Where do soucouyants come from?

You know what you get with vampires. They bite you and either a) you die, or b) you get forever pledged into the blood-sucking undead crew until someone cuts your head off and a) you die, or b) someone kills the head vampire in which case, YAY! You live.

There are no such hard and fast rules for the soucouyant.

Although soucouyant lore is based loosely on the Euro vampire, there are some major differences and also some major gaps in knowledge. Like, I have no idea how a soucouyant is made. As far as I know, pretty much everyone with a suspicious-looking mosquito bite in Trinidad has been sucked by a soucouyant, and none of us have turned yet. So clearly, soucouyants don’t have the infectious vampire disease of their Euro counterparts. And since so many people are sure that the old lady who lives in that house over there is a soucouyant, she must have been made into a soucouyant at some point, because she wasn’t born that way, even if there’s practically no one alive who remembers her as a little girl.

So. Exactly how did she get that way?

I can’t imagine that little old ladies suddenly decide it’d be fun to shed their skin, burst into flames and terrorize their neighbors (actually, now that I say it, it seems like something I might do. You know, for funsies.) But what makes a nice old lady suddenly become a blood-sucking ball of fire?

In all my research for this book (you know, the talking to my Trini family about what they know) I am yet to come across a soucouyant birth story. So if you happen to know one, please tell me.

In the meantime, I’m having a good time making it up as I go along. Let’s call that creativity. Or BS-ing. Or an important addition to the lore. Yeah. Let’s stick with that last one.

[Image from: http://www.imagekind.com/Soucouyant_art?IMID=a7672804-7da0-4de3-a489-e8d9730dec5d]

2 thoughts on “Where do soucouyants come from?

  1. lisa says:

    I live rural countryside Trinidad and can clearly recall seeing what looked like a shaky ball of fire land on a tree top in the cane fields at the back of my house. It stayed only seconds then moved very slowly over the tree tops and disappeared. I was around eleven. When I was in my twenties i again saw this ball of fire in the sky while driving. It was miles away from my home and moving over some tree tops.

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