the Human Head. The Water Pixy's Wraith. Stories. The Water Pixy in Other CulturesAccording to Romanian popular beliefs in Bucovina, the Water Pixy is a tall, heavily- built woman, some say as tall as a camel, that can appear as half woman, half fish, or half woman, half man, or according to others, being able to take any appearance she wants. She wears an embroidered blouse and a towel that gathers her long hair reaching the ground and shinning like gold in the sun. Her breasts are so big that she sometimes wears them over her shoulders. "The Water Pixy lives in rivers and springs and she demands one man's head a day. When the rivers flood the fields, the Water Pixy reveals herself and the waters follow her, drowning and destroying everything they meet; when she is satisfied with the number of victims, she goes away, settling in ponds and waterfalls. In dry weather, she always demands a man's head to be delivered at midnight." In Tecuci, although people do not believe in the existence of Water Pixies, they say that when the waters overflow from the riverbeds because of the rain or snow, devilish spirits possess them. Children are afraid to linger on riverbanks at that time of the year.OltRiver asks for human sacrifice everyday, especially when its waters overflow.The Water Pixy is helped by the Water Devils to get her victims. "The devils are not to live underwater, but they promised to sacrifice a human every day. That is why, somebody drowns in the Olt every day. If a day goes by and no human has drowned, the river starts to howl and this is the best time for humans to stay away from the water, or else they will surely die."The Water Pixy comes out of the water facing east and calls everybody she can see to her, to drown them. On full moon nights or when the weather is bad, the Water Pixy wanders along the village paths until midnight, but she cannot harm any soul. However, if somebody picks on her, she would disfigure him in no time.She calls for her potential victims with the following song: The time has comeThe man is none!The time has comeThe man is none! Some people heard her singing these words on the Prut river banks, at midnight."Here is this lad, riding his horse, riding like the wind towards the water. But those men outnumbered the lad and grabbed him by the hands and legs.'Please, let me go and sink my feet into the water for a minute. I'll feel better then.'He barely touched the water with his feet and he died in an instant."A variant of the story often told in Bucovina is about the Water Pixy living in BistriţaRiver, to whose deeds a woman was witness."One summer when I was young, I was working in the field, gathering the hay in stacks. I was in a kind of hurry 'cause the next day was Sunday. I finished working about midnight. Still, I had to go home and feed the cattle and then milk them. I took the way along Bistriţa's banks because this was a shortcut. I was singing and carrying my water pails on my back. When I reached the precipice, a powerful voice came out of that hole: The hour has comeLet my lad arrive! And the voice was heard three times. By the time of the third saying, a very beautiful lad appeared, riding a thunder horse. He spurred the horse to the water, but the horse would not go in there. Under the pressure of its master's urges, the horse let out a terrifying roar. The mountains themselves trembled. The horse then jumped right into the water and sank with the lad on its back. Then the horse got out, but its master didn't. The Water Pixy demanded her victim and she had it all right."The same story is spread in Moldavia, as well."Once, some people were driving their carts loaded with wine barrels along the shores of a pond. They could hear a voice coming out of the water: The time has comeThe man is none! Three times the voice repeated the demand.Then they saw a man hoeing in the field. He suddenly leaves his tools aside and rushes to the pond. 'What's the rush, old man?''I'm dying for a bath in the river!''No way, my friend! Take it some other time!''No, no, I must take it now!'And he starts undressing. But those people held him tight. 'Let me wet my feet into the river. Please!'And they let him do that and the next minute he pushed his head back and died."The same story was heard in England, as well.The Water Pixy starts groaning when the devilish spirit needs its sacrifice. Water Pixies are common folk characters with other peoples, too.The Bulgarians, the Greeks call them lamii, the Czechs Vodgnic. The Germans or other nations named them differently. THE SOUL OF THE DEAD. When the Soul Does Not Leave the Body Completely: Wraiths and Ware Wolves. The Short Earthly Life of the Dead's Soul. The Dead Shows up in Dreams. Other apparitions.Popular Romanian beliefs talk about the transitory parting of the soul from the body; one is the story of the undead and the other is the story of werewolves that eat the sun and the moon and come back transformed into bugs.A large number of beliefs are about the dead's souls that travel to hell or heaven in the afterlife. What happens when they arrive there does not make the topic of our writings here.Let us talk about the short earthly life of these souls.When a person dies, his soul rests on the eaves of the house, by the white flag flapping there until after the funeral when the house is swept. After the body is buried, the soul travels for 6 weeks or 40 days to all places and locations the person went to when he was alive. Then, when the journey is completed, the soul flies to its destinations alone or accompanied by angels, to spend the eternity where God decides as a result of Judgment Day.The living relatives are not very happy with