Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For What It’s Worth: Vampires have come a long way, baby

I have never read any vampire books, watched vampire television shows, or saw any vampire films other than an old, black and white “Dracula” movie I saw as a television rerun when I was a kid. However, based on all the current advertisements, it seems to me that vampirism is in.
Vampires are not new, of course. Such folklore and myths have been around as far back as the ancient Romans and Greeks. They are found in Indian, Chinese and African cultures as well. Though known by different names depending where the legend originated, they all seemed to have certain things in common: they were evil; they preyed on the living, drinking the blood essence of life; they were pathetically unattractive, and they were immortal.
Many superstitions originated in Eastern Europe and at times created such public frenzy that corpses were exhumed and stakes driven through the heart, and in some instances just to be sure, the corpse was additionally beheaded. These creatures that rose from their graves under cover of night were often suspected witches, those thought to be insane, and in some areas, bodies that were buried without their wounds having been boiled.

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