From Bulgaria comes another type of vampire hunter known as a vampirdzhija. It specializes in the hunting and destruction of a type of vampire known as an USTREL. Using a highly ritualistic ceremony, on a Saturday morning all the fires in a community with a vampire are extinguished. Then, at the crossroads, the vampirdzhija builds two bonfires that are set aflame with “new fire,” that is, fire that is created from the rubbing together of two sticks. Next, all the cattle and sheep are gathered together and herded to pass between the twin bonfires, as the mature USTREL lives in the space in between the animals’ horns. The USTREL, rather than being singed, or worse, will leap off the animal and run into the countryside, where wolves will find and devour it. After all of the animals have passed through the bonfires, a fagot of new fire is taken into the community and used to relight all of the fires there.
- Melton, Vampire Book, 367;
- Perkowski, The Darkling, 82;
- Katherine Ramsland, Science of Vampires, 161