This week we will cover some classic horror themes that everyone knows about but we will explore them on a deeper level. So this week’s HHS Classics will be about Vampires!! For hundreds of years Vampires have been part of culture, society and lore scaring people to their bones. So what is the story with Vampires? Where did they come from? And why do we love them so much?
So what is a vampire exactly? This being varies in many ways but in general, it is an undead entity that was once human and feeds on the life force of others. It is believed they come and visit loved ones at night. Some vampires are believed to have special powers such as mind control and transformation. Some people believe Vampires could cause death and sickness to entire towns.
Vampire lore extends back thousands of years into history and appears in the stories of multiple regions of the world from Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece and Hebrew people. Ancient stories tell of stories of demons entering people’s bodies and sucking the life spirit out of the innocent living.
Stories of Jewish faith tell of Lilith, Adam’s first wife who was made at the same time and from the same dirt as him. It is believed she refused be subservient to Adam and refused to enter the Garden of Eden and hooked up with an angel. It is said she steals and comes and steals the souls of babies. The term lullaby comes from the Hebrew phrase to protect from Lilith.
History has seen characters that have portrayed characteristics of vampires. Elizabeth Bathory or the Blood Countess was a Hungarian woman who lived in the late 1500s. She used to torture and bathe in the blood of young maids to help keep her beautiful and youthful looks. The infamous Vlad The Impaler was a Romanian Emperor who would impale the heads of those who he defeated in war. It was his legacy of bloodlust, which lead to Bram Stoker to write the classic novel Dracula.
The novel Dracula, published in 1897, bought the vampire lore out from the dark shadows of Eastern Europe to the rest of the inspired most of what the modern vampire is known as today; a melting in sunlight, turning into a bat, cross fearing charming being, who will seduce women in the middle of the night. The novel has lead to countless interpretations of it, spin offs and left a legacy that very few stories can compare to.
The original vampires of Eastern Europe were flush, with a deep skin tone and plump, unlike the gaunt and pale imagery of the modern vampire. These days Vampires are portrayed as sexy, charming, powerful and even sparkly friendly beings.
The ways a person could turn into a vampire vary but include any corpse which had an animal jump over it would become an undead, a body which wasn’t treated by boiling water, not burying the body upside down or with a sickle, not leaving coins with the deceased and not leaving a cross to be buried with the body.
It is believed the lore of Vampires may have originated from when ancient peoples might have dug up graves to find that the recently deceased has fingernails, hair and teeth, which have grown, there might be blood around their orifices and seemed to have gained weight. These are natural signs of decomposition but the ancient people didn’t know that and might have filled in the gaps with their own reasoning. Other diseases such as rabies and porphyria have been linked to vampires.
Methods of protection include garlic, wild rose branches and hawthorn plants, sprinkling mustard seeds on your rooftop and religious items such as crosses, rosaries and holy water. It is said Vampires can not entire holy grounds such as a lot where a church is built. Mirrors are used to keep vampires at bay and some cultures believe they cannot entire your house unless you invite them. The best way to destroy a vampire is to drive a stake through it’s heart that is made from Ash or hawthorn, or Aspen. Decapitation was also a means of eliminating a vampire.
Vampire lore continues to fascinate society to this day, despite being saturated with multiple different legends, movies, games, books, fan fiction and lifestyles. What about this powerful undead excites and scares humanity. Is it because they ride the thing veil between life and death and the unknown? Or the power they can potentially hold. So that was HHS Classics, Vampires!! Hope you enjoyed that and y’all come back now hear!!