The most famous Australian vampire is the Talamaur who could communicate with the spirit world and could make the spirits its servants to use among the living. The Talamaur was considered a living vampire.
There are stories of the Talamaur that say it originates from the Banks Island. These ancient stories tell of a vampire-like beast that can interact with ghosts and bend them to its will.
But what is the Talamaur? It was considered to be a soul that went out and ate the souls that lingered around the bodies of the deceased. In many cases, the Talamaur would actually eat the corpse after making a deal with the ghost of the dead person—the deal was that the ghost would be protected against all evils by the Talamaur.
The Talamaur was not considered to be odd or unsightly. Many people would claim to be a Talamaur and eat the corpses of the dead after death according to aboriginal legend.
The Yara-ma-yha-who is an Aboriginal vampire that was said to take the form of a little red man who stood about four feet tall and had a really large head and mouth. This beast did not have any teeth and legend tells that it swallowed its food whole. According to legend, you could tell the beast by looking at its fingers and toes, which were shaped like the suckers of an octopus or squid.
The Yara-ma-yha-who apparently lived in fig trees and, unlike many western vampires, did not actively hunt for food. It just waited for victims to appear in its vicinity and then would drop on them. It would then place its hands and feet on its victim and drain the victim of their blood to the point that the victim was helpless. It would then return later to consume its victim once its hunger had returned.
After its meal, the Yara-ma-yha-who would go into a deep sleep. Upon awakening, it would then regurgitate any part of its victim that remained undigested. In many legends, the regurgitated victim would still be alive.
The Yara-ma-yha-who would be used by parents to discourage their children from wandering away from the tribe. Many legends said the Yara-ma-yha-who preyed on children, and parents would tell their children not to fight the monster—but to let it swallow them as their chances of survival were much higher that way.
Since the Yara-ma-yha-who tended to regurgitate its victims alive, people did survive its attacks.
However, as the legend explains, it made them more susceptible to being attacked again in the future. Each time a person was captured by the Yara-ma-yha-who, they would shrink slightly until they were eventually the same size as the creature. It was also said that over time their skin would become very smooth, and then they would grow hair across their body and gradually be changed into a creature of the forest.