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Creatures That Can't Enter A Home Without An Invitation

Discussion in 'Research' started by Mythical Traveller, May 13, 2015.

  1. There's this folklore trope that has been playing on my mind of late: the idea of a creature (presumably a fearsome monster) that can't enter a person's home without being invited inside by the owner. I've been trying to nail down what creature(s) this trait belongs to.

    I know I saw it once in an episode of Supernatural, and they applied it to the Hindu Rakshasas. The Rakshasas are an actual part of Hindu teachings, but can anyone tell me whether the part about them needing to be invited into someone's house is actual Hindu lore, or if it's just Hollywood creative license?

    I also have a feeling I've heard this characteristic being applied to vampires somewhere.

    Does anyone know any other creatures who are impeded by this restriction? The older the folklore, the better. I'm hoping I'll be able to tie this concept to a legend that is more or less timeless.
  2. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

    Vampires do indeed have these prohibitions, at least in some legends.
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
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  3. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

    Ghosts, witches, and demons may also have this prohibition. Various things count as being "invited in" though.

    Must Be Invited - TV Tropes
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  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    I've heard it most often used with vampires as well. It goes back quite a ways. Some people interpret Cooleridge's Christabel as being about a vampire, and Geraldine (the supposed vampire) either pretends to be, or is, in pain on attempting to cross the threshold of Christabel's father, and is 'invited' in when Christabel picks her up and carries her over:

    They crossed the moat, and Christabel
    Took the key that fitted well;
    A little door she opened straight,
    All in the middle of the gate;
    The gate that was ironed within and without,
    Where an army in battle array had marched out.
    The lady sank, belike through pain,
    And Christabel with might and main
    Lifted her up, a weary weight,
    Over the threshold of the gate:
    Then the lady rose again,
    And moved, as she were not in pain.
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  5. Trick

    Trick Auror

    This is a commonly held belief about demons among Catholics. However, what constitutes an invitation is highly debatable. One tradition is to bury blessed St. Benedict's medals at the corners of one's property and then NO evil may cross without invitation. However, carrying evil in your heart (pick a vice) and crossing onto your own property is an invitation.
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  6. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

    I remember hearing about types of Fae that can't enter without permission, or at least cannot do any harm while they're there uninvited. 'Leave it no worse than you found it' kind of thing.
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  7. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    The police.
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  8. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    If only that were true. :p
  9. Thanks everybody. The catholic example is an interesting twist on the concept, considering how it redefines "invitation."

    I'm going to assume that the lack of confirmation on the Rakshasa matter means that these beings probably aren't subject to the "no invitation, no entry" law.
  10. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

    This is what wikipedia has to say about them: Rakshasa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    From what I can recall of my reading of Hindu myth they're more a blend of western undead: vampires and zombies.

    So I don't know that they're prohibited from crossing over a threshold without an invitation, or not. I don't remember that coming up at all in the legends.

    From what I can recall of seeing them in western media, it seems like they've been westernized into our understanding of vampires along with the traditional things that our vampires can/can't do. They're just "exotic" vampires, if you catch my drift.

    So, if you're intending to write them as "exotic" vampires (i.e. Hindi flavoring, but not much adherence to their actual form in Hinduism) I'd go with the whole they can't cross over doors/windows without an invitation. If you're intending to write them as they are in Hinduism/Buddhism? They need to be a lot more demon-like (or zombie-like) with both GOOD and BAD guys.
  11. willsonjohn90

    willsonjohn90 Acolyte

    I have seen vampire diaries and it was shown in this show that vampires can't enter a house until they are invited by the owner of the house. Rest its just a myth no one can predict that.
  12. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    I think that is an old wives tale.;)


    I think some demons/devils in lore had this limitation, maybe related to vampire like abilities.

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