Vampire attacks cause panic in Malawi

Magic vampires destroy cemeteries, transform themselves into bats and attack unsuspecting villagers, so goes the story which is causing mass hysteria in Malawi, where innocent people are being hacked to death because hysterical crowds believe they are vampires.

The governor of Blantyre was attacked by a crowd of 200 people because someone accused him of harbouring vampires in his home. He was one of many victims of vigilante groups who have taken to the streets after the rumour that vampires were attacking people, drugging them and drinking their blood took hold of the more impressionable elements of the population.

The phenomenon is not unknown in other parts of Africa, where people have been set on fire by frenzied crowds, because someone shouted “He’s a witch!”

The result of ignorance and poverty of spirit, this type of mass hysteria does nothing to create a climate for tourism, for example, to bring much-needed fruits to these countries. The government of Malawi has arrested a group of 40 people who were accused of being the rumour-mongers.

Who or what is behind these stories? Some say that the population is so hungry that they are imagining things, others blame groups of burglars, who take advantage of the demonstrations of revolt on the streets to steal from empty homes, while the President of Malawi, Bakili Muluzi, blames the opposition for trying to denigrate the image of his government.


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