Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vampires among us.

Have you ever wondered how the vampire myth came about or why we can’t put it to rest? Perhaps it started much the same as any bogymen, to scare people and therefore keep them in line. Or perhaps the exaggerated story of someone’s fear. But no matter how it started vampires have been around for centuries.

So what do vampires look like? Depending on what culture you are talking about they range from a red eyed monster with green or pink hair as in old Chinese folklore to perhaps the Greek’s, where it is depicted to have had the upper body of a woman and the lower body of winged serpent. Or maybe the Malaysian culture that describes it as a head with entrails. Most of us think more about the Eastern European description of the vampire of a corpse that feeds on living blood. Personally, I prefer the newer version of a creature with everlasting beauty that can enthrall you if you look into their eyes.  Even better, those gorgeous beings that don’t need our blood at all and can live in total harmony next door. 

It has been said that even a myth is based a bit on truth. So is it possible years ago, when someone had a disease known as cutaneous porphyrias, fear and superstition took over? This would attribute to ones paleness and the inability to go out in the sun. If someone with cutaneous porphyrias where to go into the sun their skin would blister and swell, hence the burning in the sun theory. Could this be where it all started? 

Vampire lore dates back thousands of years and spans almost every culture around the world. As legends go, the first vampire was supposedly Lilith, Adams first wife according to old Hebrew Text. Others figures associated with vampirism included Vlad Tepes Dracula also known as Vlad the Impaler for his blood thirsty of impaling his enemy letting them suffer until they died. The Countess Elizabeth (Ezrabet) Bathory also known as the Blood Countess whom tortured and killed young girls bathing in and drinking their blood. 

Through the ages the descriptions change depending on what country or culture, but a few things always remained consistent, the need for blood and until recently they could not tolerate sunlight. It was Bram Stoker novel, Dracula, that actually gave way to the stereotype for vampires and the movies where vampires were given fangs, so they could drink blood with finesse. 

In today’s society, we now have thousands of people claiming to be vampires. Drinking blood, refusing to go out in daylight and some have gone as far as getting fang implants. The internet carries site after site for vampires. So do we actually have vampires walking among us?

Make sure you stop back Thursday to see how Betsy of Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series came to be.


Caffey said...

Hi Evelyn! Oh neat! Had never thought about how vamps were considered so different at other countries and cultures. Do you know if those countries write vamp romance with their culture's way they look at them? I too agree with the newer version of their beauty and immortality. The first I ever see anything related to vamps was watching some late night movies, I think various Hitchcock and they were scary and dark as a teen. At first I wouldn't even try a vamp romance thinking it was that but I was convinced from reader friends to try and so glad I did! I'm looking forward to visiting about Davidson's. Love that hilarious Betsy of the few I read.

Great blog!

Evelyn M. Byrne said...

Hi Cathie. Thanks so much for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed my blog. If there are books out there depicting the different cultural vampires I have not seen them.
I was the same way when it first came to reading paranormal. Funly enough I was reading a JD Robb anthology and it also had stories by Laurell K. Hamilton, Susan Krinard and Maggie Shayne. From there I read Christine Feehan's Dark series and I never stopped from that point on.