Firstly let's start with something light hearted. nyk537, is that man in the background of your avatar, the fat version of Harry Potter? LOL
On we move to the thread title, Vampires! Ohhh, doesn't that make you shudder. Blood sucking creatures lurking in the nights awaiting a tasty neck to
bite into. Now, as much as I'd love to believe vampires exist (i.e - what Hollywood portrays) I can find no proof of these creatures. I mean real
hard proof. Trust me when I say I'm a 'fan' of vampires. I live the tales and I find it really intriguing, but alas, there's no solid proof these
Let's start with what could have caused the myth, then I'll talk about my findings on cultural myths and stories.
Ok where could the stories have come from. I've researched the stories of Vampires for a number of years believe it or not, in my free time. Sounds
weird, but I find folklore fascinating. Straight away I can tell you about porphyria. It's a rare illness but the side effects are very much similar
to the stories surrounding vampires.
Some modern scholars have argued that vampire stories may have been influenced by a rare illness called porphyria. The disease is a blood disorder
that disrupts the production of haem. Porphyria was thought to be more common than elsewhere in small Transylvanian villages (roughly 1000 years ago)
where inbreeding probably occurred. The haem group, found in every blood cell in the human body, is excited by electrons, but in a controlled fashion.
However, the haem groups in porphyria sufferers causes uncontrollable tissue, bone and skin damage, made worse when the person comes into contact with
sunlight. This would have given the porphyria sufferer a very pallid skin colour, with teeth that appear larger than normal, due to the porphyria
damaging the gum tissue and causing it to recede. These people would have been very anemic, and drinking (animal) blood was a traditional treatment
If we look back not so long ago, people were tried for witch craft and general other paranormal activities. So it wouldn't surprise me straight away,
if people living in the middle ages who saw a pale, blood drinking human, would think "Ahhh monster!"
Now I'll share with you my research from the 90's. I posted this on numerous paranormal websites 'back in the day.'
The vampire myths go back hundreds, even thousands of years deep within different cultures. In Japan for example they believe in vampire foxes. Also
Our modern concept of the vampire still retains threads, such as blood
drinking, return from death, preying on humans at night, etc in common with the Eastern European myths. However many things we are familiar with; the
wearing of evening clothes, capes with tall collars, turning into bats, etc are much more recent inventions. It's all been Hollywood 'glammed up'
over the years. Americanized, I guess you could call it.
Somebody above mentioned Vlad and Romania is surrounded by Slavic countries, so it isn't surprising that their vampires are variants of the Slavic
vampire. They are called Strigoi based on the Roman term strix for screech owl which also came to mean demon or witch. Vlad was a real person yes as
mentioned, being on 47 when he passed away. He would inflict horrible tortures on his captives and legend has it that he drank blood. From the
captives as a sign of domination and ruthless power? Who knows.
The vampire was usually first noticed when it attacked family and livestock, or threw things around in the house. Vampires, along with witches, were
believed to be most active on the Eve of St George's Day (April 22 Julian, May 4 Gregorian calendar), the night when all forms of evil were supposed
to be abroad. St Georges Day is still celebrated in Europe by the way.
Back to the Americanized version of Vampires and bats. Where did they come from being linked with Vampires? Many cultures have various myths about
bats. In South America, Camazotz was a bat god of the caves living in the Bathouse of the Underworld. In Europe, bats and owls were long associated
with the supernatural, mainly because they were night creatures and I believe this is truly where it stems from. It's nighttime, bats fly the night,
are stealthily, and are ugly monster type creatures. I'd simply say that that was the case.
I researched over the best part of 3 years during the 90's and have my findings handy if anybody wants to know anymore information about the
different types I discovered. My findings were from discussing and talking to people who claimed to be 'the real vampire.' I never met any of them
so I can say they didn't attack me, lol.
So to conclude, I think that the monster hunting human prey image that we are shown from the cinema is false. Yet from my findings, the vampire tales
and folklore definitely continues with some form of depth.
I love a vampire topic!