Legends of Sardinia: the sùrbiles, the horrible vampire-women

legends of Sardinia: sùrbiles

The Janas are not the only fantastic beings of Sardinian legends. Some of these beings are, just as the Janas, fairy. Others, however, are much more dark. As sùrbiles, the terrible vampire-women of the Sardinian tradition.

They seems to come from Dracula, the famous novel by Bram Stoker, published in 1897. But, obviously, the legend of sùrbiles is more, more, more ancient. Sùrbiles, according to the tradition, sucked the blood of infants not baptized.

To enter the room where infants slept, the sùrbiles transformed into small insects like the flies that could easily pass through the lock. Usually, their “attacks” took place between midnight and 3am.

But Sardinian people were not helpless. The tricks to protect infants against sùrbiles:

  • put in the room a broom placed with the bristles upward
  • hang on the wall a bunch of orange or hyssop leaves
  • put at the foot of the bed a pair of shoes and a headscarf
  • hanging on the door a tripod for cooking
  • put a cap or a small jacket on the headboard of the bed
  • place toothed objects in front of the door
  • toothed place objects on the front door

At 3am o’clock, sùrbiles would leave. To come back next night.


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