Sparkly heart throb, demon blood-sucker, or something in between?
Vampires are steeped into historic legends around the world. And they’re the subject of major world-wide story phenomenon like Dracula and the Twilight series. Why are we so fascinated with these creatures of the night? They seem suffused into our collective memories…and our fears.
Vampires are reportedly only active at night, have fangs, drink blood, seduce young women, are shadowless or reflectionless, and sleep in coffins. Sometimes they sparkle.
There are a surprisingly large number of stories in folklore around the world featuring bloodsucking ghosties, so pin-pointing the birth of the vampire legends gets a little iffy.
The most prevalent vampiric stories date back to old Europe where common diseases may have contributed to superstitions. Tuberculosis causes victims to cough blood, porphyria causes extreme sensitivity to light, rabies makes victims practically feral and induces biting (www.britanica.com).
Also interesting and totally morbid, hundreds of years ago, before the body and modern medicine were properly understood, it wasn’t really uncommon for the dead to be buried alive (good heavens!). This gave rise to the superstition of the dead roaming the earth. When they weren’t supposed to. Nothing like spending a day or two panicing inside a coffin, then clawing yourself out with your bare hands. I’m pretty sure that’d make a person look like the undead. And it would scare the wits out of me to see Great Aunt Feefee out and about three days after we’d laid her to rest.
In fact, accidentally burying the living was so common, that people started tying a string to the finger of the dead and attaching it to a bell above ground. Someone would stand watch and if a bell rang, they’d come running with a shovel. Thus, the birth of the grave-yard shift.
May 26, 1897 saw the release of a book that has since rocked the world. Bram Stoker’s Dracula. What is less known, is that Stoker actually wrote his masterpiece, not as a fictitious story, but as a factual story to act as a warning to any who read it. When he submitted it to his publisher, he was met with a flat No. The publisher was afraid of inciting panic. Why, you might ask? Because only a few scant years earlier, Jack the Ripper had laid waste to public peace and safety. Dracula had too many undercurrents of the devil. Stoker had to revise much of his book. The first 102 pages were cut, and many modifications were made as well. So, what the world read as fiction, the author meant as warning (www.time.com). Scary.
To conclude, I feel it only best practice to include several reliable methods for killing vampires, should you happen upon one of the unsavory sort.
- The Stake. Do make sure that it’s solid wood. My sources say any sort will work, provided it’s solid and very pointy.
- Silver. Silver bullets, silver daggers, silver swords, I suppose a silver coin would do if wielded properly. I might suggest you start wearing tall boots for the purpose of concealing a silver dirk. Go ahead. They’ll look smashing with your summer short shorts.
- Holy Water. Any water blessed by a priest will do. It’s always best to carry a vial of it on your person.
- Beheading. A good way to use the aforementioned silver sword. Whack that vampire’s head off. He’ll fall down dead as a doornail.
- Blood. Mind you, it has to be the blood of a Bigfoot. Ergo, this is a lesser-known method of vampire termination (www.mysticinvestigations.com). Largely because Bigfoot blood is very hard to come by. Even on the black market. I know. I checked.
Who is your favorite vampire and/or your favorite method of killing? Pop up to the top to the grey “comments” section and tell me what you think!
The Immortal Descendants series by April White (Sorry Edward, but I think my favorite vampire is in this series!)
The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Creative Writing Prompts
I held the stake in my hand, blood pounding in my chest, surely attracting the beast.
She rose, wilted, weathered, and fanged. My blood turned to ice as her eyelids cracked under the layers of dirt encrusting them and glowed red under the midnight moon.
Impatiently waiting for the moon to rise, I sat on the couch, longing for my immortal friend to make an appearance.
The next clip is fascinating, but there are some creepy images–it’s a PG-13 clip.