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Vampirism

Test Everything - Believe Nothing
"Within lies fact and fancy, truth and metaphor. Discriminate with care"

The idea of drinking blood to be immortal is not a foreign one to the human mind. Indians, Greeks and Christians have all had a part in this conception. Drinking the blood of another is sometimes understood as obtaining the "life-blood" of someone else for yourself. Therefore, the idea of the vampire stems from cannibalism, and the concept of putting someone's body inside your own to obtain more life.

The vampire myth appears to have originated in Transylvania, according to the Stoker novel, in the dark hills of eastern Europe. Stoker's Dracula is an old, placid man that appears harmless except for an air of doom
about his castle. His vampires are the curse of the surrounding towns, and the descendants of a strange disease.

It is often very hard to tell which pieces of the vampire myth were added from literature, and which were originally spread through word of mouth. Bram Stoker's Dracula is the cause of new conventions in the vampire legend. His book included the use of garlic to fend off vampires, stakes as killing tools and the ability of vampires to crawl upside-down on a wall. The novels of Anne Rice, including Interview With a Vampire, are also spreading twists in the definition of a vampire. Her vampires are immortal, jaded and mostly ordinary people caught in something they cannot understand.

It is interesting to note the way that the concept of vampires is used in the literature that contains it. Stoker's Dracula was an unconscious comment on Victorian England, and underneath its plot one can see female subjugation. Stoker himself was torn between the convention of the sexes in this day, and underneath this book one can see his inner struggle. Similarly, Anne Rice uses vampires to examine the reaction of the modern world to the magical and horrific. In Interview With A Vampire, the main character asks to be made into a vampire. The vampire he asks is unwilling to comply.

Today there are actually some cults of "vampires" that exist. These people drink small amounts of blood from willing victims in keeping with the ancient belief that it will bring power and life.



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