There is a belief in Poland that a child who is born with a cleft palate and either a caul or teeth will grow up to have a bright red face and suffer from hyperactivity throughout his life. When he eventually dies, he will rise up as a type of barbed-tongue vampiric REVENANT known as a wieszczy. In addition to attacking humans for their blood, the wieszczy will also ring the church bells at midnight and call out the names of people who live in the community. If anyone should hear his own name being called out, he will die.
To prevent a person from rising up as a wieszczy, he must be buried with several crosses made of willow wood, with one placed under each arm, under the chin, and upon the chest. Before the COFFIN is closed a handful of dirt from the deceased’s own doorway is to be sprinkled over the body.
- Alexander, Mythology of All Races, 232;
- Lorentz, Cassubian Civilization, 276;
- Senn, Werewolf and Vampire in Romania, 66;
- Taylor, Death and the Afterlife, 392