Gothic Vampire Party
Brooding, Dark and Sexy ... How Can You Not Love A Vampire?
Throughout human history, the concept of the vampire has gone through some serious evolution. For a creature known to live forever and never change, this is a bit of an anomaly!
Once seen as an extremely feared, undead being with only one thing on their mind (killing you and drinking your blood to survive), the vampire has evolved into a romantic, mysterious, and somewhat sought-after creature.
We have seen the vampire portrayed with many different qualities--from funny or goofy, deadly and vicious, to vulnerable and loving--and none of us can deny that the vampire is a favorite character of ours. Whether we fear the vampire, or seek him out, I think it's safe to say, he has our attention.
In this Lens, we'll briefly touch on the history and origins of vampires. Then we'll fast forward to more recent times when the vampire found his fame in cinema and became an every day figure. After this, we'll discuss how drastically our perception of the vampire has changed within the last 30 years (and especially recently), from a feared monster, to a misunderstood and loving creature.
Then it's time to party--Gothic Vampire style! We'll provide some tips on how to decorate for a Gothic Vampire Themed Party, some scary costumes to wear, and a few great places to purchase vampire inspired Halloween decorations and supplies for your party. Are you ready? You better be! We, unlike our fanged friends, don't have an eternity to party!
A Brief History Of Vampires
The concept of an undead being who lives off the blood of living creatures is very ancient. In fact, many historians believe it dates back to the origins of modern humans. Many civilizations have shared a similar idea that there are creatures out there who lurk in the night, feeding off unsuspecting humans and animals. The stories of these creatures were originally used to explain unexplainable occurrences--livestock found dead and drained of blood, gristly murders we could not possibly attribute to fellow humans, disappearances of children, and so on.
When we humans are faced with unspeakable violence, unexplainable happenings, or "feelings" that something is just not right, we tend to conclude that something mystical is behind it all. Telling ourselves that there is something evil "out there" responsible, something non-human, not only makes us feel better about ourselves, but instills fear in us and compels us to be good...or else!
These similar stories and explanations all have roots that date back to ancient Mesopotamia, Persia, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Southeastern Europe in general, and many, many other cultures. There is even evidence of belief in these creatures in Native American folklore. The fact is, the idea of a supernatural, undead creature, feeding off humans and animals, spans the globe in one way or another.
In modern times, it could be said that we now attribute the characteristics of vampires to certain humans. People who feed of the positive emotions of others to make themselves feel better are, in a way, symbolic vampires. In order for them to survive and thrive, they draw on the life force of others. These vampiric characteristics can be subtle, such as the jerk at work who always finds a way to put your down and walk off smiling over his accomplishment, to the seriously disturbed individuals who murder others in order to quench a blood lust inside themselves.
The perception of the traditional vampire has changed drastically over human history, from a terrifying being to be avoided at all costs, to a mysterious, misunderstood, and lonely creature we all seem to want to know and nurture. Strange how we have romanticized the creature, isn't it? We have modern literature and film to thank for this new outlook on the vampire. Let's delve into the modern vampire, shall we?
Up until the early 1800's, stories of vampires varied from culture to culture and region to region. Always seen as an evil being responsible for evil and gruesome acts, it wasn't until around this time that the folklore of the vampire began to be recorded.
Attributes of the vampire started to be solidified--only being able to come out at night, having pale skin, being revolted by garlic, harmed by crosses and holy water, killed by wooden stakes through the heart, possessing sharp fangs, and being able to read their victim's and compel them--these beliefs all began to become common knowledge about vampires.
Fear of these creatures was so prevalent that, similar to "Witch Fever", these fears began to consume the human psyche. Vampire hunts were common during this time, and it was not all that rare for recently buried people to be exhumed and stabbed in the chest with wooden stakes. Going out at night was not an inviting idea and it wasn't unusual to see rings of garlic hanging from doorways.
