Mullo – Gypsy Vampires

In Romanian gypsy culture, the word for the vampire is the “mullo”.   Mullo mullo vampiretranslates to “one who is dead” or “living dead”.

Like traditional vampires, the mullo was a dead (or really an “undead”) person who drained both animals and people of their blood. Mullos are most commonly believed to be created if someone is killed or dies a wrongful death.  The wrongfully killed person then “rise from the grave” to go after their victimes. If someone is to become a mullo through this proces, it is believed to happen sometime between 40 days to 5 years after burial – this is the time period in which those fearing their return must be most cautious. Caution is required because mullos are not friendly creatures, and are actually considered somewhat vengeful, going after the blood of any relative that caused their death.

The people in the most danger of encountering a mullo are the people they were married to – they tend to return most frequently to spouses or lovers.  The danger in this return, is that the mullo can – and sometimes does – cause a woman to become pregnant.  The resulting baby is not a full-blooded human, and not a full-blooded mullo, but rather a “half vampire” otherwise known as a dhampir.  Gypsies believed that mullos could be warded off or even killed with steel needles to the heart or stomach.



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2 Responses

  1. Really says:

    You seem to be mixing Romanian and other European mythologies with the Roma Gypsy mythology. Although the mullo is commonly associated with the European vampire, it resembles more of a vengeful “zombie”. Mullo, literally meaning “one who is dead” was never specified to suck blood until the Europeans took hold of the mythology. It was simply a havoc-wreaking spirit that couldn’t find rest. You became a mulo/muli is your family failed to destroy your belongings after death, which is similar to the old Irish faerie mythology. If one died and their belongings were not destroyed or given away in charity, they became a faerie(demon).
    In saying that, the sure way to rid of a mulo/muli was to destroy its belongings. Then more drastic measures were taken(such as the staking and beheading).
    A mullo really isn’t all that similar to the European vamp, so I’m always a little irked to see it commonly referred to as one.

  2. MC says:

    Mullos aren’t always vengeful or evil. In Diane Tong’s “Gypsy Folklore” there is a story called “The Dead Man Pays Back”. In this story a mullo (referred to in the story as a vampire) does good deeds for a man who paid his debt. In the same book there’s a story about a man who is attacked by the mullo only to be defended by another mullo.

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