Halloween has been touted as the time when the undead decide they want to come back and visit. There is no bigger undead celebrity than the vampire. Armed with gleaming white fangs and a thirst for all things thick and red, vampires are a popular attraction on Halloween.
What is the basis for the vampire craze? Well, most of what we know came from the book by Bram Stoker. Through science and fiction, he was able to create a character of timeless quality. This is where most myths become immortal. Add a touch of truth to a lot of make believe and you get a concept that people won’t soon forget.
There was once an evil ruler named Vlad the Impaler, a Romanian prince. He was a cruel man, using torture and murder to subdue his victims. He was in perpetual war with the Turks and disposed of his enemies in gruesome ways. His moniker, Impaler, was well earned.
There is no evidence that this man had fangs or drank blood, but the name Dracula was applied to him. It was most likely an association with a knightly order, but his cruel ways perpetuated many myths.
Vampires are thought to be created by other vampires when bitten. Just enough of the blood is taken to turn the victim into one of the undead or the body is drained to kill them. The bloodlust of a vampire is so great that they must kill, or feed, on a regular basis.
There have been vampire chases throughout movies and books. They use garlic, wooden stakes, and holy water to damage their prey. The biggest vampire killer however is sunlight. As the undead, they dwell in darkness. Any light turns them into ash.
Europeans based their beliefs in vampires on folklore and stories of vampire bats. The fear of someone sucking their blood and turning them into an abomination of God frightened them into believing almost anything and doing even more to prevent it from happening to them.
On the American front, vampires are thought to be more sexual than sadistic. They still drink blood, but their dealings with humans are more for pleasure. Unlike witches who use animals as familiars, vampires use humans to do their bidding.
If this sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen one or all of the Blade Trilogy movies. Hollywood has scripted most of the modern day beliefs about vampires and Halloween. Demons or deformed gargoyles scare us, but vampires are beautiful and cool so they don’t scare as much on Halloween. Instead, they make a fashion statement.