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Fact Or Fiction: Deconstructing Vampire Myths

Decoding vampires

Fact Or Fiction: Deconstructing Vampire Myths
Photo Credit: Photo Glean

Vampires are everywhere these days, only they aren’t the type of vampires that existed in mythology over the years, especially not the original vampire mythologies. The modern-day vampire looks more like a leading man with more sex appeal that most male models. Not only are they leading men types but also they are filled with humanity and the ability to fall in love with a human. In fact, it seems that in order to be a vampire one is required to fall in love with a human. This makes the vampires some of the most sought after and most written about creatures, but they weren’t always the sexy and remarkable human-like creatures we see on The Vampire Diaries and Twilight.

The myths describe vampires as bloodthirsty creatures who need the blood for survival. In the original lore, vampires fed, on any creature whether they were living or dead. The vampire has been dated back as far as prehistoric times and the idea of the vampire did not become widely popular until around the 18th century when Western Europe began to develop superstitions based on vampire legends.

Vampires range in look, sophistication and aggression dependent upon the preference of the writer or lore. Some lore claims the vampire to be charismatic and sophisticated with a blood lust that cannot be controlled. This is where the movie, Dracula came about and Nosferatu. However, these vampires were nothing like modern day vampires. Dracula had the charisma that we see in vampires today however; Nosferatu was a hideous creature that hunted for the love of the kill.

In Europe vampires were described as large and bloated in their appearance with dark color in their skin, which had to do with the fact that they drank blood. Furthermore, this European lore described the vampires as always have blood dripping from their mouth, nose and eye as well as in their hair and teeth. The idea of vampire fangs had not yet been developed on the European vampire folklore. In almost all vampire folklore is it said that vampires burst into flames in the sun, that they can be warded off by garlic, the holy cross and even being sprayed or doused with holy water. Additionally, it has been said that vampires are unable to walk across the consecrated grounds of a temple or a church and of course, there is the lore that a vampire cannot enter a home without first being invited in. This seems to be the most consistent part of vampire lore throughout all vampire movies, books and stories. Vampire lore also states that a vampire can be killed with a stake to the heart. This was supposed to be able to deflate the bloated vampires and simply kill modern day vampires.

There is much folklore in the world but it seems that Americans these day are most interested by the lore of the vampire. Perhaps it is because the vampire can be described as something far different or unique. Vampires are so vast and mysterious because there is so much information out about them that nothing has been confirmed as the right folklore.

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