Vampires have been part of our folklore for hundreds of years. The beliefs that a being subsisting on the vital fluids of a human has timelessly been retold numerous times around the world.
To be quite honest, I wonder why it hasn’t been part of an episode of Ancient Aliens! Because when you do a little research it has you thinking if vampires are a fact.
Is Ignorance To Blame?
In the early seventeenth hundreds, the process of decomposition was not something people were knowledgable about. The Black Plague or Bubonic Plague were things of the past, but most corpses had to be burned thus spreading the disease, but that’s another topic. While normal ones were to be put in a coffin and buried.
In Western Europe, many cases were reported that sights of presumed “dead” people were seen as dark and blotting, their nose and mouth dripping blood. And that brought up the first cases of “vampirism“… after ancient times…
Vampires have been known in folklore beliefs to be present for millennia. The presence of those creatures are well clear in the old civilizations of Mesopotamians, Hebrew, ancient Greeks and even the Romans spoke of those beings coming after dark looking for their next victim. Certain similarities of vampires were even spread to China and was found in Slavic culture as well.
“There are such beings as vampires, some of us have evidence that they exist. Even had we not the proof of our own unhappy experience, the teachings and the records of the past give proof enough for sane peoples.” – Bram Stoker
Although they might have been seen as demons or even spirits in some cases, traditional burials were modified to stop the spreading of vampires.
Borrowing certain methods of the ancient Greeks was often seen, placing objects to please the evil that would then take over the body in order to keep it at bay.
The ancient Greeks performed the same task, but differently, by placing a coin in the mouth of their dead in order to pay the toll to cross the river Styx in the underworld. However, it was also argued that it might have been to keep evil at bay thus leading to it being borrowed to stop the vampires from multiplying.
But, it does not stop there as similar creatures are also found in the African continent, the North and South America and also widely spread in Asia.
Many different creatures resemble the vampire and although said in other dialect or have subtle differences or purposes, it remains that it is a bloodsucking creature.
It is obvious that the population never studied their dead to understand the process of natural decomposition. In fact, many descriptions were that the hair and nails were longer, even facial ones when a man, bloated and darker.
Those are all characteristics we know today to be normal, but not in those times where it was considered witchcraft to perform any type of “scientific” observations.
The word vampyre as we know today only dates back, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, to the eighteenth century. However, the word was known in France and Germany a while before it’s first appearance in English.
It is also interesting to note that the English language actually borrowed the term vampyre from France and possibly from Serbia as well.
Many countries all over western Europe had a term, a word or a description that meant vampire. What the word itself would have meant in most countries was: to thrust with force, while others meant forceful bite.
What is mostly interesting though, is that many encounters were actually sightings, but were there actual reports from those times of someone witnessing a vampire biting someone else?
“I love the ‘Underworld’ movies because the vampires aren’t automatically evil, yet neither are they basically humans with fangs.” – Jeaniene Frost
If the etymology of the word, although unclear of its origin, means to thrust forcefully or forceful bite, someone must have seen something somehow. However, it is next to impossible to actually pin point where it all began as it goes back so many centuries ago, that it is almost tempting to believe that like humans, they just spread everywhere.
People once believed that vampires were often people who had a criminal life, were practicing mutilation, committed suicide or were solitary people (because being introvert was not known at the time as well as psychological illnesses were taboo).
Vampirism spread like flames, maybe not as popular as the time of the witch hunt, but it had its time where people were actually keeping an eye out for vampires. Basically, they would be walking through cemeteries with virgin boys on virgin stallions until the horse would stop and balk.
Again, descriptions were similar to the ones mentioned above and so corpses were often decapitated or staked through the heart.
However, various cases over Europe shown other methods of preventing vampires from rising again. Sometimes, archeologists would find corpses with nails among their bones suggesting that they were nailed down to prevent rising.
Some were incinerated while others were dismembered and given back to the family members as a “remedy” against vampirism and others, mostly in Romania, were buried with garlic in their mouths if suspected to be a vampire while alive.
The Eighteenth-Century Vampire Controversy
Vampire sightings in the 1800’s were common and very popular. It was spreading like plague. Everyone was out looking for one.
But it all began at first in Eastern Europe where many corpses were found staked while other graves were being unburied because some would think it was a potential vampire.
While the Eighteenth-Century was supposedly the era where futile beliefs and superstitions were dying, vampires were somehow gaining much popularity and was the word on everyone’s lips.
It was actually declared a mass hysteria that spread, this time, throughout Europe. People were saying that others were being attacked, killed and sucked out of their blood. People were dying like flies and this time, no plague to blame.
The Petar Blagojevich case is still to this day, one of the most popular vampire case that is known. The story goes that the man died at the age of sixty-two but returned to see his son and asked for food.
The son, probably traumatized, refused and so he was found dead the day that followed. He was seen returning and killing people that were found lifeless and missing blood.
“Real” Vampire Encounters
Yes, vampire encounters are still happening today. However, because of our knowledge of the human body and the lifespan we are to grow old to and active imagination from some people, our world became gray and it becomes harder for people to believe that it is possible that we are not alone… on Earth.
It was in London, England in the year 1839 within the Highgate Cemetery, a place that was reserved only for the high society, that after years of neglecting sightings of a womanly silhouette with pale skin and dark clothing with red eyes were being reported and engaged a thorough investigation.
As the years went by, the sightings were just as common, but it was in 1971 when a young girl passing by the cemetery was attacked by that so silhouette. She reported being thrown violently to the ground, but once a car stopped by witnessing the attack, the silhouette disappeared.
Scraped on her limbs, when brought to the police station, she told her story that was then revealed to be supported by the sightings the community have had for a century and is still around to this day.
The following is according to the series, Beyond Belief : Fact or Fiction, which listed this story as true.
A man was bumped by an ambulance and was thrown in a crowded intersection several feet away and got up. Because the ambulance was there, they brought him the hospital despite his insistence to leave.
Once at the hospital, the man refused to give his name or any treatment they offered him. He was placed in a solitary room to calm down and a nurse was present outside to guard him so he wouldn’t leave. The man at this point refused food and water.
Then, an old couple visited his room and brought with them army duffle bags that they gave the man. Later, when ER technicians came by to attempt to have the man agree to X-rays , the nurse walks in and see what the duffle bags contained. She walked in the bathroom and saw him drink blood donation bags.
When the nurse ran out the room, a patient on a wheelchair was unconscious, punctures on his neck. The nurse, of course, screamed for security who were on the fifteenth floor where the man was. He jumped out the hospital window and fled like nothing ever happened to him.
The story ended by mentioning that the nurse took an early retirement.
What To Think?
I, for myself, prefer to believe that our world is more than what we see and more than monotone as it seems. We have our minds shut down by “normal people” who refuses to believe that creativity and imagination are only open doors to what could be or is real.
If vampires have been part of our human history for millennia, is it really insane to believe they could be real?
Legends have a part of truth, legends are told by the survivors or the ones who have witnessed… vampires have legends all around the world what if the true part of the legends is that they exist, but we were hypnotized to believe they don’t?
The OCD Vampire,