History and Facts About Vampires
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Hi everyone I just thought it would be fun and entertaining to have a website about one of my favorite myths "vampires" so hope you enjoy.
Prehistory: Vampire beliefs and myths emerge in cultures around the world.
1047: First appearance in written form of the word upir (an early for of the word later to become "vampire") in a document referring to a Russian prince as "Upir Lichy," or wicked vampire.
1190: Walter Map's De Nagis Curialium includes accounts of vampirelike beings in England.
1196: William of Newburgh's Chronicles records several stories of vampirelike revenants in England.
1428 - 29: Vlad Tepes, the son of Vlad Dracul, is born.
1436: Vlad Tepes become prince of Wallachia and moves to Tirgoviste.
1442: Vlad Tepes is imprisoned with his father by the Turks.
1443: Vlad Tepes becomes hostage of the Turks.
1447: Vlad Dracul is beheaded.
1448: Vlad briefly attains the Wallachian throne. Dethroned, he goes to Moldavia and he friends Prince Stefan.
1451: Vlad and Stefan flee to Transylvania.
1455: Constantinople falls.
1456: John Hunyadi assists Vlad Tepes to attain Wallachian throne. Vladislav Dan is executed.
1458: Matthias Corvinus succeeds John Hunyadi as king of Hungary.
1459: Easter massacre of boyers and rebuilding of Dracula's castle. Bucharest is established as the second governmental center.
1460: Attack upon Brasov, Romania.
1461: Successful campaign againts Turkish settlements along the Danube. Summer retreat to Tirgoviste.
1462: Following the battle at Dracula's castle, Vlad flees to Transylvania. Vlad begins 13 years of imprisonment.
1475: Summer wars in Serbia against Turks take place. November: Vlad resumes the throne of Wallachia.
1476 - 1477: Vlad is assassinated
1560: Elizabeth Bathory is born.
1610: Bathory is arrested for killing several hundred people and bathing in their blood. Tried and convicted, she is sentenced to life imprisonment.
1614: Elizabeth Bathory dies.
1645: Leo Allatius finishes writing the first modern treatment of vampires, De Graecorum hodie quirundam opinationabus.
1657: Fr. Francoise Richard's Relation de ce qui s'est passé a Sant - Erini Isle de l'Archipel links vampirism and witchcraft.
1672: Wave of vampire hysteria sweeps through East Prussia.
1679: A German vampire text, De Masticatione Mortuorum, by Phillip Rohr is written.
1710: Vampire Hysteria sweeps through East Prussia.
1725: Vampire hysteria returns to East Prussia.
1725 - 1730: Vampire Hysteria lingers in Hungary.
1725-1732: The wave of vampire hysteria in Austrian Serbia produces the famous cases of Peter Plogojowitz and Arnold Paul (Paole).
1734: The word "Vampyre" enters the English language in translations of German accounts of the European waves of vampire hysteria.
1744: Cardinal Giuseppe Davanzati publishes his treatise on vampires, Dissertazione sopre I Vampiri.
1746: Dom Augustin Calmet publishes his treatise on vampires, Dissertations sur les Apparitions des Anges des Démons et des Espits, et sur les revenants, et Vampires de Hundrie, de Boheme, de Moravie, et de Silésie.
1748: The first modern vampire poem, "Der Vampir", is published by Heinrich August Ossenfelder.
1750: Another wave of vampire hysteria occurs in Prussia
1756: Vampire hysteria peaks in Wallachia.
1772: Vampire hysteria occurs in Russia.
1797: Goethe's "Bride of Corinth" (a poem concerning a vampire) is published.
1798 - 1800: Samuel Taylor Coleridge writes "Christabel", now conceded to be the first vampire poem in English.
1800: I Vampiri, an opera by Silvestro de Palma, opens in Milan, Italy.
1801: "Thalaba" by Robert Southey is the first poem to mention the vampire in English.
1810: Reports of sheep being killed by having their jugular veins cut and their blood drained circulate through nothern England. "The Vampyre" by John Stagg, an early vampire poem. is published.
1813: Lord Byron's poem "The Giaour" includes the hero's encounter with a vampire.
1819: John Polidori's, The Vampyre, the first vampire story in English, is published in the April issue of New Monthly Magazine. John Keats composes "the Lamia", a poem built on ancient Greek legends.
1820: Lord Ruthwen ou Les Vampires by Cyprien Berard, is published anonymously in Paris. June 13: Le Vampire, the play by Charles Nodier, opens at the Theatre de la Porte Saint - Martin in Paris. August: The Vampire; or, The Bride of the Isles, a translation of Nodier's play by James R. Planché opens in London.
