A vampiric being from Bulgaria, the platnik has a measurable and precise life cycle. After the body is buried, the spirit spends the first nine days of its unlife in the grave, and as it develops, the surface of its grave begins to sink in. As soon as that time has passed, the platnik rises from its grave as a spirit and begins attacking its family members for the next 40 days. In spirit form it looks like the shadow of a dog, hen, or person. Platnik attacks will range anywhere from break- ing dishes to running off the cattle at night to vandalizing homes as well as physically assault- ing people. To prevent a platnik from attacking while still in its spirit form, one must utilize the things it is afraid of: animal skulls, fire, iron, light, and wolves-it will not stay in an area where these things are present. Unfortunately, only a bolt of lightning will kill it, and the chances of that happening are rather slim. Ex-huming the body on a Saturday and then piercing the corpse with a red- hot poker may also work.
If the spirit vampire can manage to drink enough blood and not get itself destroyed in the process, at the end of its 40-day rampage, it will become a platnik: a full- blown, solid- form vampire. It can now pass for a normal person except for having no fingernails and red eyes; furthermore, it will have the ability to shape-shift into a dog or wolf. Its new body does not have bones, but rather a cartilage- like substance. The first thing a new platnik will do upon developing its body will be to seek out its widow and attack her in broad daylight, torturing her to death. As soon as she is dead, the platnik will leave town and seek out a new place to live as far from its old community as possible. Once established in a place where no one will know it is a REVENANT, it will marry and have children. The offspring will be born VAMPIRDZHII. If the platnik is discovered for what it is, it can easily be killed. Any simple cut will prove to be fatal, causing it to bleed out and die. Its blood will be thick, dark, and jelly- like and is called pixtija.
In Bulgaria there is a living, vampiric half-breed called a vampirdzhii, born from the union between a human and a PLATNIK. Blessed by God, this red-eyed being can reveal a vampire for what it is by using holy icons. The vampirdzhii's preferred method of destroying vampires is to prick them with a briar thorn or by boiling the vampire to death in a large cauldron. They are similar to other vampire hunters such as the DHAMPIRE, PLATNIK, and the VAMPIRDZHIJA.
From Bulgaria comes another type of vampire hunter known as a vampirdzhija. It specializes in the hunting and destruction of a type of vampire known as an USTREL. Using a highly ritualistic ceremony, on a Saturday morning all the fires in a community with a vampire are extinguished. Then, at the crossroads, the vampirdzhija builds two bonfires that are set aflame with "new fire," that is, fire that is created from the rubbing together of two sticks. Next, all the cattle and sheep are gathered together and herded to pass between the twin bonfires, as the mature USTREL lives in the space in between the animals' horns. The USTREL, rather than being singed, or worse, will leap off the animal and run into the countryside, where wolves will find and devour it. After all of the animals have passed through the bonfires, a fagot of new fire is taken into the community and used to relight all of the fires there.