Vampire Mythology

Extension English Research – ‘Vampires’

The myths and folklores associated with vampires are widely known and have been depicted in numerous films, novels and stories throughout history. Vampire folklore is said to have originated in the thirteenth century with a particularly sadistic man know was Vlad the Impaler. Since then however the Vampire Myth has been subjected to many different interpretations and changes depending on the needs and fear of society.
The early myths surrounding the ever elusive Vampire detail an ‘un-dead being’ that walks the earth haunting the living, society in this time feared Vampires and the hunt for Vampires consumed many people. During this time it was not uncommon for bodies to be exhumed in order to   check for ‘signs’ of Vampirism which included lack of decay, hair and nail growth and rosy cheeks. Vampires were believed to inhabit the grave of their burial by day and at night seek blood, the ‘life fluid’ of the living. These myths were centred around the idea that those who had sinned or done wrong would become Vampires after their death. The list of ‘potential Vampires’ included those who had died by drowning, those dying while under the curse of a witch, second generation illegitimate children and as senseless as it seems, a corpse over which a cat or dog had jumped. These myths also highlighted the many way in which to kill a vampire some of which remain in today’s interpretation of the vampire. Fuelled by these superstitions many charms and method evolved to prevent a vampire attack including the use of pagan and Christian symbols and garlic which were supposed to repel Vampires.
The Vampire myth and legends started to change around the mid twentieth century and Vampires were once again a reflection of society and man’s deepest fears. The publication of Vampire novels and films such as Anne Rice’s ‘Interview with a Vampire’ series did nothing but fuel the Vampire Phenomenon. Vampires now were not restricted to coffins but...