In the late 1800's, Bram Stoker's book, Dracula, was released and was very successful. Although Stoker's vampire was innately evil, the author was able to show a different side to his character--one we hadn't considered up until that point. Count Dracula had a soft side. He had loved passionately and lost tragically. He could be tender and vulnerable. He could even be sexy. However, he could also be ruthless and deadly. This contradictive character was intriguing to us and we wanted more!
Nosferatu And Other Early Vampire Films
As our interest in the vampire grew, so did our technology! In the early 1920's, a silent filmed titled Nosferatu was released and received a lot of attention. The film was based on Stoker novel, with slight adaptations.
Other early films included Dracula, staring Bela Legosi, and Dracula's Daughter. Throughout the first half of the 19th century, the evolution of the vampire sped up very quickly.
With every new novel and film, the softer, more human side of the vampire was portrayed.
We began to feel bad for the character, no longer fearing him. We could sympathize with this creature and maybe even see a bit of ourselves in him, and he in us. Some might say we even began to fall in love with him (or at least the idea of him).
Eventually, most of us lost our fear of the vampire. The old folklore was seen as just that--old folklore. Humor began to be introduced to the character in such movies and TV Shows as Blacula, Love at First Bite, and The Munsters.
Today, the vampire is a beloved character, immortal in every sense of the word. He is portrayed in any number of ways: Terrifying, loving, funny, mysterious, bruiting, sexy, and so on. Now lets take a brief look at the vampire in modern pop-culture, beginning with the 1970's.
No book or movie evoked such sympathy for the vampire as Anne Rice's, Interview with the Vampire, published in 1976. The character of Louis faced nothing but heartbreak at every turn, faced with the knowledge that he could never die, could never escape this heartache.
As his creator, Lestat, told him, it was his humanity that made him what he was. The fact that Louis was a killer with a human conscience made us feel for him. Anne Rice went on to publish many more books in The Vampire Chronicles, allowing us a deeper look into the lives of her tortured characters and only making us love them more.
Interview with the Vampire was made into a motion picture in 1994, exposing an even broader audience to the passionate world of Rice's vampires and sparking almost an obsession in pop-culture with the world of the vamps. Of course, it helped that the two main characters were played by two of the biggest Hollywood sex symbols at the time, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise! Very quickly, many more books, movies, and TV shows about vampires sprung up. And today, as I write this Lens, we are still obsessed with them!
Just A Few Examples Of Our Obsession With Vampires
Movies and TV Shows such as The Lost Boys, Blade, Van Helsing, Underwolrd, Bram Stokers Dracula, From Dusk Til Dawn, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and The Twilight Series are just a handful of examples of our growing obsession and acceptance of vampires.
In most of these movies and TV shows, the vampire is not necessarily all evil and not necessarily all good; he is a mysterious combination of both. We can identify with some aspects of him but are repulsed by other aspects. He symbolizes not only the most vulnerable parts of human nature, but also the most brutal.
Something tells me, as long as the ultimate understanding of human nature continues to be just outside of our grasp, we will continue to look to the vampire as a symbol of what we are capable of being. Regardless of any theory involved as to why we like vampires so much, the bottom line is, we do! And who can blame us? They are interesting, exciting, enthralling beings!
Our latest focus with our vampire obsession definitely revolves around The Twilight Series, but we can't forget that there are a lot of other portrayals of vampires out there. The vampires from The Twilight Series are modernized vampires, blending in to society and going unnoticed. I hate to say it, but that makes for a pretty boring party theme!
Rather than modeling your party after the world of these vampires, use the momentum they give you (society's interest in vamps) and throw a more traditional Gothic Vampire Halloween Party! Decorating your home in a darker, scarier, and more eerie way will make the party more interesting, memorable, and fun!
Decorating Dracula's Laire
Gothic Vampires are very decadent. They enjoy the finer things in life--plush fabrics, dark mood lighting, a fresh glass of blood... They also might not be the best at keeping a clean house. I mean, if I knew I was going to be alive for an eternity, I'd probably slack off on the house cleaning too!