a prolonged visit of the dead's soul. 40 days after the funeral, they pray and give alms, to ease the soul's traveling to its final destination decided by God. The dead's soul is most likely to bother the living in their sleep, while dreaming. That is why they must find a meaning to those dreams and act as such. If they dream the dead naked, it means his soul wanders without any clothes and the relatives must give clothes for charity. The soul is pleased then. If the soul is hungry, they must give food for charity, if it is thirsty, it is water is what they should think of.If the dead is too attached to those who stayed alive, it haunts their dreams, fighting and arguing so much that the living feel tired the next day, they should give an onion for charity and the spirit will get upset and leave.Sometimes the living calls for the dead in his/her dreams because they continuously think about the deceased. After the coffin leaves the house, they should look out the window for three times, to forget the dead person.The souls of the deceased visit the houses where they used to live, taking the shape of a butterfly. It is a common incarnation for children, but not necessarily. They ask for food and drinks and once they got them, they rest in peace in their graves and the living in their houses. We do not discuss about killers or wizards and witches whose souls are doomed; we will not further look into their visiting the living relatives or haunting them. THE GHOST. Human Sacrifice Meant for Buildings to Last. Romanian and Foreign Tales. About Places Where Ghosts Show up. Representations and Names. Ghosts (stafia, stafia, stihia or stacia) are spirits of dead persons that remain stuck to the place where they led their existence, acting as a guardian or ghost of that respective person.Since not all people die the same death or under the same circumstances, ghosts are consequently of several kinds.Let us remember what happens in the legend of Argeş Monastery: the leader of the masons starts building the walls of the monastery, but everything collapsed at nighttime: … Masons worked so hardHold the strings so tightMeasuring the placeDigging large foundationsWorking night and dayBuilding up the wallsStill, when night arrivesDown go all the wallsDay in day outDay in day out… Alecsandri tries to supply an explanation to the above lyrics:"Popular superstitions are many when building is involved. They believe that a building can last for many a year only if mystical traditions are fulfilled. One of them mentions the burial of a person alive right at the foundations of the respective building. The masons are in the habit of steeling one's shadow that is to measure the shadow with a reed and then wall it up in the foundation. The man whose shadow was stolen dies within 40 days and turns into a ghost that protects the newly built establishment." This is a common belief: "Why do people steal one's soul to lock it inside a wall or in a bridge's foot? Because they pay that soul to the Devil. Everything that people would build, crumbled down eventually. Then they thought to pay the Devil something and now their problem is gone."The Macedo-Romanians share a similar myth: "When the time to build a monastery, a house or a bridge has come, people should bury a young animal or a human's shadow at the foundation. The creature will die within 40 days." The sacrifice guarantees the durability of the construction for many years.If somebody's shadow is stolen and locked up by accident, the person dies anyway.The imperative of cementing a human being into the walls of the monastery is communicated to Manole in his dream, the next day: My great nine masonsDo you want to knowWhat my dreams can show?Lord has sent me wordAbout our workCompleted by day timeShall collapse by night.We must made our mindsTo wall up a wifeThe first one to come Tomorrow by dawnBringing food to us. Manole had no choice but to act as the dream predicted. He walled up his own wife and so he could finish the most beautiful monastery in the kingdom. Unfortunately, his creation eventually triggered his death, too.The owner of the house must feed the ghost; otherwise the specter will haunt the house, the attic and will frighten the inhabitants with its noises.Many people believe in the existence of ghosts.Let us look into the ancient peoples' beliefs now. Let's take the Jews, for example:"During Ahab's reign, Hiel from Bet-El rebuilt Jericho; he buried his first born, Abiram, at the foundation, and his youngest son, Segub, under the gates as Joshua from Nun interpreted the words of Jehovah for him." These are the predictions: "Joshua cast his curse: doomed shall be the man that seeks to rebuild the citadel of Jericho; he shall build it on his first born child, and shall erect the gate over his youngest son!"Out of the younger peoples that share the same myth, we consider here the following:The Greeks sing the song of the ArtaBridge and of PeterBridge from Boeotia.The Bulgarians believe that human sacrifice helped erecting the bridge over Struma as well as the fortress of Salonika.The Slovaks tell the same legend about the city of Scodra.The Hungarians connect this myth to the fortress of Deva. Still, they do not incorporate in their culture the tradition of stealing shadows or of human sacrifice (as it is seen in Transylvania and with the Bulgarians). This variant is also spread in Brasov.The people in Montenegro weave the story around the construction of CetinTower.The Albanians know similar tales.This is the story of HonnenbergCastle in German culture.The Russians seem to have walled up a girl that carried water in her water pails inside the stones of KoronivslovayaTower.And