Ah, vampires. They have such a way of capturing our imaginations. Whether it is the newer type of vampire described by Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” Saga, the Revolutionary vampire Louis described by Anne Rice, or the original Dracula portrayed by Bram Stoker; these creatures have long held a place in our imaginations and hearts. What exactly is a vampire? Where did they come from? How can I recognize one if I see one?
Documentation of vampires has been around since the beginning of human timekeeping. While the names may have all been different, the idea of a vampire, a blood-sucking creature that takes human form, has been around for several millennia. And while there were plenty of books and stories written about these supernatural creatures, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was perhaps the first recognized work of literature that both demonozed and hailed a vampire villain. Dracula was based partially on folklore, but partially on the stories about a real-life person known as Vlad Dracul. Vlad Dracul reigned over his kingdom in the 1400s and was known as “Vlad the Impaler”, as this was his preferred method of executing wrongdoers under his hand. He would have the impaled with a sharp object, and leave them to suffer and bleed to death for long periods of time.
Vampires are typically bred from other vampires. According to most of the stories and tales we have today, vampires have to be “made” by being bitten by another vampire. While the exact method of transformation is debatable, most believers can agree that when a person is bitten by a vampire, there is one of two outcomes: that person will either be completely drained of his or her blood and therefore die or that person will be transformed into a vampire with the remaining blood left coursing through their veins. The end result depends solely on the mercy of the hungry vampire at the time. Recognizing a vampire among you and your circle of friends may be difficult. They can hide in plain sight, but there are a few characteristics of a vampire which make them stand out among our human brethren.
They are often charismatic and likeable. They will draw people to them naturally and tend to be found irresistible. Their skin is usually very pale and delicate-looking. It is often considered translucent because it is so delicate. While sunlight won’t make a vampire burst into flames, they will often avoid sunlight, as it is harmful to their skin. You may see them simply play with food, rather than actually eat anything, as they only consume blood. While these are not all foolproof means of identifying a vampire, they are strong indicators that a person may not be what they seem on the surface.
Vampires are fascinating creatures. There is a lot of misinformation regarding vampires, resulting in a lot of myth and folklore. The truth is there have been documented stories of vampires in even the earliest writings. While our fascination with vampires is seemingly based on what we read about in novels and what we see in movies, these impressions are based on some of the loose knowledge we have about them.
- Vampires are regularly required to consume a few pints of blood every other night. Neglecting to do so would result in the vampire becoming weak physically and mentally. After a prolonged period of time without having blood the vampire will lose their rationality and mental faculties until they give into their thirst.
- Vampires are rendered immune to the ravages of disease and of the aging process. However, if deprived of blood for a lengthy stretch of time, a vampire will begin to show distinct telltale signs of aging, for example; hair turning gray and wrinkled skin. However, upon consuming fresh blood, the vampire would revert to the age in which he or she had been at the time of death.