The Daily Mail has reported that Indian politicians are offering a $2000 reward for the capture of vampires which terrified locals claim have been sucking the blood out of their cattle.

Villagers around the town of Dharampuri in Tamil Nadu have been staying off the streets after sunset following the reports of strange goings on in the night. Residents have also taken to painting holy signs outside their homes and writing messages on doors begging the monsters, known locally as Ratha Kaatteri, to spare their lives.

However local politicians claim the rumors are being spread by criminals who do not want people disturbing their late night deliveries of bootleg booze. To prove the whole thing is hoax they have offered reward of 100,000 rupees – almost $2000 – for anyone bringing in a vampire corpse. According to politician O. Jayaraman said:

“It is a big hoax. Anti-socials whose illegal night activities such as bootlegging and liquor brewing have been disturbed are spreading rumors and killing cattle… since people are not willing to believe us, we have challenged them with this reward.’

These evil spirits are said to inhabit the bodies of the dead and feed on the living. Legends also describe them as being half-bat, half-man, – extremely similar to the western stories.

Although vampires are usually associated with Western mythology, many believe the stories have their roots in Asia and were carried along the silk route to Europe.