The Nelapsi is one of the undead, a once-living deceased human without a soul, doomed to kill and feed on the living for its own sustenance.
The Nelapsi is a walking corpse, although no signs of decay are usually evident. The revenant has pale skin, a lean and muscular build, burning red eyes, sharp talons on its hands and feet, long and greasy black hair, and a mouth ful of needle like fangs and teeth. The creature may be dressed in its burial shroud, or it is dressed in the tattered remains of the clothing it was buried in. More often than not, the Nelapsi stalks its prey completely naked.
One would be hard-pressed to find a vampire as vicious as the Nelapsi. This revenant is thoroughly evil, and delights in desecrating and utterly destroying villages, glutting itself on the blood of humans and animals alike. The only evidence of the creature's predations are wreckage and bloodless bodies of villagers and livestock.
The Nelapsi kills its prey by either tearing into the victim with its needle-sharp teeth, or by crushing its prey in a bone-breaking embrace. Any survivors (if any at all) are killed off by the plague the Nelapsi inevitably brings. When angered, the Nelapsi loves to torture its victim. Being a patient and devious predator, it can make the torture last for weeks before killing and feeding on the unfortunate victim.
The Nelapsi is a Vampire, feeding on the blood of both humans and animals. Its bloodlust is insatiable, and it won't stop hunting until dawn. At this point, it is forced to return to its grave to sleep during the long daylight hours.
The Nelapsi usually inhabits graveyards in the European country of Slovakia and the surrounding countries.
The Nelapsi is among one of the most powerful of the vampires. The Nelapsi possesses supernatural strength and speed, as well as a phenomenal degree of endurance and agility. When cornered, the Nelapsi has the power to kill with a fierce glare from its burning red eyes, but it may also choose to fight with its claws and teeth. The creature carries a virulent plague wherever it goes, killing any survivors.
It is said that the Nelapsi has two hearts and two souls (which is contradictory, since the undead have no souls), making the revenant extremely difficult to kill. Conventional weapons like firearms and blades do little more than annoy the Nelapsi, only serving to make the creature angry. As such, ordinary weapons are, at best, inadvisable.
The Nelapsi is extremely hard to kill or even injure as far as vampires go, so the best defense is prevention. One way is to purposefully bump the deceased's coffin against the threshold while carrying the deceased out for burial. This supposedly knocks any misfortune clinging to the coffin off, so evil spirits will not become attracted to the coffin and its occupant.
Next, seeds from the opium poppy (papaver somniferum) should be sown inside the grave, outside the grave, and along the road leading back to the village. Millet seeds should be used to fill the mouth and nose of the corpse. Like many vampires, the Nelapsi is compelled to stop and count each and every single seed. If there are enough seeds, the Nelapsi will be counting all night and be forced to return to its grave without feeding. Some legends say that the flowers of the opium poppy should be interred with the dead, causing the Nelapsi to fall into a narcotic stupor, making the creature unwilling or unable to arise from the grave. However, there is a limitation to this method. If the Nelapsi has been around long enough and has been feeding enough, the revenant's intelligence increases. It will recognize the trickery, and will not fall for it. So, this may not work.
To finish the preventative ritual, iron nails are driven deeply into the arms and legs of the corpse, effectively pinning the body to the coffin. Smaller nails are used to pin the hair and the clothes down as well, and the jaws are tightly bound with a stout leather strap. Vampires are sometimes known to engage in manducation, or the eating of their own flesh. This will give the vampire enough strength to smash through its coffin and claw through six feet of loose earth to the surface, so this practice was necessary.
Although the Nelapsi cannot be harmed by sunlight, it must return to its grave at dawn each day. It sleeps during the day, and during this period, the creature is the most vulnerable to attack.
When all else fails, there is no other choice than to destroy the Nelapsi. This is usually undertaken on a Saturday (which, in folklore, is believed to be the one day that vampires cannot rise from the grave to feed). First, one must locate the grave. A young virgin (usually a boy) was placed on a snow-white horse that had never stumbled. The horse was walked through the entire cemetery, until they came upon a grave over which the horse refused to step. This was the vampire's resting place. Then, the grave is dug up. Then, a long stake carved from blackthorn (a relative of hawthorn) is driven through the heart or the skull (the latter usually being the case). However, this doesn't kill the creature, but merely immobilizes it. A sword is then drawn and, with a single stroke, the swordsman quickly decapitates the revenant. Fresh garlic cloves are then stuffed into the mouth and scattered throughout the coffin. Garlic was believed to sever the bond between the evil spirit and the corpse. At this point, the body could then be reburied. The head was placed, facedown, in between the legs. However, if any doubt remained, the creature's body and the head were then thoroughly burned, and the ashes scattered to the four winds.
As for actually engaging in a fight with the Nelapsi, it is unknown if blessed weapons, silver, holy water, or holy symbols will work on the revenant. Getting this close to the Nelapsi is very much discouraged unless one is supremely confident in his abilities (or has a death wish). Even then, care must be taken. It is recommended that the aforementioned methods should be tried to see if they are effective, but it is best to be entirely prepared.
When the Nelapsi is destroyed, its taint does not dissipate. To cleanse a village of the revenant's evil, a large bonfire is lit, using only new wood. Effigies of evil creatures (vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.) are thrown into the fire, along with any animals suspected of being the revenant's familiar or that came into contact with the creature. Once the fire has burned down, the villagers and their livestock quickly walk through the smoke and ashes, believing themselves purified of the Nelapsi's evil. Each villager takes some of the still-glowing embers from the bonfire home with them, restarting their hearth-fires. The ashes from the fire are cast over the fields and along the roads as a final precaution against evil and the Nelapsi itself.
Among one of the most feared of all the known species of vampire is the Nelapsi, an undead abomination hailing from the European country of Slovakia. Although no evidence from folklore has been presented thus far, one is inclined to believe that the Nelapsi is the corpse of a suicide, a murderer, or a practitioner of the dark arts, reanimated by a demonic spirit from Hell. The result is a sadistic, gluttonous undead monster with an insatiable need for blood. The bond between the flesh and the spirit is so strong that the revenant is virtually unkillable, and the Nelapsi enjoys every minute of it. The Nelapsi is still believed to exist to this day, arising from the grave when darkness falls to hunt and kill once more...
- Maberry, Jonathan. Vampire Universe. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp. Copyright (c)2006 by Jonathan Maberry.
- Maberry, Jonathan. The Vampire Slayer's Field Guide to the Undead. Canada: Strider Nolan Publishing, Inc. Copyright (c)2003 by Jonathan Maberry.