Variations: Afreet, Afreeti, Afrite, Efreet, Efreeti, Efrit, Ifreet, Ifrit

African and Muslim folklore alike speak of a vampiric spirit called the afrit, or afriti when found in numbers. Its name means “blooddrinking nomad.” When a person is murdered, his spirit returns to the place of death. At the very spot where the last drop of his lifeblood fell, the newly created afrit rises up.

Some sources say it looks like a larger version of the jinni, but others claim it appears as a desert dervish, a ghostlike form, a tall column of smoke, or a being resembling the Christian devil complete with cloven hooves, horns, and a tail. Just to see the creature will cause a person to be overcome with fear. To prevent this vampiric being from entering into existence, a nail must be driven into the exact spot where the last drop of lifeblood fell. This will force the spirit to remain in the earth.

In all, there are five types of jinni, and although the afrit is the second most powerful, it is the most ruthless and cruel toward its victims.


  • Hoiberg, Students’ Britannica India, 5–6;
  • Jacobs,Folklore,vol. 11, 389–94;
  • Philp, Jung and the Problem of Evil, 56–57;
  • Rose,Giants,Monsters,and Dragons, 6

From the Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology Written by Theresa Bane ©2010 Theresa Bane. All rights reserved

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