we could write about many other nations.The ghost, the shadow, the specter represents the soul of a dead person who will wander around that building, protecting it from other spirits that might desire to destroy it.It goes without saying that a human shadow also helps building other establishments such as fountains or cellars. People who die an awful death turn into ghosts: those who hanged themselves, who were shot, who died when hit by lightning or caught under crumbled river banks etc. We will deal with drowned people later, however. If someone dies before midnight, the soul comes out and scares the belated travelers, right at the location where death occurred.When somebody was robbed and killed on the road, his ghost is most likely to haunt the commercial roads, the inns built in the fields, the watermills etc.Here is the story of the three ghosts that show themselves on the road between Bozieni and Săveni, at the "mound of the three Germans," in Western Moldavia:"Whoever takes the road of Bozieni must hear the voices of the three Germans and must feel cold shivers down the spine. Not far from Băşeu brook, half way to Bozieni, there is an irregular, tall mound, wrinkled at the top, with three huge bulks resembling three human heads. This is the devilish hill of the Germans.These three Germans tried to settle down in Botoşani with all their bad habits and vices. One night they arrived on our territory. What happened then, nobody knows. I only know that they started a fight and ended up killing each other. They were found deadly shot the next morning. People buried them right on that spot, under the mound."However, even today the three Germans' ghosts appear at midnight. After a terrible fight carried out in their language, they rush to Băşeu, whose waters are accustomed to their behaviour. The misfortunate fainthearted traveler who happens to pass by gets frightened at the sound of their voices. And frighten he shall be since he has Bozieni graveyard on the right side and from the other side he can hear the horrible voices of the Germans, he can see them fighting furiously and then running towards him on the road, giving him goose bumps all over the body.They wore German clothes. They looked like three giants, with black boots, white trousers, red coats and blue fezzes like the bottom of a hat. They jump into the devilish hills.In Ţepu village, Tecuci, ghosts are often seen around the three precipices where people dig for clay to repair their houses and some of them died there under the crumbling ground. There is another ghost seen at Palade's, that is in a place where a man named Palade hanged himself. Other wanders in the grove along the GipsyValley where once a gipsy was found hanged.Many people believe in ghosts: the Poles, the Mongolians and the inhabitants of Iceland.Sinful people who did not confess their sins to the priest, those who did not enjoy rightful funerals or those killed by evil spells turn into ghosts, too.Ghosts look like humans, dressed in white, red, black or yellow garments.When somebody tells a story about ghosts looking differently they say those were visions, arătări, vedenii, videnii, vidanii, năluci, nămetenii, nămetii, nazarinii, matahali or budihaci. These are faces of the devil himself that would haunt and harm people over that area, knowing that people are not so afraid of other people, as they are of the evil one.Ghosts may take form from other creatures, as well, but one can tell them apart: "if it's human, it blows your candle out; if it's a rooster, it picks your cheeks, if it's a ram, it prods you."They too need to gather for advice or for parties. They meet in secluded places where people cannot disturb them such as new or old cemeteries, churches, watermills, schools and deserted or ruined houses. Deserted establishments are very favourable locations for wandering ghosts to come together, since, for many reasons, those specters can no longer populate their residences. These establishments are never to be demolished or moved because ghosts spread throughout the village and can provoke damages. The ghosts move along with the establishment they are attached to. THE UNDEADThe undead – strigoiul, strâgoiul (fem. hobgoblin or strigoaica), the specter, the phantom – moroiul, muroiul (fem. moroaica, muroaica) – the werewolf or The Damned, is called by the Megleno-Romanians vampire (having the masculine plural strigoni and fem. hobgoblin, strigoane, străgi, strige).The Romanian population from Bucovina, influenced by the Ruthenians, call it like these, specter (vidmă, pl. vidme).The name of phantom (moroi) can be encountered especially in Ardeal (Transylvania) and in the western parts of Muntenia, as well as in Oltenia. The word being borrowed in the other regions as well, it couldn't be placed alongside with the name of undead, but they sought to give it a difference in meaning, however small, and this, of course, in a forcible and inconsistent way. So it is that "some say that the physical injury is not due to the undead, but to the phantom," as they say in Bucovina; others say that "the undead turns into hound, into a wolf, and the phantom into a fly. Both these beliefs, are just some inconsistent observations that will never be able to separate the two major names of that evil spirit, embodied in a living human, "in flesh and blood," or only embodied, that is, between the living undead and the undead raised from the grave. There are also half undead, especially hobgoblins, some apprentices of the true undead, that play the lot and kill people. This observation too presents an isolated case, because, if we are to believe it, we must believe that there are people more devilish than the devils, if we are to believe the saying: "this one is a devil and a half." In this way, we will give the meaning that is due to this observation from Romanati: "the gypsies or the gipsy women who cast the evil eye on the children will be called also phantoms or she-phantoms." There is something else here: the gypsies usually have black eyes; black eyes are considered by the Romanian people as the ones that cast an evil eye the most often, and, as the undead, among other shortcomings, also have the attribute to cast an evil eye, the gypsies were named by someone, and by chance, phantoms: the people who cast an evil eye like the phantoms.How is the undead born or made?The undead is born like any child; but he isn't aware of the world because he has a cap, drape, hood on his head or, on his body a shirt or a leather busby. Such a baby is born by a woman that, while she is pregnant, drinks unclean water mixed with devilish slobber, or when such a woman gets out at night without wearing anything on her head. Then, Satan comes and places a red cap on her head like the one he has, and when the baby is due, he makes it to be born with the undead cap.In order to prevent such a misfortune, it is recommended that this cap should be immediately taken from the baby's head, because it is said that otherwise the baby pulls it and swallows it and it is likely that it becomes undead.Such a cap is believed to be useful to be kept to heal those sick of the evil eye; so the mothers collect it, dry it, and, when they have children upon which an evil eye was cast, they tear a piece of it, spit on it and rub their belly button with it, so that they will be healed.In Teleorman county, the child that is born an undead has its head and face wrapped in a skin; the skin is immediately torn apart so that he won't swallow it and become a hostile undead that casts an evil eye badly, and after death eats his relatives. In the end, the midwife makes sure that she gets with the baby outside, after she bathed and swaddled it well, to climb on the house – if it is an earth hovel – or to get to the back of the house and to shout, holding the baby in her arms: "You undead You hobgoblin, You lion You lioness You evil eye male caster, You evil eye woman caster, There you should go, There you should sleep… Hear you people that a wolf was born on earth! It is not a wolf which will eat the world, but a wolf which works and cares for it!"This way the power of the undead is ruined, and the evil is turned to the benefit of the house, because the power of the summoned undead increases, bringing good luck in everything.The undead can be made also from children born of relatives – brothers and first cousins – who, in order to be hidden from the world, are killed and so die without being baptized and not being sprinkled with holy water for four years, as well as the ones aborted – lost, that is, stillborn before due time, which are buried at the sides of the cemetery, a belief upheld by the Ruthenians as well.The undead can appear from children of the undead, that those leave near the unguarded new mothers, after they take the women's babies.They are made from the babies that the midwives, at birth, destine to become undead.They are made from the babies born in the bushes.They are made from the babies turned to the breast, that is from those who, once they are weaned, are suckled again.They are made from the baby that suckles in secret from its mother, one week after it has been weaned.They are made of those that a mosquito bites on Saint George's night.An undead is the seventh son of the seven sons born to a couple, in a row; the same way, a hobgoblin becomes the seventh daughter of a series of seven daughters, as the Ruthenians also believe; some other time, one of the seven brothers or one of the seven sisters becomes ghost or hobgoblin.They are made of the ones who commit perjury.Out of the evil and contemptuous souls, be they animals or people.Out of the old women that have something to do with the Devil.Out of the people that die in the circumstances that we will present later.What are the signs by which we recognize the living undead? – i.e. those men and women, especially, around us, together with whom we live in a terrible danger which is difficult to find out? Because, how can you know that the next-door neighbor or the woman across the street, who go to sleep at night in their houses, don't leave their bodies overnight, on the bed, soulless, and don't go out, to get together with other evil spirits, to do the most devilish things? There are a few signs by which one can recognize the undead, but even those are hard to notice. The undead is bald on the top of its head – but we cannot draw the conclusion that all the bald men are undead.When they are small children, the undead cast an evil eye, whence the connection with the above mentioned idea that the gypsies that cast an evil eye are called undead.The undead don't eat garlic and onion.Only the twins up to the age of seven – that is when, although they see, they can't share their knowledge with the others, – can distinguish the undead.The undead are afraid of incense.As Saint Andrew is approaching they sleep outside. They have a tail, that is the backbone is prolonged in a tail, covered with hair, that in some areas is called costroş. With some undead, this tail is short; but it closes at heath. The tail is strength for the undead because it carries them and it also brings them back to life.It is easier to know if there are undead in a village; this can be known by the draught that exists there – for the hobgoblins stop the rain, and by the hail with which God beats them just