AGNIA CHRISTINA SALINAS BROOUN
Vampires are folkoric and mythological beings, known,
in many cultures, to be a demon, a corpse of a human
being, that commonly rises nightly from its grave to
prey upon the living and suck their blood.
In the middle ages, people began to slowly believe the
vampire existence as diseases and infections, such as
Porphyria, Catalepsy and
Anemia had caught onto people and the symptoms were distinctively similar and the need
for blood as a Vampire's craving. These symptoms included; (Catalepsy) the infected has
rigid limbs and waxy flexibility, loss of muscle control, slowing down bodily functions -
breathing. This commonly resembled a "death phase". (Poryphyria) Extreme hair growth -
This was related to Bram Stoker's fiction novel, Dracula, as an identification of a vampire.
(Anemia) Loss of appetite, dizziness and weakness - the impressions of a person being a
In the 18th Century, the awareness of vampires spread all over Europe which lead to mass
hysteria, to the extent of people physically stabbing each other with stakes and accusing
others of vampirism, due to their great superstition.
nails and being beautiful creatures, fangs were not a feature, but they possessed monstruous teeth, hair and
nails, stereotyped as demonic monsters. They would also be involved in poltergeist activity, like the
unnatural explanations of something pressing into you when you're asleep or a stable book falling off a table.
To ward off a vampire, Atropeaics were used. A branch of wild rose and hawthorn plant, known as garlic,
was said to harm vampires, as well as sprinkling mustard seed on the roof of a house to keep them away, in
Europe. Crucifixes, rosary or the holy water was also said to burn them, as they are naturally born from
darkness and cannot resist "purity" and God's power, which links to the power of religion. Vampires are also
unable to walk on sacred grounds, such as temples or churches. They are also vulnerable to sunlight and so,
believe to be more active at night and can only enter a house when invited. The traditional technique of
mirrors was often used too, as vampires do not have a reflection or cast any shadows, which is known as a
symbol of having no soul. This, yet again, links to Bram Stoker's Dracula, when Dracula witness' the scene of
being discovered of having no reflection.
As I have mentioned before, Vampire superstition
evolved from the 18th Cenutry South-Eastern Europe to
this modern day. It's hard to give a simple description
of Vampires due to several cultures depicting their own
belief of Vampires through Folkloric legends, but,
Vampires were usually told as aesthetically bloated and
purple or dark in colour and appearing healthy. Before,
characteristics of vampires in the modern era were
fangs, razor sharp
Vampires today are depicted as sexual, attractive
demonic beings with the same aspect of drinking
blood, but in a sexual way. Aspects of romance and
sexuality have been inputted into teenage fantasy
fiction, like Stephenie Meyer's Twilight (2008-2012)
series and Joss Whedon's comedy tv series, Buffy the
Vampire Slayer (March 1997-May 2003).
Characteristics and features have been either
developed, new or stayed the same. I drew a
mindmap to show these themes;
- being highly skilled with weaponry (e.g. Blade (1998)'s use of guns.)
- a symbol of sex and romance
- living in houses rather than coffins.
- Red eyes = hungry, gold eyes = neutral
- Glittering in sunlight rather than burning.
- Possessing heightenend senses.
- Interested in virgins = True Blood 2008 ongoing
- Not allowed to enter houses unless invited
(Vampire Diaries 2009 ongoing)
- Impossible speed
- Clever and economical (Daybreakers 2009)
- Possessing external abilities that represent
themselves (e.g. mind reading, controlling pain).
In literature, the word gothic refers to a mode of fiction dealing supernatural and horrifying events -
linking to the popularity of gothic fiction and novels from the 1800's onwards. An example of a famous
gothic novel is Bram Stoker's Dracula (1987). The Gothic genre mainly involves religion, a dark
fantasy and the linking to the afterlife (e.g. spirits).
The Gothic genre was born in the horror genre in the 18th century, with the same intention to stir up
fears and dangerous desires (highly unreachable to characters). The gothic genre enhances feelings of
everyday life which we tend to suppress, and expresses them in a motion picture, acting like a form a
"relief" to the audience, but at the same time, a thrill to watch onward.