Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vampires in Malawi

Vampires are on the loose in the African nation of Malawi. At least, that's what vigilantes who are running around killing these suspected blood-suckers believe. The government of Malawi is attempting to crack down on the vigilantes, since obviously they're just running around killing regular people rather than protecting their nation from the undead.

Vigilante killings started on 16 September when three people suspected of being blood suckers were killed by a mob. Traditional leaders in southern Malawi believe the vampire rumours started across the border in Mozambique where rumours of blood sucking have led to violence this week.

In Mozambique, protesters have targeted police because they believe they are protecting the supposed vampires, leading a northern town's administrator to flee the city. The villagers in these areas believe human blood sucking is a ritual practised by some to become rich. They also believe they are failing to catch the blood suckers because they use magical powers.

If these communities believe in "mysterious magical explanations for things, then people will tend to attribute their difficulty on what they call blood suckers," Dr Chioza Bandawe, a clinical psychologist at the University of Malawi, said. For some that represents "the life of the hope being sucked out of them," he said. But this has been "expressed on innocent people or on people who are different".

So basically, this is the same old witch-hunting hysteria that pops up in way too many parts of the world. The police are protecting these vampires because they are not really vampires, but simply innocent people who are disliked by their neighbors. And this whole thing is way too familiar - a fanciful rumor gets started, and anybody who's different pays the price.

Here's hoping that the government crackdown succeeds, and that this violence can be stopped in its tracks. One thing the world doesn't need is a whole crop of delusional vampire hunters.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: