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Vampire stories and legends

Updated on February 24, 2014

Dracula

Vampires and what we believe

The definition of a vampire is “a bloodsucking, mythical creature that appears in many stories, books and movies”. Whether or not vampires exist, they do make for lots of reading and watching materials. For most of us the common things we believe when it comes to vampires is:

  • Vampires can turn into bats upon their will and use it to either flee a scene or in search for blood
  • Vampires have very pale skin
  • Vampires live in the night as they would burn in the sun, during the day they sleep (in a coffin)
  • Vampires feed on human (fresh) blood, they have two fangs for teeth which they use to extract blood from humans.
  • Vampires can only be killed by a silver bullet or a wood stake in their heart.


How to become a vampire?

There are several stories on how to become a vampire. Ofcourse this is more a myth than reality, so don’t try this at home! Well, to become a vampire, you will need to encounter a vampire or vampire bat. They would need to bite you (in some cases several times as it does not work 100% in all stories) and you would additionally need to drink their blood in order to have their blood to replace yours. The thing is, would you actually want to become a vampire? Considering the (lonely) life you would have?



Become a Vampire today! or.... not!

If it would be possible, would you become a vampire?

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Dracula the novel

Bram Stoker was a famous novel writer and his masterpiece was the novel “Dracula”. The novel is about a Roman ruler named Vlad Tepes who becomes a vampire. Vlad was given the nickname “Dracula”, which is a roman word for “devils incarnation”, because of the cruel treatments to his enemies, especially the Ottoman Turks. During his life Tepes was a religious man and very popular with his own people. Since the end of the 19th century most people associated Transsylvania with vampires thanks to the amazing stories of Bram Stoker. Geografically, Transsylvania is located on the Transsylvanian plateau in the middle of Romania.

Dracula the movie

In 1992 the novel of Bram Stoker has been converted into a movie, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The movie became a big success all over the world. In the movie, the story is about Vlad Tepes who loses his wife through suicide. He wants to revenge his wife’s death and becomes a vampire. Years later he sees a picture of a woman that looks exactly like his deceased wife and believes that she is the reincarnation of his wife. He decides to change her into a vampire aswell so they can be together forever. Both the book and the movie caused people to have a strong interest in the life of a vampire and also whether vampires exist in real life.

Vampire legends

The vampires from legends told, had no special powers, except that they could rise from the dead. Originally vampires were “created” from Slavic folklore. They were undead, people who have risen from the grave to torture their friends and family and feed on their blood. Most vampires were witches and people that died violent deaths or that were cursed. People believed that garlic and silver could chase a vampire away, but the only way to really kill him was by stabbing a wooden stake through his heart. The “special” powers that we assign to vampires these days only came after the movie Dracula came out. Dracula in the movie had the strenght of twenty people and he could control mist (weather) and animals (turning into a bat). Over the centuries passing, vampires gained more and more powers and skills among which telepathie, teleportation, invisibility, making objects float and changing memories of people. These made great movie and book ideas, although Dracula stayed the most popular.

Vampirism in Science

When it comes to science, the idea of vampirism is really far-fetched, although some scientist remain searching for proof of vampires. The most plausible theory is that in the past there had to be a sub-species of the human, namely the “homo sapiens vampiris”. This sub-species had trouble absorbing any proteins (from food) and could only obtain proteins by absorbing “protocadherine”, a substance that comes from human blood. This idea occurred with the case of an autistic boy that had similar symptoms and had to “drink” blood in order to stay alive.



The Vampire Diaries series

Vampire literature/movies and series

As the life and lifestyle of vampires keeps the public interested, many literature, movies and series have come out to entertain us. Most of the series and movies started with the written novels/books and then were turned into movies and or series. Here are a number of them.

Literature
Dracula: a dramatic and romantic novel written by Bram Stoker in 1897 about Vlad Tepes who turns himself into a vampire.

The Vampire diaries: writer L.J. Smith has written many novels and the first one was published in 1991 about a college girl that comes between two vampire brothers.

Interview with a Vampire: written by Anne rice about a Vampire who gets interviewed by a reporter and tells his story of how he was “raised” by vampire Lestat.

The Twilight book: although most nowadays are more familiar with the movie, the books are also a good read.

Movies
Dracula: The novel by Bram stoker was converted into a movie in 1992 by Francis Ford Coppola and is about Vlad Tepes who is after a woman that looks like his deceased wife and wants to turn her into a vampire.

Interview with a Vampire: The movie came out in 1994 and had was a big hit, well with Brad Pit, Tom cruise and Christian Slater in it it couldn’t go that bad.

Blade: for the people who like the vampire part combined with a hero type figure, blade is a good movie that came out in 1998. He is actually a half-vampire who fights the bad vampires that want him dead.

The Twilight movies: the twilight movies came out in 2011 and had 3 different movies. The movies were widely popular.

Series

Buffy the Vampire slayer: written by Joss Whedon and probably the most famous vampire series that ran in the 1990’s.

The Vampire diaries: has been converted into a series in 2009 and it already had its fifth season with success.

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