The Undead Duo at Deadly Ever After have a wonderful post today about vampire myths.
Thank you for the shout out ladies. I really appreciate it.
So they have some really cool info about vampires, too much to comment about there so I will comment here.
The farther I get into the myths the funnier I think they are. A very strange thing I’ve noticed is, what we now have as myths isn’t always what was believed centuries ago. I’ve also noticed that they are all similar even though they are worlds away.
For example, we mostly agree that Vampires can’t father children. I remember reading somewhere a large group of people freaking out because Stephenie Meyer’s Edward fathered a child. A dead being can’t have children. It isn’t possible. They said. Most writers agree.
If we look at those old myths we find a few types of vampires can father children. Some women can even carry and deliver children. It was believed that these mothers would feed from the babies they birthed.
There were even special names for these hybrid children.. Dhampir, and Cambion come to me off the top of my head.
Some vampires were even able to be around in the daylight. Australia has it’s own little vampire creature. The Pink Vampire, he is harder to kill, may have to do with not dying in sunlight. Stoker’s Dracula, Lord Ruthven, Varney and Carmilla were all “Daywalkers.” Many old legends tell us that the suspected vampire led a normal life. That would have to mean he was out and about during the sunlight hours.
Nosferatu (an old black and white movie from the 1920s) was an attempt to bring Stoker’s Dracula to the big screen, Stoker’s widow refused to allow Hollywood the Dracula story so Hollywood got creative and mixed some things up. Now they could film and not get sued. In the novel Dracula dies at the hands of Harper and Quincy Morris -they cut his head off right before dawn. In Nosferatu, the vampire spends the night drinking from his victim. When he finally leaves it’s too late and he burns in the early morning rays.
Here’s something to think about, the Blut Aussauger from the Bosnia area, and the Rakshasas from India, must have prolonged exposure to the sun for it to die.
China’s Ch’ing Shih is a blind vampire creature. It’s powers come from the moon, so during the day or moonless nights it stays hidden underground.
The Poludnica of Slovenia attacks her victims at noon.
Now on to the blood. Old myths say vampires could drink the blood of animals: sheep, goats and cattle were the most common, but cats and dogs could do in the case of an emergency or if that was all that was easily available. Although again, we are told in the old myths (if you care to look) that vampires could eat normal food. That was how they could stay hidden. Some vampires prefer breast milk. The Jaracaca from Brazil for example, it’s believed he takes the shape of a snake. He finds a woman who is nursing and pushes her child out of the way, he nurses instead. If the child begins to cry, he’ll stick the tip of his tail in its mouth to quiet it.
Charlaine Harris’ idea of synthetic blood is brilliant. I love the idea, unfortunately that is a ways off. Unless vampires like the stuff scientists are still working on, Scientists still are happy with it yet.
If we are going to talk about survival of the fittest, I personally think that would also mean the smartest.
The Undead Duo bring us some interesting points about how a vampire in our world finding prey could be very hard to do and dangerous to his secret. There are so many people who are missing, (I would have to Google the numbers) that are never found. How many of these missing do the police and then others give up on finding? A lot!
A smart vampire could be the culprit. What about all the people who no one would miss: homeless, prostitutes, drug addicts. A smart vampire would watch carefully almost stalking his prey. He would know if someone had family that would know the prey was missing. If he/she attacked one of these “unloved” and disposed of the body in a way it wouldn’t be found. No one would know that person was missing. Brilliant!
Stephenie Meyer has a few evil vampires in the Bree Tanner novella, that are brilliant. They attack what most would call street scum and hide the bodies somewhere in the water. (My memory fails me exactly where it is.)
I really don’t want to get into this, but just go with me for a moment. Through out history vampires attacked children (smaller, and weaker. better prey). In our world thousands of children go missing, a lot are never found. ?Vampires?
I also find it strange that most of what is commonly believed about vampires has been brought to us by literature or movies. When a writer or a Vampirologist (I love that word) brings old myths to the table people freak out. That’s what was believed when vampires roamed about freely. Some are just plain funny, but who are we to say they are wrong?
Leave comments here or at Deadly Ever After I’ll be spending some time there today.