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Vampire n: A reanimated corpse that is believed to rise
from the grave at night to suck the blood of sleeping people.
Vampire in Slavic legend is a blood-sucking ghost. The
Vampire's corpse was believed to renew itself by arising from the grave at night
to prey upon sleeping persons. Sometimes it took the form of a bat. It sucked
the blood so gently that the victim might waste away and die without being aware
of the vampire's act. Sometimes the victim became a vampire. The vampire's work
could be halted only if its coffin were opened and a stake driven through the
corpse's heart. Vampires were supposed to be the ghosts of suicides, witches,
wizards, and those cursed by the church.
are vampires? Loathsome creatures of the night? Immortal blood drinkers who
stalk their victims? Well, is this a vampire? In a sense, yes - but this kind of
blood sucker exists only in books and movies, otherwise it’s just a creature of
our imaginations. But does a vampire truly exist? Bram Stoker created his
vampire villain from the history of Vlad Dracula (Dracula meaning, The Son of
the Dragon), and over the years the character of Dracula evolved into what is
known today as the "Hollywood Vampire". This monster is eternally beautiful,
charming, rich and flies in the night as a bat. It also drinks the blood of the
living and is repelled by garlic and holy symbols.
The legend of the vampire originated in Transylvania which is now a province in
Romania. These vampires, which were actually bloated corpses of the dead, were
thought to roam around the villages to drink the blood of man. Now lets think
about this. Why blood? When the townspeople would dig up the suspected vampires
they’d find large amounts of blood in the mouth, eyes and nose. The corpse would
moan as the gases pushed their way out from every hole of the corpse, thus the
culprit was found and killed again. It was most likely beheaded, staked or
Blood among vampires has also revolved around kings and queens and powerful
figures in history. They expressed their power, courage and strength through the
drinking of human blood. It also served another purpose... to spread fear.
Erzsébet Báthory, (The Blood Countess), was born in Transylvania in 1560 and
later married the Slovak Count Ferenc Nadasdy. She murdered several young women
for their blood and would drink and bathe in it as much as possible, believing
young blood would make her immortal and keep her precious beauty. In one
account, a girl accused Báthory of biting her. That method of attack, along with
the bathing in blood sparked interest in the countess and has engulfed her in
the vampire legends. In the end she was thought to have killed at least 650
people and was convicted for her crimes in 1611. Erzsébet was sentenced for life
in a windowless room where she died three years later.
Gilles de Rais, who fought along with Joan of Arc against the English, became a
great soldier and quite wealthy. Soon Gilles was arrested and tried for the
murder of several young boys. He later admitted to torturing the boys and
drinking their blood. In 1440 he was executed and his remains were burned.
Ancient Mayan kings had also practiced human sacrifice and the drinking of blood
to express the passing down of power from God to king. The kings had also drank
their own blood during private ceremonies to welcome a good season for crops and
to gain power for battle. One way to extract their blood would be to pierce
their foreskin and collect their blood into a bowl.
To this day, there are cultures around the world which,
after killing an animal as a sacrifice, the elders drink the blood of the animal
as a sign of faith. This is different to vampires I know, but I thought you may
find it interesting.