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Oct-29-2007 14:36printcomments

Vampires in Afghanistan? Soldiers Say It's True

"They come out at night, sometimes people come up missing, especially kids. They even pull their animals inside when the vampires are out." - Soldier at Bagram, Afghanistan

American soldiers preparing for a mission in Afghanistan before dawn
American soldiers preparing for a mission in Afghanistan before dawn. Some soldiers say the dangers for soldiers at night include otherworldly problems, namely vampires.
Photo by: Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - During my two months on assignment in the Afghanistan combat theater last winter, I covered all kinds of military operations for Salem-News.com and Oregon's KPTV FOX-12. While I was there I spent time on forward combat bases, I went on infantry foot patrols, flew in helicopters, and witnessed levels of disparity that were hard to imagine.

But the only time I thought I was going to vomit in that faraway land was when a very strange American soldier found it necessary to tell me about the Afghan vampires. Call it a coincidence, maybe it was the coffee, I will never know for sure, but twenty minutes with this guy sent me running for the men's room.

I've been asked to write more about the haunted side of Afghanistan, so I figured the vampire story would have to be told. I can't say I had ever heard of an Afghan vampire, though you can sort of imagine it in that ancient place. Now I learn that Director John Moore's new movie Virulents is about lost soldiers in Afghanistan who stumble upon a nest of vampire zombies. It is a strange coincidence at best, but the notion of Afghan vamps is certainly nothing new.

The day I met this soldier I was at the Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, waiting for a series of flights which would lead me to Kyrgyzstan, then Turkey, then Germany and then back to the states.


I don't know why this soldier decided to approach my friend and I, there were plenty of soldiers around, but he walked up and almost instantly asked if we knew about the vampire problems people in the local area experienced. My friend Rick was a major who had spent most of his time at Camp Phoenix at Kabul, I on the other hand had moved around the country to several places, but I'd only spent part of a day at Bagram. Neither of us had heard anything about Afghan vampires.

This soldier said it was common lore in the area, and that the vampires struck horror in the hearts of the people around certain parts of Afghanistan more than the Taliban. "They are really terrified of them," he said. "It scares people half to death if they just think one is around," he said.

"They come out at night, sometimes people come up missing, especially kids. They even pull their animals inside when the vampires are out."

My friend and I both wished that this guy and his bizarre stories would get lost, but he stayed right there telling us more about the local fears associated with the vampires of Afghanistan.

"It's been going on for hundreds of years here, people in other parts of the world don't even know about it; but anyone who has lived around here does."

There is no doubt that the people of Afghanistan are superstitious. Death is such a common occurrence here, and graves are no less than prevalent in places, you just see signs of it everywhere. The soldier said even our military forces have to be aware of this strange phenomena in certain parts of the country.


"Guys are scared, you're damned right. They know there isn't a thing anyone can do about it if one of them decides to come after you, you just stick with other people and hope for the best sometimes."

Another soldier made this statement, "Afghan vampire lives in the deep desert (makes sense dessication and all), looks like a normal person but is quite a bit taller, (not bigger, just taller), and most of them are women."

I would like to hear from anyone who has anything to add on this, you can post your thoughts in the comment section. Perhaps other soldiers who have spent time in Afghanistan have their own theories.

It is hard to argue with folklore, most people in third world countries adhere to it very strongly. I didn't hear it from Afghan people, and the guy who did tell me about it caused me to almost lose my lunch, I didn't thank goodness.

The Afghan Vampire Movie Virulents

John Moore is planning to release Virulents next year, his most recent film was the remake of The Omen in 2006. He is also known for his remake of the Flight of the Phoenix in 2004 and Behind Enemy Lines in 2001.

Virulents is a tale of a group of American and Indian soldiers who cross paths in Afghanistan. Critics call it the best idea of all time and the stupidest idea of all time, in the same sentence.

A comic book is apparently going to be published by New Regency that 20th Century Fox will distribute. The script will be penned by John Cox.

________________________________________


Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

You can write to Tim at this address: tim@salem-news.com.

Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)

With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.

Tim King reporting from the war in Iraq

Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu

In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.

Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.

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Joe M June 8, 2012 8:17 am (Pacific time)

Lots of folklore... The 2009 horror movie "Red Sands" depicts a platoon of US soldiers stationed in a remote area of Afghanistan who accidentally wake an imprisoned jinni. (Wikipedia)


dark angel October 1, 2010 4:46 am (Pacific time)

r u 4 real people do u really believe vampires exist?!! what a joke!!!


swirly September 20, 2010 12:49 am (Pacific time)

I myself am Afghan but was born and raised in Oregon. I remember as a kid hearing stories from my uncle about this. I still wonder if its true.


