Speaking with Vampires

Rumor and History in Colonial Africa

Luise White



During the colonial period, Africans told each other terrifying rumors that Africans who worked for white colonists captured unwary residents and took their blood. Luise White presents and interprets vampire stories from East and Central Africa as a way of understanding the world as the storytellers did. Using gossip and rumor as historical sources in their own right, she assesses the place of such evidence, oral and written, in historical reconstruction.


Luise White is as usual stimulating and provocative. This book on vampires reverses strong mythologies and will make a significant difference in African studies. —Valentin Mudimbe


Professor Luise White teaches history at the University of Florida. She has done research in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and archival research in England, Italy, and Belgium.