23 June 2012

"Vampire pumpkins and watermelons"

From Wikipedia:
Vampire pumpkins and watermelons are a folk legend from the Balkans, in southeastern Europe, described by ethnologist Tatomir Vukanović. The story is associated with the Roma people of the region, from whom much of traditional vampire folklore, among other unusual legends, originated.

The belief in vampire fruit is similar to the belief that any inanimate object left outside during the night of a full moon will become a vampire. According to tradition, watermelons or any kind of pumpkin kept more than ten days or after Christmas will become a vampire, rolling around on the ground and growling to pester the living. People have little fear of the vampire pumpkins and melons because of the creatures' lack of teeth. One of the main indications that a pumpkin or melon is about to undergo a vampiric transformation (or has just completed one) is said to be the appearance of a drop of blood on its skin.
The validity (or lack of same) of this legend is discussed at this Wikipedia talk archive page.

Photo credit ("I bought the melon at the Raleigh, North Carolina farmers' market and set it on the counter in an air-conditioned kitchen for four days, achieving the results photographed here. Upon observing the phenomenon, I wouldn't doubt that less scientific people supposed the watermelon had some relation to vampires.)

Via Biomedical Ephemera, or: A Frog for your Boils.


  1. Rolling and growling watermelons? This I've got to see. :-)

  2. I lived for almost a decade in the Balkans, joining in the Christmas festivities of people in villages, and never heard a hint of this superstition. Watermelons were seen only in season - they don't pickle well - whilst pumpkins were fed to pigs through autumn and winter. I suppose that the Roma might have kept an archaic belief amongst themselves, however in that case I'd have expected the peasants to have made fun of them for it.

    1. Baby watermelons pickle well though and they are very tasty. Close to kosher dill pickled cucumbers but sweeter. Yummiest little vampires I've bitten into :)

  3. Stan,

    do you know why all my comments get rejected? They seem to go through after I solve the captcha, but then they just vanish into thin air. I'm wondering what causes the glitch.

    1. I just found your last three comments (including this one) in Blogger's spam filter. I have no idea why that would happen; it doesn't seem to be happening to anyone else consistently - and i doesn't even happen to the spam often enough.

      I clicked the "not spam" release button, so they will be posted now. I check that filter pretty much every day, so if future stuff "disappears," just wait a day. But as to why it happens to you in particular... ????


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