The Red Wife; The Scarlet Woman
Turkish (pre-Islamic Turkic shamanism)
Al Karisi is a deadly, vampiric spirit who craves the inner organs of horses and humans. New-borns and their mothers are believed to be especially vulnerable, although Al Karisi targets children, too. Al Karisi is a stealth killer. Although deadly and terrible, she’s also nonconfrontational, preferring magical attack to brute force. Despite her reputation as a bloodthirsty spirit profoundly associated with the color red, her victims are not torn apart; her attack does not resemble a violent crime scene, but manifests in sudden, abrupt, unexplained death (like SIDS; crib death) or as chronic, wasting illness that won’t respond to medical treatment.
The goal is to keep Al Karisi away from potential victims. Amulets, sacred texts, and the presence of vigilant human guardians provide protection. Al Karisi possesses powers of hypnosis or the ability to paralyze victims, who then lose their ability to speak, move, or scream. Once she is in the room, the victim, although conscious and fully aware, is unable to signal for help, scream, flee, or fight back. Avoidance thus is the best policy although Al Karisi can theoretically be stopped by staking her through the heart with a wooden stake or silver needle. Should one encounter her, one should avoid looking in her eyes to forestall paralysis.
Al Karisi prefers sleeping victims. Efforts may be made to keep newborns and new mothers awake as much as possible. Placid, sleepy babies, so desirable elsewhere, may be more vulnerable than those who are alert and wakeful.
Al Karisi is a master shape-shifter. She is inevitably described as female and may appear as a large, terrifying woman dressed in red. She also appears as a bird, cat, dog, or fox. Most terrifyingly, Al Karisi can alter her appearance so that she resembles someone her victim knows, usually a family member, gaining her access where otherwise she might be kept out via prayers and talismans.