Let's Not Forget That Vampires are Monsters-Some Important Vampire Facts
Just Say No To Vampires That Glitter
Whatever Happened to the Good Old Dracula That Scared the Crap Out of Us?
My first encounter with vampire-as-monster was a comic book my mother bought for me at a garage sale. It was a seventies-era graphic novel with a vampire modeled on Hammer's Classic Dracula, starring Christopher Lee. It scared me to death.
From this flimsy piece of pulp crap, I got the idea that Dracula was coming for me, that he would find me, bite my neck, drink my blood, and his minions would rip me open and suck on my intestines.
I thus embarked on a nightly ritual. It was not sophisticated-I would hide my presence in bed so I wouldn't be found. I knew about crosses and garlic I suppose, but since I was an irrational child, I would make sure I was hidden underneath my heavy feather comforter. I gave myself a tiny hole that I would try to breathe through, and say a bunch of prayers before falling asleep. There was something delicious about being so scared. And-obviously whatever I was doing was working.
Never could I imagine a sparkly vampire or a vampire-human love affair. To this day, it is simply unacceptable.
There are rules for vampires, people. They shouldn't be messed with. Don’t take away the vampiric qualities of vampires.
Here is the list of vampire facts:
1. They are monsters
2. They don't love you
3. They are going to either kill you, or turn you into one of them
4. Crosses repel them, as do holy water, running water, mirrors and garlic
5. They cannot cross a threshold without an invitation
6. A stake through the heart will kill them, as will a clean beheading or being thrown into a pond.
7. Light will ignite them and since they want to avoid this, they sleep in a coffin or in a dark, sealed container of some sort.
8. They only come out at night
9. They can shape-shift
10. They have familiars that can be commanded to do their bidding
11. They don't have personalities. They can only fake it for a while.
Ok, maybe you haven't learned anything from this list. But it is important to remember these things. A vampire purist is not interested in reading about vampire//werewolf/human love-triangles.
The idea of the vampire in literature is a figure of gothic horror. Think of Bram Stoker's Dracula, or Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, another Irish author of gothic novels. Carmilla is his famous gothic novella about a female vampire and you will see that it contains similar aspects of the vampire as monster.
Even Stephen Kings Salem's Lot, although modern, contains the necessary elements of vampires as monsters. It had vampires that could travel under the right conditions, who wouldn't stop 'til they got you, and the classic elements contained in my list. And everyone in that town was either turned into a vampire or destroyed with the stake through the heart.
Let's talk about Anne Rice. I am very much on the fence with her. I have enjoyed her vampire stories to some extent. Her vampires are monsters, but with poor Louis tempered by his unforgotten human side and Lestat's fancy, prancy ways, I am not as enthralled by the vampire as monster in her work, although I really like the Vampire Armand.
Anything Vampire that has come out after the year 2000 is of no consequence. There is no more vampire as monster. Pure monster, that is, with no soul.
My lifelong terror of vampires was compounded by a time when I lived in an old farmhouse that had a basement with a dirt floor. It was during this time that I had to read Dracula for school. Going down into that basement for any reason, especially at night had me too scared to do laundry.
Years later, I had a great idea for a vampire story that featured a teenage girl living with her father. Sound familiar? Only in my story, the girl lived under pretty scary and monstrous conditions in an attempt to avoid all vampires because they were monsters who were definitely trying to get her. Not protect or impregnate her.
I think it is time to bring back the vampire as monster. Just look at that picture of Christopher Lee from the old Hammer horror films. That is what I am talking about.