Vampires are entities that require feeding on human blood or psychic energy in order to survive. The common myth is that anyone who is bitten by a vampire also becomes one. Vampires are immortal and cannot die in typical ways. They can only be destroyed by garlic, fire, and exposure to sunlight.
The very first vampire traces back to an Italian man named Ambrogio from Greek mythology. He fell in love with Selena, causing the jealous Sun God Apollo to curse him with vampire-like qualities, such as sensitivity to the sun. With the help and pity of others gods and goddesses, he was granted powers including sharp fangs and immortality.
Vampires can be traced back to almost every ancient culture in different forms, all representing life-sucking, demon-like forces. Although, the word “vampire” has no known recorded use until the 16th century.
There are plentiful accounts of “vampire activity” records sourced from the 17th and 18th centuries, mainly in Europe. The New England Vampire Panic caused a mass hysteria of civilians due to an outbreak of vampire sightings and attacks.
In modern times, vampires are thought of as fictional characters. They are still ingrained in our culture, but as seen as entertainment rather than real danger. Our general understanding is that the old belief in vampires served as an explanation for illness, disease, and degradation of corpses.
While the vampire was once feared long ago, the vampire is now romanticized and lusted after today. Somewhat recently, we’ve had a surge in vampire love stories — in books, TV, and film. The typical modern vampire is sickly pale with red lips and sharp fangs, wearing 19th century attire, and looking devilishly handsome. Vampires can be either gender, yet generally first thought of as male.
So… could vampires really exist? Was the New England Vampire Panic really just a big misunderstanding? How can one specific entity be traced to so many different cultures before they had contact with one another? Either way, I’m keeping garlic with me…
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