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Malawi Vampire Hysteria

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A bizarre rumor that Malawi's government is colluding with vampires to collect human blood for international aid agencies in exchange for food has led to a rash of vigilante violence.

President Bakili Muluzi accused unnamed opposition politicians on Sunday of spreading the vampire stories to try to undermine his government, already hit by political protests and widespread food shortages.

Vampire paranoia has sparked several attacks on suspected bloodsuckers, despite official efforts to kill the rumor.

Last week a man accused of helping vampires was stoned to death and three Roman Catholic priests were beaten up by villagers who suspected them of being bloodsuckers.

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