E is for Empusa/empusae
Today we’re traveling to Greece. It’s been a wild day, but you’re getting two for the price of one in this segment of our trip!
Name: Empusa, or as a species, it’s empuse. The plural is empusae. (meaning is unknown)
Type: Originally, a vampire-like demigoddess, later a species of monsters under Hecate’s command.
Origin: Greek mythology
Description: Here’s what wikipedia says about her, “Empusa was the beautiful daughter of the goddess Hecate and tohhe spirit Mormo. She feasted on blood by seducing young men as they slept (see sleep paralysis), before drinking their blood and eating their flesh…. In later Greek mythology, her role was reduced to a species of Hecate a spectre called an empuse or empusa (pl. empusae). The empusae were sent by Hecate to guard roads and devour travelers (Hecate was also the goddess of roadsides). According to Philostratus, empusae ran and hid, uttering a high-pitched scream, at the sound of insults.”
Interesting facts: The word is still used in regards to shapeshifting hobgolins that harass Greek shepherds. In literature, they’re used in Grecian Rune by James Matthew Byers, and in the Percy Jackson series.
Have you ever heard of the demigoddess Empusa or the empusae?