Vampires are emblematic figures that form an integral part of our culture. These are mythological creatures entered into legend since the dawn of time… Discover their origins and where to find them through this exciting article! Did the vampires really exist?
It’s S-P DECROIX that tells you better about it…
Hello girls, boys and marmosets!
What? There are no boys among you? Ah! Ah! I know, I know, not even funny! Alexia told me I was funny. It’s really nice of you Alexia, but my sense of humor is to see again. So, from today, I will call you “marmosets“.
So, after my article on the dragons I asked myself: “But what am I going to tell them to marmosets next time? “Ah! If you knew all that crosses my mind, you would take your legs to your necks! In short, let’s go back to our monsters and various creatures.
“What’s she going to talk the lady?”
(OK the sentence is super null, but hey, you will have to do with!)
After jargoning about the “dragon”, I decided to talk to you about “creatures of the night”, but which one? No! Not John Travolta! So? You found ? Yes? No?
Yes, with their pointed teeth and their pronounced taste for blood, vampires are the creatures of the night par excellence! The origins of this legendary creature are found in ancient myths and diverse throughout the world, but become popular mainly on the European continent.
“Vampire” comes from the German “Vampir”, which comes from the Hungarian “vámpir”, which in most Slavic languages is a word designating a bat.
The vampire is part of the great “ghost” family. According to the different folklore and the most common superstition, this undead man feeds on the blood of the living to derive his life force. Its victims die of having been emptied of their blood or they undergo certain conditions (blood exchange, placing underground with its “genitor” are some of the best-known examples), in vampires, but only after their death: “they die and live again!”
It is Arnold Paole, a Serb, who was the first to be called “vampire” in the eighteenth century.
You may think that it is the one that everyone calls “Dracula” who was the first vampire, but not… Vlad III Basarab, of his real name, knows indeed an important celebrity during his lifetime: the merchants Saxons of Transylvania and the king of Hungary, Matthias Corvin, make him a cruel ruler who impales his enemies, which earned him nicknames such as “The Impaler” or “Drăculea” (“son of the devil” or “son of the dragon”). Inspired by the nickname of Vlad III Basarab, the figure of the Count of Dracula was invented by Bram Stocker for his novel in 1897, which is why Vlad III Basarab is now assimilated to a vampire but he wasn’t one!
The contemporary myth of the vampire would be a sort of “superposition” of several other supernatural creatures from various European folklore, especially Slavic. Some authors have enumerated precursors: spirits, demons, or ghosts in turn, possessed or not (incomplete list): the “visitor”, the “hungry”, the “nightmare”, the “strangler”, the “chewer” (well yes, they chew us gently the neck with their small pointed canines… ok… really must I stop!) And finally the returning to animal form (Bat? Hum … no comment).
Characteristics of Vampires
This undead creature is universally known to feed on the blood of the living as soon as night falls, for, as I said before, to take their vital force and remain immortal! In fact, this is not entirely accurate, as it is for the Vampire to no longer be subject to old age. Other elements of folklore are well entrenched in our minds: the coffin in which he takes refuge during the day to rest and the cemetery: “let’s go home!” (Honestly each his “trip”, me personally, the cemeteries at night, it’s not my trip…).
In many legends, the vampire also feeds on human excrements and flesh, including his own: it is the automation that includes not only his flesh but also his clothes (if you had just eaten, excuse). This detail seems to be verified by old records of stories of shrouds found chewed. (I warned you: Vampires love to chew on).
Of course, what also characterizes the Vampire is his legendary pair of … what? From sharp canines! (Stop having ideas misplaced!) The clothing appearance, it would have been built in the cinematographic and theatrical folklore, in particular his famous cloak.
Some mystical powers are also given to him:
He hypnotizes his victims, seduces them, reads in thoughts, changes into mist, bat, sometimes in wolf or, according to legends, he controls them.
It is also this particular link with the wolf that makes that generally when one thinks of the Vampire, we often associate the Werewolf.
It seems that killing a “master vampire” or a “vampire-genitor” frees those he has transformed or sometimes his children die with him.
The Vampire if he becomes more powerful, fast, and resistant with age, would be “indisposed” by the smell of garlic, wild rose or hawthorn. Some objects would be able to repel it: the mythical crucifix, the rosary, the holy water and the mirror (since it cannot be reflected in it). He cannot walk on consecrated soils (Church, etc.). The legend also says that a Vampire cannot enter a house without being invited.
Bram Stoker’s work, Dracula, was first published in 1897 and is still popular today.
As the Vampire is an undead, he is already dead! So to kill him, it was necessary to rack one’s brains! (Ah, Ah!) Of course, decapitation is the most effective way to eliminate it, followed by a stake in the heart, a nail in the head (definitely) or a cremation in good form!
References to the Vampire
(Incomplete lists, you understand that they are too long…)
- Dracula by Bram Stocker.
- The Vampyre by John Stagg
- The Vampire by John William Polidori
- The Vourdalak Family (published in Tolstoy’s Stories of the Living Dead)
- History of the Pale Lady, novel by Alexandre Dumas (1849).
- The Knight of Darkness by Paul Féval (1860)
- Lokis of Prosper Mérimée.
- The Horla (in its first version) by Guy de Maupassant
- The Parasite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Vampire Chronicles, Interview with a vampire by Anne Rice
- Nosferatu the vampire by Friedrich Murnau, in 1922
- Vampyr, or the strange adventure of David Gray in 1932
- The Dracula Nightmare, by Terence Fisher in 1958.
- Polanski’s Ball of the Vampires in 1967 (parody)
- Tony Scott’s Predators in 1983
- Vampire, did you say vampire ? Tom Holland in 1985 and Tommy
- Lee Wallace in 1988 Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992
- Interview with a vampire by Neil Jordan in 1994
- Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night in 2011.
Cinematographic and television series:
- The Blade Saga
- The Underworld Saga
- The Twilight Saga
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Vampires Diaries
- Supernatural (Ahhhhhh the best series in my senses, which has many other creatures!)
- True Blood
- Being Human
- The Clan of the Damned
- The Originals (I love it!)
Mangas / Comics:
- Vampire Hunter D (manga)
- Vampire Princess Miyu (manga)
- Vampire Knight (manga)
- Hellsing (manga)
- Requiem, Chevalier Vampire (BD)
- The Prince of the Night (BD)
- 30 days of night (comics)
- Castlevania (since 1986),
- Legacy of Kain (since 1996)
- Bram Stoker’s Dracula, in 1993.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- Dracula: Resurrection, Dracula 2: The Last Sanctuary, Dracula 3: The Way of the Dragon
- The Masquerade (roleplaying)
- Dracula’s Fury (board game).
We may never really know if the vampires existed as they are described to us, but is there smoke without fire? One thing is certain: those who inspired these creatures did indeed exist, but they undoubtedly renounced their immortality in order to rest in peace! Their legend, in any case, it, continues to persist in time… for eternity!
Article written by S-P DECROIX.