One of the most famous villains of all time. They have shown up in every form of entertainment possible and have recently reclaimed their previous fame…but perhaps not their previous glory. Vampires have actually been a point of heated debate lately. What does it mean to be a vampire? How do they act? How do they live? What do they look like? These are all questions people have been asking and changing the answers to for a great bit of time. All over YA books the idea of what a vampire is has been changed. Well, the thing about them is, every culture has its own version of the vampire, so there is actual lore and there is fiction works. I’m going to delve into both.
Actual Lore/Classic fiction:
There are three major ancient lore origins, but the only one that seems to give weight to the idea of vampiric creature being undead in Indian lore, which speaks of ghouls taking over dead bodies. Mesopotamian and Greek lore speak mainly of slighted women and female demons who often times preyed on babies rather than men and women. so our modern lore seems to take bits and pieces and combine them to create the types of vampires we imagine today.
In classic fiction we find the most widely known example of a vampire, Dracula. There have been others before him, but he is the most widely known. Dracula set the pace for every vampire that came after him. This vampire is no longer a demon, but a man who is, for lack of better explanation, sick with a sort of disease. Since it is a disease it can be caught. This was the most terrifying aspect, that Dracula could turn others into vampires as well, this was also the first time this idea had been presented. He was a blood sucking creature of the night, died by a stake through the heart, and Van Helsing’s method was stake through the heart, chop off their head and stuff their mouth with garlic I suppose this was for good measure. The fear of garlic, the inability to step out in sunlight, the stake through the heart, these are all things that though taken from different lore but combine to make one scary creature, just trying to spread his disease and build a family.
Here is where people begin to feel differently about vampires. In newer versions of vampire stories we get vampires who can walk around in day light, or must only avoid direct sunlight. Writers have also stepped away from the coffins for sleeping, or sleeping altogether in some cases, and stakes through the heart or being repelled by crosses and garlic. Many of the aspects that some believe make vampires, well vampires, have been removed from modern story telling. What’s more, modern-day vampires seem to focus more of the love aspect of the story, wanting love, lost love, being lonely, than the horror aspect. Vampires have become friendly and safe and the idea that they are the alpha predator has been lost.
The debate comes in when you have those who miss the Stoker vampire days versus those who love the modern take on vampires. I personally feel like if there was a middle ground it would be interesting. Like take out the stakes and garlic, but keep the apex predator idea and the forcible disease-spreading and you’ve got one terrifying story. You could even add in a little love if you wanted but never lose the horror of what a vampire is.
Well, that’s all the info I’ve got for you today. Also, It’s my birthday so I’m going to go out and have some fun. See you guys on Monday! Can you believe we’re already down to V? Only 4 letters left…I’m kind of sad to say it’s ending.