Here is another glimpse at our upcoming bilingual encyclopedia of fantastic creatures, titled Mexican Bestiary | Bestiario mexicano.
A TLAHUELPUCHI (tlah well POO chee) is a sort of shape-shifting vampire who lives with her human family and prefers the blood of infants. The vast majority of tlahuelpocmimi (the plural of tlahuelpuchi) are female, and the females are more powerful than the males. Differently from European vampires, a tlahuelpuchi is not made: she is born with her curse, which cannot be removed. Tlahuelpocmimi first learn of what they are when they reach puberty, often from a family member who shares the condition. Once the curse manifests itself, these Mexican vampires must drink blood at least once a month. If they don’t, they will suffer an agonizing death. As the condition can’t be passed on, victims never become vampires; instead, they simply die. Though a tlahuelpuchi will always prefer to attack babies, often as they sleep snuggled beside their mothers, she can also survive on the blood of older children and teens. The typical sign that the victim was killed by the tlahuelpuchi are bruises on the upper body and small puncture marks.