because these evil spirits don't let him cast clean rain, and by the rains while the sun is shining in the sky, when it is believed that one of the undead is getting married. Whoever wants to find out who is a hobgoblin, can find out at Easter at the church, the following way: they have to catch a snake, cut its head, put three cloves of garlic in its mouth, and keep it in their bosom, in church, on Easter Day. Then they will see who is a ghost."If you want to be able to tell the undead from the rest, kill the first snake that you see in March and cut his head. Put summer garlic in his mouth and on Saint George's Day, before sunrise, place it in the ground. After it grows, you gather it. Next year, on Saint George's Day, rub that garlic on your chest and climb a tree, and all the hobgoblins will come to that tree and will worship you as a king. Then ask them:"Where are you going?""I'm going to this one to make him poor.""What about you?""I'm going to that one to drive him insane!"Another one is going to make somebody ill."You don't go there, but go to the ninth border, and fight one another, and then go home again, because I'll know if you don't obey me!"Whoever spends Easter Monday on a bridge, will see the hobgoblins passing by.You can distinguish the hobgoblins and the witches if you gather cheese from the teeth in the first Monday of the Easter fasting period, if you keep it until Easter and then if you take it to church, because the hobgoblins will show upAnyway, we will find out about other ways when we will talk about the evils and damages that the undead do to people.I will describe now the way in which the people who die turn into undead, no matter if those, during their lives, were undead or not, and what measures can be taken to prevent this great misfortune.If the one that died was an undead, the thing will happen more easily. If the deceased wasn't an undead during his life, the thing is more difficult. However, according to the signs that I have mentioned so far, people can suspect what will happen to the others, and what is done with the dead person that was a ghost, will be done also to the one suspected to turn into a ghost.Among the ones suspected are:The children that die without being baptized.The ones that in this world were evil doers, enemies and envious; after death, the evil Spirit enters their bodies, and some of them will turn into undead.The ones that die a sudden death: hanged, drowned, shot, the ones that "drop dead out of the blue," in a word those that "don't die the right way." These turn into undead. With this we compare the undead with the ghosts, on the basis of the news that will be provided in due time. The sick, if they are unguarded while they lie in bed, and if a cat has passed over them, will turn into undead. The same thing will happen to the unguarded dead, over which jump cats, dogs, chicken or any other birds, mice or any other living creatures. This thing is valid for the tomb, as well, as long as it is open.For this, the dead, as long as they are kept in the house, are guarded against the above mentioned creatures and against the evil Spirit, that may get into them, to bring them back to life as undead. By the evil Spirit we mean the Devil himself.According to other beliefs, the undead are made from the creatures that jump over a dead person.When for whatever reason, somebody is forced to leave the dead person alone in the house, they must place a scythe and a ring on its chest, to guard it against the evil spirits.When the dead is to be placed in the coffin, and the rope that ties its legs must be cut, this rope must be put in the coffin: the relatives must pay attention so that nobody steals it, because the dead will turn into an undead.There is fear for the dead which leaves behind a brother born in the same month; the latter must pour wine in the coffin, or enter and get out from the deceased's grave three times, otherwise the undead will eat him.The transportation of the dead person to the grave must be done carefully, so that a dog won't pass under the hearse, because, if such a thing happens, the dead turns into an undead.The undead appear from the dead whose burial service wasn't well done by the priests.One shouldn't give a cock in remembrance for the dead person, because he will turn into an undead. If a dead person turned into an undead, he either wasn't well guarded, or he was an undead during his life as well; you know him by the fact that his nose is red, because the devil may suck the blood from his body, but he keeps away from the nose so that the dead won't see him with his eyes!All the souls of those turned into undead will take, a certain time after their death, human shape again, and sometimes they can't be distinguished from humans. They will live in those parts where nobody knows them, and where no man or dog born in the same place as them, or born before Easter can recognize them. As soon as such a dog senses or meets such a person, these undead will die instantly and forever. There are areas where they believe that the soul of the man turned into an undead will turn into the night insect called little undead (strigoieş), death's butterfly or undead's soul, which, in Vâlcea district, when caught, is pinned or nailed in the girder or on the wall of the house.The measures that are taken against the dead undead and against those suspected to turn into undead after death are the following:A piece of incense is placed in their nostrils, so that they won't be able to breathe, in their ears so that they won't hear the advice of the evil one, in the eyes, so that they can't see the Devil, and in the mouth, so that he won't be able to tell the