We all seem to know what vampire is. It’s a blood-drinking crature of the night, with high magneticism, luring its victims to its lair or attacking them directly. They are children of the darkness so sun kills them, they sleep in their coffin at day and emerge to prowl after sunset. They may be afraid of garlic, holy water or crucifix. Basically another evil doer taken from old legends, a demon from films and scary stories.
But really, vampires are hiding a lot more secrets than it’s shown.
The first vampires appeared in the ancient times, where legends about bloodsuckers terrorized people from Egypt to Greece. But true golden age of the vampires turned to be middle ages. The term “vampire” didn’t exist yet but people in Europe were considering them a plague – it was also very easy to become one.
One of the first european vampires could be person that happened to be: not baptised, cheater on their spouse, be a deptor, or mean/cruel person, have some kind of sickness and die from it; also lunatics, thieves, suiciders… there were many options to enjoy the life after death. To prevent attacks, people were decaptating the corpses and placing their heads in the legs of the body. Sometimes they were placing sharp objects under chin of the body, so the vampire, raising from the grave, would cut its head by himself. Also, drowning body in puddle, putting a stone on the grave or buring on the crossroads was a common practice.
One knows for sure, vampires, even if not named as such, were “existing” in lifes of common people for many ages, until they became a topic of the most popular vampire novel, a gothic masterpiece “Dracula”.
Bram Stoker’s book loosely based on the story of Vlad the Impaler, the famous from cruelty ruler of Transylvania. Vlad became a father of the arosticratic vampire image, breaking from the vision of corpses raising from the fresh grave, a monster, still, but without monster features. That also gave birth to common concept of seductive demons, who tempt their victims and suck their blood from their naked necks, hypnotizing them with vampiric charm.
The vampires eventually became a food for heated imagination of humankind. From Anne Rice – who showed vampires as sophisticated gentlemens who observe passing of centuries, to Stephenie Meyer, who wrote about teenage love between vampire and mortal – the books, films, games: vampires seem to be everywhere, in many forms and kinds. People like to fantasize and vampires, which bloomed from Bram Stoker’s vision, are tempting example of perfect villains, who you love to hate or simply love.