Begin decorating by draping your furniture with rich colored fabrics. Blood red, dark purple, or black velor or velvet will do the trick! Next you'll want to place old looking candle holders around with drip candles oozing down them.
Cobwebs are a must and maybe some creepy crawlies in the corners of you room(s) like fake spiders and bats!
If you have the money, time, and energy, you can go all out and make a fake coffin or sarcophagus to prop up in a corner or lay out as a coffee table. Vampire's have a life time to accumulate treasures and keepsakes, so try finding gothic looking decor at flea markets, garage sales, and consignment stores to place here and there.
The ambiance you want to create is that of intrigue. You want your guests to walk into your home and feel that whomever lives there appreciates elegance and is proud to display their belongings, but that they have slightly given up on keeping things shiny and new--after all, they can always clean tomorrow. Lighted candles are dangerous, especially if there will be many guests, so use electric candles for lighting, or if you're able to dim your lights, go for it!
What to Feed Your Hungry Vampire Guests
Obviously, you'll want to go with a blood red theme for the food and drinks! Dark red punch, served in wine glasses, will be a hit! Whatever drinks you serve, as long as they are available in clear, can have red food coloring added to it to make it look like blood. Other ideas are strawberry or raspberry dairies and bloody marys!
A vegetable tray with red peppers, tomato wedges, and radishes and a fruit tray with red apple wedges, bing cherries, red raspberries, strawberries, red grapes, etc. will give your guests something to munch on while also making them think to themselves, "I never knew how many red foods there were."
A salad made with red leaf lettuce and red cabbage, tossed with red peppers and red onion, drizzled with a red wine vinaigrette will be a treat for your guests! .
If you'd like to go all out and serve a dinner entree, a nice prime rib, cooked to a medium rare, served with red potatoes will get the point across. Or your could go a little more literal and serve pasta in a red sauce. For more of a finger food entree, barbecued chicken wings or spare ribs will fit in nicely with the blood red theme. Be creative!
Desert is pretty simple: Red Velvet Cake! Known for its blood red, fluffy goodness, you couldn't ask for a more perfect desert for your guests! Other ideas are red jello, cheesecake drizzled with strawberry or raspberry topping, cherry pie, and any other desert you can turn blood red with food coloring!
Dress Yourself In The Perfect Vampire Costume!
Now that you know a bit of history behind the vampire, how to decorate for a Gothic Vampire Halloween Party, and what to feed your blood thirsty guests, it time to figure out how to dress for your party! Gothic Vampires are usually portrayed as very sophisticated, dressing themselves in the best of the best.
Because Gothic times were a very strict time in our history, and because vampires represent evilness, Gothic Vampires are also seen as having extreme sex appeal. After all, what's more evil than lust? So, when picking out your perfect vampire outfit, remember to look classy, elegant, and sexy all at once! Be sure to accessorize with gothic make-up, black wigs, sharp vampire teeth, and gothic jewelery or a walking stick! Every little detail counts!
Here are a handful of costumes you can choose from:
Click on image to see Vampire Vixon Adult Costume
Click on image to see Madame Macabre Adult Costume
Click on image to see Gothic Vampira Elite Collection Adult Costume
Click on image to see Gothic Vampire Elite Collection Adult Costume
Click on image to see Count Bloodthirst Adult Costume
Here Are Some More Helpful Links!
- Costumes, Accessories, and Decorations from buycostumes.com
Become immortal with a vampire Halloween costume from BuyCostumes.com!
- For all you Twilight fans out there!
All your Twilight party supplies: Plates, napkins, cups, even magnets!
- Halloween Party Themes
It’s no trick to treat your favorite ghosts and goblins to a Halloween party that’ll rock the ghouls! With a little creativity and some tried-and-true party ideas (and a few brand new ones), this year’s Halloween party will be the best ever!