Bruxa

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Similar to Mexico’s Tlahuelpocmimi, the Bruxa is a vampire witch of Portugal. The Bruxa is a pre-Christian figure that became prominent in the Middle Ages at the time the Inquisition was focusing their attention on Pagan believes and malevolent activities of Satan.

The Bruxa was generally a woman is considered a vampire because of her blood-sucking attacks on infants. She would assume the form of various animals, generally a duck, rat, good, dove, or ant. Her power was largely confined to the hours or midnight and 2:00AM.

Children were protected by a Bruxa by using iron and steel. A steel nail on the ground or a pair of scissors under the pillow would keep the vampire witches away. In some cases magical amulets were worn to protect against the witches. Garlic was also thought to ward off the vampire, which is why it was sometimes sewn into the clothes of children to protect them from being carried away.

After a Bruxa attack, a mother could boil the child’s clothes while jabbing them with a sharp instrument. The witch would supposedly feel the jabs on her own body and would be compelled to come forward, asking for mercy. The witch could also be manifested if the mother began sweeping backward, from the door inwards into the home, while repeating