ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are Modern Vampires Even Possible?

Updated on November 13, 2017

by Chuck Lyons

In November 1996, a 16-year-old named Roderrick "Rod" Ferrell along with an accomplice killed two people in Eustis, Florida by beating them to death with a crowbar. When arrested four days later, Ferrell claimed he was a 500-year-old vampire named Vasego and that police would never be able to hold him.

He is now being held in a Florida prison.

Regardless of his beliefs he was not a vampire. Nor are the many who frequent vampire Web sites—there is even a vampire dating site—or otherwise hang around the Goth subculture. Some settle for simply wearing capes while others go so far as to get their eye teeth sharpened into fangs. But are they vampires?

Probably not.

Science tells us human blood is filled with iron, and iron is toxic. Ingest enough of it, and it would result in one less vampire.

So where did the vampire legend get started?

Mythologicly, the first vampire was a human named Ambrogio, an Italian-born adventurer who somehow found himself in Delphi, Greece where he crossed the god Apollo. Angered, Apollo cursed him saying that his skin would burn if it was ever touched by sunlight. Later Apollo’s sister Artemis added a bit more: Ambrogio’s skin would also burn if it touched silver. Meanwhile Ambrogio had also lost his soul while gambling with Hades, the god of the underworld. But his luck was about to change. Artemis took pity on the by now shell-shocked Ambrogio and gave him immortality in his current form. She also gave him unnatural speed and strength.

Thus, the vampire was born.

But science has a different story.

According to modern researchers, the vampire story seems to have originated in eastern Europe—perhaps as early as the pre-Christian era—because of a misunderstanding of the decomposition process. Perhaps, a disinterred corpse did not look as people through it should. Rates of decomposition vary depending on temperature and soil composition, and many of the signs were—and are—little understood. This led vampire hunters to mistakenly conclude that a dead body had not decomposed at all, or, ironically, to interpret signs of decomposition as signs of continued life. In addition, corpses swell as gases from decomposition accumulate in the torso and the increased pressure can force blood to ooze from the nose and mouth. These same gases could also cause a body to look “plump" or even "well-fed."

Grisly stuff to contemplate.

Another possibility is that the legend originated with the rare blood disorder porphyria, which was known in the Middle Ages. In porphyria, an important part of hemoglobin (blood) called heme is not made properly and results in sufferers’ skin being sensitive to sunlight. In addition, shrinking gums that often make their teeth look more prominent and “canine-like.” They also frequently have an adverse reaction to garlic.

All attributes of modern vampires.

It is also believed that Medieval doctors treated the disease by having their patients drink blood to make up for the loss of blood the doctors believed they were suffering.

The vampire legend began to leak into western Europe in the 18th century when there was a frenzy of vampire sightings in Transylvania, with the frequent disinterring of corpses and the driving of stakes through the hearts of corpses. But this rash of “sightings” blossomed into the European consciousness when it ran into Lord Byron and especially his personal physician Dr. John Polidori.

Born in London in 1795 and educated at the University of Edinburgh, Polidori entered the service of Byron in 1816 and travelled with him on a trip to the continent. There at the Villa Diodati a house Byron rented by Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the pair met with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, her husband-to-be, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and their companion (Mary's stepsister) Claire Clairmont. One night that June, Byron set the group the task of writing a ghost story or horror story. Polidori wrote a fragment that later became his full-length tale "The Vampyre,” which was published in April 1819. (It has also been suggested the Polidori based his story on a fragment created by Byron that June night).

In either case, the first modern vampire story in English,

Next came Bram Stoker.

An Irish writer and theater manager, and writer, Stoker met the an Hungarian writer named Ármin Vámbéry and was entertained by the latter’s dark stories of the Carpathian mountains. Stoker then spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires. The result was Dracula, a novel that was published in 1897, that cemented the vampire legend in the modern consciousness.

And created Roderrick Ferrell.

In 1998, Ferrell, then 17-years-old pleaded guilty to the murders and became the youngest person on Florida’s Death Row. Two years later, the Florida Supreme Court reduced his sentence to life in prison.

He is being held without the possibility of parole.

© 2017 chuck lyons


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)