Generally, we believe that they are bat-turning man-beasts. Most times, we think they are enigmatic, sensual and sexual beings, hopefully handsome, long-haired blondes willing to be interviewed. Lately, they have been portrayed as really-old emo dudes trapped in young glow-in-the-light bodies. And then there are really scary-looking ones you wouldn’t want to be trapped with in a place where the sun does not rise for 24 days…
By now, you can tell we mean vampires. (Duh. The title?) We talk of vampires, how we know them from books and especially movies. Quite expected, really, as when the discussions go towards the are-they-real route, many—or the experts, at least—will always point out to these as the possible causes of people’s belief in vampires.
It is said that vampires originated from the Romanian Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. Historically, he is a revered Romanian folk hero. But he also earned the nickname Tepes (meaning ‘impaler’) for his reputation of cruelly impaling his/their enemies. Dracula was actually his last name, a name now perceived as almost synonymous to ‘vampire’.
It is believed that author Bram Stoker read and studied about Vlad the Impaler. He later created a character ‘inspired’ by (though loosely based on) the prince in his book titled Dracula. This book was so convincing and popular at the time, it gave birth to a whole new era of films capitalizing on horror and vampires. It started with its unauthorized German film adaptation, NOSFERATU. Later on, actor Bela Lugosi would do the biggest role of his life, playing the title role in the DRACULA film. His performance would soon define the way people saw vampires in the decades to come.
Do They (Still) Exist?
Historical accounts aside, belief in vampires has long been a part of many cultures and folklore, called by many other names. The physical features sometimes differ. For instance, unlike bat-turners, some may grow wings while retaining human form).
In the modern world, however, new kinds of vampires have become quite visible. They come in the form of vampire-lovers who either believe they are vampires or would like to live as such. Some go to such extent as to change their whole body features to look like the real deal. It’s the vampire lifestyle or vampire subculture. It’s pretend.
What is not pretend is a real psychiatric condition called Renfield’s Syndrome. It is also called by another term: “Clinical Vampirism”, a mortal’s obsession with drinking real blood. Needless to say, it is very reasonable to try and have this condition or disorder treated, for everyone’s sake.
So are vampires real? Are they really supernatural? Until we actually encounter one, this mystery will remain an enigma. The question is, would you really want to meet one? If you do, please let us know.
For two or three consecutive years (except last year, I think), I tried to make #FreakyFriday posts every November. Guess it’s not too late to do that this year, too.
How about a little story I made? OBSESSION
Found this good read just now: The Bloody Truth About Vampires