Tyrell June 9, 2010 10:24 am (Pacific time)

Afghanistan must have some really good weed for yall to see some vampires


Josh June 1, 2010 7:20 pm (Pacific time)

I doubt that the 'vampires' would be viewed as the sexy or seductive vampires that western society has developed. They would probably be viewed in a more frightening manner.


vampyrgoddess February 20, 2009 6:11 pm (Pacific time)

Funny how I've used this username, As an Afghan girl, for years now. Yes, Vampires in my country .. well. Touchy.
Even more interesting is the fact that I am the first to respond to this posting after more than a year.

Tim King: This really is an intriguing subject. You can write to me at tim@salem-news.com. I'd like to talk to you about Afghanistan.


Ore'el February 18, 2009 3:13 am (Pacific time)

world war I and II, read pls Dion Fortune books: Dr Taverner, My demon lover, Moon Magic... there are some clues over there and the Esoteric Tradition. Blessings


afghan girl February 5, 2009 10:29 pm (Pacific time)

iam so so so sad i lived in afghanistan all my life and i never heard of vimpairs but i heard about jend and you ppl know my mom saw jend besmalah bayand and it isnt vimpaire it is jend


open eyes November 10, 2008 12:48 pm (Pacific time)

If you want to learn the truth about lights in the sky and other things do a search on google video about william cooper watch the video and then look back at the infomation with an open mind


X August 19, 2008 3:02 am (Pacific time)

Vampire..NO. Djins, maybe. When I was there, the tree sings for almost a week at 3 am every morning. Strange place.


z80 August 16, 2008 1:47 am (Pacific time)

watch the new movie called "The Objective" THEN tell me you dont believe! "The djinn prefer to live in places not inhabited by man, such as deserts and wastelands."


al qaida July 9, 2008 3:04 am (Pacific time)

look dear soldiers, 1st there is no vampire second f there is the vampire might be pashtons because pashtons and vimpaires are created by one GOD


Alucard December 10, 2007 10:42 am (Pacific time)

They are real I am the 1st an the last We are legion, we are many, we are one The females bring the food back to the rest as do lions in the wild, not to mention people feel safer to aproach a women as opposed to a man at night. now my brothers an sisters of old make me as sick as you walking diseases the creator is soon upon us all an purge this corner


Tim King November 24, 2007 5:10 pm (Pacific time)

Sunjer Nasrat, you let me have it with both barrels. Maybe I deserve it, I think you can rest in peace knowing that this story won't affect politics, it was just something I learned in passing in Bagram and then when I looked at Google, there was the information about the movie. I suspect that you haven't seen most of my reports from Afghanistan, this link will take you to them if you are interested: Dispatches from Afghanistan

Salem Alikum brother, I love your country and I am going to be back there soon. I have been to some remote parts of Afghanistan and I really care, so the vampire story was just a little side note for Halloween, Tashakor my friend.


Sunjer Nasrat November 24, 2007 4:54 pm (Pacific time)

I think you may have misunderstood the concept of an empire being bled white in Afghanistan. I am an afghan who have actually come across a vampire when I was 15years old. She had an average height, brown hair and fangs like... oh wait I think that was the final episode of BUFFY. What a load of Crap!! I guess now the US can use this as an excuse for a total withdrawl. "Our Firebase was overrun by vampires...in turbans...with AK47s...aaand long black imposing beards" Maybe you should stick to the task of reporting on the important stuff that goes on.


Mamaloo November 16, 2007 1:38 pm (Pacific time)

Perhaps stories told by poppy farmers to keep locals out of their fields???


Inanna Arthen November 11, 2007 6:15 pm (Pacific time)

I would *love* to learn more about these stories. I have not heard much about indigenous vampire folklore in Afghanistan. Without hearing a lot more, directly, it would be hard to determine whether these tales are truly indigenous, or are based on Western fictional notions imported (via the British) and absorbed into the local lore, as Luise White describes in Africa in her book, "Speaking With Vampires" (2000). Sounds like there would be a great opportunity for some academic papers, if not a dissertation, in this--once the war is over, at least. It's especially fascinating that in a predominantly Muslim country, the vampires would be characterized as almost always female.

(Inanna Arthen is the author of "Mortal Touch" and the owner of By Light Unseen Media.)

Tim King to Inanna Arthen: I am glad to see this from you, I too wonder why there is not more interest in this extremely intriguing aspect of that nation's folklore. I do have a soldier attempting to learn more for me right now through his interpreter. I also love the female aspect of the vampire in a Muslim nation. My email is tim@salem-news.com and it sounds like we should stay in touch, thanks.


Garlika October 29, 2007 8:46 pm (Pacific time)

Tall, female vamps, huh? Just contestants for the "Miss Queen of the Damned" Pageant, Afghanistan. Nothing too serious.


Mike at western voices world news October 29, 2007 6:29 pm (Pacific time)

They probably enjoy folklore like any country, and surely some real psychos try to reinvent themselves as vampires to hide behind superstition.


denny October 29, 2007 4:33 pm (Pacific time)

this is really interesting! I never thought of vampires in afghanistan before, think i'll bring the garlic if i ever have to go!


Lila October 29, 2007 3:26 pm (Pacific time)

Whatever..... :o)

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