You don’t have to go to more than your house porch to notice something as Halloween comes up- vampires are everywhere in your neighbourhood. From television shows like the Vampire Diaries and movies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer to countless vampire books such as Twilight and Salem’s Lot- vampires peer from almost every section of a store.
And whether you purchase a store-bought vampire costume or make your own DIY costume and add your innovative makeup ideas, it is always fun to wear a cape while you happily hunt down your neighboring houses for your favorite candies every Halloween. There is even an astonishing vampire tourist industry for a real vampire enthusiast if you have inclination and money to travel to Romania and beyond.
Even though the most hardcore vampire admirers recognize vampires as a mere fictional character, there was a time when people were really scared of falling prey to these creatures of the night. Long, long ago, when the emotional debates on the merits of Team Jacob versus Team Edward did not even exist, people spent a lot of energy and time on keeping their families safe from these blood sucking creatures.
Every culture has its own type of myth revolving around vampires and it is very difficult to search for the exact time the idea of such a creature was developed. To go to the origin of vampires, especially the modern vampire legend, you need to go back in time to the 15th-century Vlad Dracula, often referred to as Vlad the Impaler who lived in Romania. But, Vlad was no vampire and only a killer who inspired Bram Stoker, the renowned author to name his best-selling novel’s protagonist Count Dracula that was released in 1897.
There have been a large number of vampire scares throughout the centuries that were often tied to misunderstood physical deformities or widespread disease like the European plague. Eric Nuzum, author of The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula mentioned that people’s beliefs in vampires had helped them to define things they never understood and could not explain before, including concepts such as disease and death.
At present, some of the most renowned vampire myths can be explained with the help of science. The fear that existed within people’s minds long ago about the dead could harm human beings was accelerated when dead bodies were exhumed and they saw blood coming out of their mouths. People that time, did not have knowledge about how the body decomposes and emits a purge fluid. That is why, they used to assume that their loved ones had come back to them and were drinking human blood to stay immortal. Several skeletons from the medieval age have been discovered with rocks or bricks filling their mouths. Scientists have also found sickles around their necks to prevent dead bodies from rising up and attacking people.
Some of the researchers also stated that vampires were just normal people who suffered from a condition called Porphyria that makes a person extremely sensitive to sunlight. People suffering from the disease are often told to remain indoors as exposure to the sunlight can cause disfiguring blisters. They also require regular blood transfusions to remain healthy. This rare condition was often associated with vampires as well.
Christina Johnson is a proud born and raised Torontonian. Christina has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and the Financial Post. As a journalist for White Pine Tribune, Christina covers national and international developments.