A Little Body-Stealing, Please: Possession sans demons

Good morning. Today  I thought I’d share the results of some of my research, since when I originally looked online, I found nadda, nilche, zero for body thieves / jumpers or human possession that didn’t involve demons or spirits. The yield of my research also remains somewhat unsatisfactory, so unless you can provide other hints / suggestions, I’ll probably go with a variation of one of these creatures.

So, while it’s fairly easy to find creatures that either manifest themselves to appear human, and demons and spirits have the greatest reputation for human possession, I wanted something different.

First up are the Spitters. These creatures originate in the Philippines / Pacific Islands. There are said to be 8 of these spirits who take charge of the newly dead. If one of them spits on a healthy person, that person will fall ill with grave disease, probably leprosy. They can be guarded against by two other spirits known as Tudong and Yungayung.

  • these are interesting simply for the idea that they take charge of the newly dead (which fits into a plot concept I’m working with); the problem: not direct possession.

Next we have the Baitel. This is an Indian vampire, and the term baitel succeeded the older term of “Vetala” – which basically translates to vampire. These are supposed to be evil, mischievous spirits that inhabits and reanimates corpses. It’s true form is half man, half bat, and stands about 4-5′ tall.

  • again, not perfect, and I believe there was something about them consuming the energies of the corpse – not sure what’s left of a corpse, but it is human possession … kind of.

Then we have the empusa. This is a Greek demonic vampire spirit, though its actually a demon that takes over a corpse and (somehow) is not considered the walking dead. It has no shape of its own, but appears as a foul phantom in various disguises, sometimes in the form of an alluring young woman. It enters the body of the human prey to consume its flesh and drink blood.

  • still not perfect, but definitely possession. And no, I don’t know either why it isn’t considered the walking dead – if you do know, please share!

Finally, we have the erestun. This is a Russian creature, a variant of the Eretik. It’s an ordinary person who, while dying or just after dying, has his body invaded by an evil, living sorcerer (or heretic – interchangeable in the myth evidently). Don’t worry too much about this happening to you unless you’re a villain, robber, or otherwise depraved, as these are the favored victims. The transformed sorcerer becomes a living vampire after the possession, though maintains the outward appearance of a good peasant, carrying out vampiric activity in secret.

  • this one may have the most potential, since it appears that other than carrying out alleged vampiric activity in secret (really, what other way would you want to do it?), the outward person remains above suspect. Perhaps, if they’re also a “good peasant” and formerly a villain, robber, or depraved individual, this could actually make them better people.

So, what do you think: any good contenders for possession that doesn’t require either demons or ghosts? Please share if you have any other suggestions or know of any other legends.

And, if you’re interested, the sources I used primarily were:

The Dictionary of Mythology. J.A. Coleman

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters. Rosemary  Ellen Guiley

Happy hunting, and thanks for reading! 🙂