I obviously love the supernatural, they have been a great source of learning and entertainment for years.
After watching The Craft, my friends and I started a coven, it mostly involved us hanging out and gossiping as teenagers do. Perhaps that movie was my gateway to being a little goth- who knows! I also obsessed about Buffy and couldn’t consume enough horror, especially vampires.
Although the term Vampire is relatively new, there are tales of blood drinking demons or spirits throughout history. Lilitu is one of the oldest recorded, having been Adams first wife before Eve. She left the Garden of Eden and her children became known as succubi or incubi, thus spawning more stories. Her first mention was in Sumerian mythology around 3000bc. There is also Ambrogio, an Italian cursed and blessed by the gods of Greek Mythology. Both of these aligning very much with the modern western Vampire.
In every culture, there are some sort of vampire folklore, but they do differ greatly. From the ancient Chinese Jiangshi which are reanimated corpses known to hop, to the Obayifo of western Africa who are more witchlike and inhabit the normal human bodies. There’s the ghost like Icelandic Draugur or the Adaze which unlike the now common western view takes the form of a firefly rather than bat.
Fear of vampires grew at the time of plagues, with some of these ideas coming from a lack of understanding to the decomposition process, teeth and nails appearing to grow as the corps skin shrank. Fluid seeping from the body. With better medical understanding, folk lore was replaced with mythical creatures that we see in modern stories.
What most myths about vampires had in common was that they created a need for societal norms to be followed and encouraged fear of those that didn’t behave as should. The idea that malevolent spirits would cause harm to the living is a great way to control society and is still used today- take the devil for example.
Although text on vampires provide fascinating reads, I never could understand how they wouldn’t have a reflection if they had a physical presence. I can understand the sunlight, I’ll take the garlic but some things to me are so improbable that I wanted to create a world in which my vampires behaved in a more real fashion.
…but then I got carried away with the magic aspect…
Also, my bug bear are the vampires who dribble on themselves, for their age you’d think that they’d learnt not to be messy eaters!
I have had a love of vampires since I was 14 years old, one of the things which kind of kick started my love of vampires was shortly after my father had died, I really loved him and losing him was very devastating to me, I believe this was a sort of coping mechanism, and I became obsessed with dark and creepy things, plus I had a love of things that were immortal.
I started to get into all sorts of things that involved vampires, one was that I become a huge fan of the Castlevania video games(I also highly recommend the Legacy of Kain games). Secondly I started renting and purchasing all sorts of vampire films, my favorites being the Hammer Dracula films, and I also started to get into Vampire pen and paper role playing games like Vampire: The masquerade.
I have read Dracula many times, I also own copies of “The Vampyre” and “Carmilla” and am also a huge fan of Vampire comic books as well, I have some of the older stories of “Tomb of Dracula” and also “I…vampire”.
I’ll admit that my knowledge of mythological vampires is rather lacking, however I do know quite a bit about literary vampires.