In ancient Greek folklore, Lamia was a shape-shifting monster
that sucked blood and ate flesh, similar to stories of the succubus
and vampire. Lamia, the daughter of Belus and Libya,
was loved by Zeus and punished by Hera. Because Hera took
Lamia’s children away, Lamia took her revenge on the children
of men and women, since she had no power over gods. Lamia
became transformed into a class of demonic being in Greek
lore, the lamiai. According to folk beliefs, the lamiai might be
in the form of a beautiful woman, a snake with a woman’s head,
or a monster with deformed lower limbs and the power to take
out her eyes. (See also Striges)
Lawson, John Cuthbert. Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient
Greek Religion. 1910. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y. University
Books, 1964.