Etemmu (Ekimmu) gehörten bei den Assyrern und Babyloniern zu den meist gefürchteten und bösartigsten Kreaturen. Halb Geist, halb Vampir entstehen sie durch eine nicht ordnungsgemäße Beerdigung, einen gewaltsamen Tod, durch Tod bei der Geburt, Tod bevor sie Liebe fanden, verhungern oder ertrinken. Sie sind von Natur aus unsichtbar und sind in der Lage, andere Menschen zu kontrollieren. Zerstört werden können sie durch hölzerne Waffen oder durch Exorzismus. Siehe auch Utukku (Cyrne)

The edimmu, read incorrectly sometimes as ekimmu,[1] were a type of utukku in Sumerian mythology, similar in nature to the preta of Vedic religion or the kiangshi of Chinese mythology. They were envisioned as the ghosts of those who were not buried properly. They were considered vengeful toward the living and might possess people if they did not respect certain taboos, such as the prohibition against eating ox meat. They were thought to cause disease and inspire criminal behavior in the living, but could sometimes be appeased by funeral repasts or libations. The edimmu were also thought to be completely or nearly incorporeal, "wind" spirits that sucked the life out of the susceptible and the sleeping (most commonly the young).

In Sumerian mythology, ekimmu or edimmu is the evil ghost of an individual who is denied entrance to the Underworld and is doomed to walk the earth for eternity.


Ekimmu means The Seizer from ekemu - to seize. Ekimmus were referred to as the evil gusts of wind.


The edimmu were also thought to be completely or nearly incorporial, "wind" spirits that sucked the life out of children and the sleeping.


A person could become an ekimmu

  • by dying a violent death such as murder, drowning, or any other unsavory death or leaving a corpse mutilated or unburied.
  • if proper funeral rites were not observed or if there was no surviving family or if nobody cared for the soul.


Ekimmus are extremely vengeful toward the living. They may cause disease and inspire criminal behavior in the living. Sometimes ekimmus attach themselves to any living person, regardless of the fact they had been acquainted with the dead one or not.


They were said to be able to possess those who did not take into account certain taboos, like not to eat ox meat. This theory is also upheld by the fact that the Assyrians believed the Ekimmu could walk through doors and walls, like spirits.

Ekimmus were said to be the bringer of misfortune and death to its victims and their households. Its howling in the night warned the living of an impending demise.

Ekimmus are very difficult to eradicate through exorcism. Sometimes they can be appeased by funeral repast.

Main BeliefBearbeiten

Ekimmu’s origins date back 4000 BC. Originally they come from the Assyrians, then later shared by Babylonians, as well as interpreted by the Inuit and Eskimo tribes. A thousand years later they were feared by the Mesopotamian Empire, where the creature was believed to be an angry spirit unable to find peace. In Sumerian mythology utukku were a spirit or a demon, that could be either benevolent or evil. The evil was known as Edimmu or Ekimmu. The good ones were named Shedu. Utukku were supposed to do the will of Anu, the god of the Heavens. There were utukku of the plain, the mountains, the sea, and the grave.

Assyrians believed that after death a soul would enter the Underworld. There was no Heaven for these lovely people, for they described the afterlife as the House of Darkness, the Yet, there were certain souls that were so corrupt, that they would not even enter the Underworld. These are the souls that would become a roaming phantom, bringing torment and death to their seat of the god Irkalla, the House from which none that enter come forth again.

Modern beliefBearbeiten

Today the Ekimmu is believed to be found among the homeless, living in steam tunnels, sewers, and abandoned buildings in decayed inner cities.

The Ekimmu has rarely been labeled as vampire, but it reminds the Utukku (also known as Uruku) meaning vampire, who preys upon men.

The ekimmu is one of the first and oldest myths of the vampire known to man, dating back to 2,000-3,000 B.C.E.


The Ekimmu is one of the first and oldest myths of the vampire known to man, dating to 2,000 - 3,000 B.C.E. The Assyrians of Mesopotamia believed the Ekimmu or Edimmu came into existence when their people died before their time. These unfortunate souls were refused admission to the underworld, causing them to become violent and ill tempered, hence the name “ekimmu” which translates to “that which was snatched away.”[1]

Ancient beliefsBearbeiten

Ekimmu include those who died of drowning, dehydration, hunger, and imprisonment. Those who had an improper funeral would also become an ekimmu. Campbell stated that the ekimmu spirit “could find no rest as long as its body remained unburied”.[2] Curran stated “those who died without any relatives or someone to tend to their graves might also become ekimmu.” [3]


Ekimmu inhabit lonely barren places and attacked travelers who pass by, or attach themselves - later torturing them in their homes. Campbell contradicts this belief in which he states the ekimmu “who could find no rest would try to fasten themselves onto a loved one or friend and demand rites which would give them peace”. He also states that the ekimmu reside in “rather a home but dwell in deserted inhabitable places because there was no god, charms or amulets to keep them out.” [2]

Physiology & PsychologyBearbeiten

The ekimmu were described by the Assyrians as muscular and solid beings who could become invisible and transform into smoky figures, evil winds or shadows. As the legend became more well known, folklore about the Ekimmu’s characteristics began to resemble modern vampires. As per Curran, the Ekimmu “would attach themselves to their victims and suck away their “energy” until there was just a husk of a once living being. [3]


Those who died a violent death would become another form of ekimmu called alu. They were described as emaciated beings with white skin and scab lips who drank blood. The alu would appear only in the night, prowling for stranded victims or travelers to feed on. For the Assyrians there was little protection from the alu. Common practices used were fire or bloody meat offerings.

Curran stated “the alu was then followed back to their resting place where they were dug up and proper burial rituals were performed or they were burned”. Babylonians, Sumerians and Assyrians all dreaded the ekimmu, and took great care to avoid them. They would not travel alone or at certain times midday. They avoided inhabited places and kept spirit bowls in reach. They even recited prayers before entering their homes to deny the ekimmu from entering. Only priests, holy men or magicians could banish them. [3]