Are vampires real?

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009 film)
Blood: The Last Vampire (2009 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I was in a book store with my teenage daughter (that is not a picture of her lol, but it looks a lot like her because she is half Asian). It seems about half the books for her age are about vampires, and of course the movies are popular too. Where did the idea of vampires come from? Even today in some countries people believe that vampires exist and need to be dealt with. There are some possibilities as to how this all got started.

As a dead body decomposes, gas is released into the lungs and may be pressed out through the vocal chords by the weight of the stomach fat, flesh and ribs, causing a groining noise to be heard coming from the mouth. A simple wooden casket would not muffle this noise, especially if casket was not yet buried. Can you imagine what it would be like for a mother of a dead child to hear that on the second or third day after the child’s death?

Sometimes caskets were dug up after burial to check for signs of vampirism.

Decomposing internal organs would begin to emit a watery blood which may have been pushed out the esophagus or windpipe and out the mouth, making it look like the person had been drinking blood.

As the corpse decays, the flesh around the fingernails shrinks, but the fingernails don’t. This makes it look like the fingernails are still growing. The same thing happens to the flesh around the roots of the hair, making it look like the hair is still growing. It is understandable that some would believe this corpse was alive, wandering around at night looking for blood to drink.

Movies often show vampires sleeping in caskets. That is understandable because these creatures were found in caskets.

So how do you kill a vampire? Drive a wooden stake through his heart. I suppose that gave a path for the gas and blood to escape without making a groaning noise or being forced up the esophagus, especially if the stake was removed. But even if it wasn’t, the shrinking of the body tissues would quickly leave a gap around the side of the stake, making a path for the gas and blood to escape. No more groans from the corpse or blood on the mouth.

In many countries around the world, for thousands of years people have been drinking human blood for various reasons. Some ancient paintings show victorious troops drinking the blood of their vanquished foes, possibly because they believed it gave them strength. Some drink blood in satanic rituals or other rites; some do it because they think it is cool. Some people actually believe they need human blood for nourishment.

I once read about a woman who lived about 500 years ago who believed bathing in the blood of beautiful girls would make her more youthful and beautiful. So she did. And there really was a man named Dracula who was very sadistic. One of his bad habits was eating dinner surrounded by impaled people who were dying slowly, earning him a place in Braum Stokers books.

graveyard humor


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  5. I’m not sure why vampire stories are so popular but I think you’ve probably got the right idea about why people originally believed in them. I think, though, that when people decided to write books and make films about them, their use of good-looking men and women as ‘vampires’ drew a lot of people in. I also think that, the way vampirism is portrayed in film and book is very sexual (but only in a suggestive way and not a pornographic one) and that attracts even more people. I have to admit to finding Christopher Lee as Count Dracula in the English ‘Hammer Horror’ films very attractive – but I don’t particularly find him attractive in other films he appears in.

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