1829: March: Heinrich Marschner's opera, Der Vampyr, based on Nodier's story, opens in Liepzig.
1841: Alexey Tolstoy publishes his short story, "Upyr", while living in Paris. It is the first modern vampire story by a Russian.
1847: Bram Stoker is born. Varney the Vampyre begins lengthy serialization.
1851: Alexandre Dumas's last dramatic work, Le Vampire, opens in Paris.
1854: The case of vampirism in the Ray family of Jewett, Conneticut, is published in local newspapers.
1872: "Carmilla" is written by Sheridan Le Fanu. In Italy, vincenzo Verzeni is convicted of murdering two people and drinking their blood.
1874: Reports for Ceven, Ireland, tell of sheep having their throats cut and their blood drained.
1888: Emily Gerard's Land Beyond the Forest is published. It will become a major source of information about Transylvania for Bram Stoker's Dracula.
1894: H.G. Welles's short story, "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid," is a pre-cursor to science fiction vampire stories.
1897: Dracula by Bram Stoker is published in England. "The Vampire" by Rudyard Kipling becomes the inspiration for the creation of the vamp as a stereotypical character on stage and screen.
1912: The Secrets of House No.5, possibly the first vampire movie, is produced in Great Britain.
1913: Dracula's guest by Stoker is published.
1920: Dracula, the first film based on the novel, is made in Russia. No copy has survived.
1921: Hungarian filmmakers produce a version of Dracula.
1922: Nosferatu, a German - made silent film produced by Prana Films is the third attempt to film Dracula.
1924: Hamilton Deane's stage version of Dracula open in Derby. Fritz Harmaann of Hanover, Germany, is arrested, tried and convicted of killing more than 20 people in a vampiric crime spree. Sherlock Holmes has his only encounter with a vampire in "The Case of the Sussex Vampire".
1927: February 14: Stage version of Dracula debuts at the Little Theatre in London. October: American version of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, opens at Fulton Theatre in New York City. Tod Browning directs Lon Chaney in London After Midnight, the first full - length vampire feature film.
1928: The first edition of Montague Summers's influenced work, The Vampire: His Kith and Kin appears in England.
1929: ,Montague Summers's second vampire book, The Vampire in Europe, is published.
1931: January: Spanish film version of Dracula is previewed. February: American film version of Dracula with Bela Lugosi premieres at the Roxy Theatre in New York City. Peter Kürten of Dusseldorf, Germany, is executed after being found guilty of murdering a number of people in a vampiric killing spree.
1932: The highly acclaimed movie, Vampyr, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, is released.
1936: Dracula's Daughter is released by Universal Pictures.
1942: A.E. Van Gogt's "Asylum" is the first story about an alien vampire.
1943: Son of Dracula(Universal Pictures) stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as Dracula
1944: John Carradine plays Dracula for the first time in Horror of Frakenstein, No.8 includes the first comic book adaption of Dracula.
1954: The Comics Code banishes vampires from comic books. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson presents vampirism as a disease that alters the body.
1956: John Carradine plays Dracula in the first television adaption of the play for "Matinee Theater" . Kyuketsuki Ga, the first Japanese vampire film is released.
1957: The first Italian vampire movie, I Vampiri, is released. American producer Roger Corman makes the first science fiction vampire movie, Not of This Earth. El Vimpiro with German Robles is the first new wave of Mexican vampire films.
1958: Hammer Films in Great Britain initiates a new wave of interest in Vampires with the first of its Dracula films, released in the United States as The Horror of Dracula. First issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland signals a new interest in horror films in the United States.
1959: Plan 9 from Outer Space is Bela Lugosi's last film.
1961: The Bad Flower is the first Korean adaptation of Dracula.
1962: The Count Dracula Society is founded in Los Angeles by Donald Reed.
1964: Parque de Juelos (Park of Games) is the first Spanish - made vampire movie. The Munsters and The Addams Family, two horror comedies with vampire characters, open in the fall television season.
1965: Jeanne Youngson founds The Count Dracula Fan Club. The Munsters, based on the television show of the same name, is the first comic book series featuring a vampire character.
1966: Dark Shadows debuts on ABC afternoon television.
1967: April: In episode 210 of Dark Shadows, vampire Barnabas Collins makes his first appearance.
1969: First issue of Vampirella, the longest running vampire comic book to date, is released. Denholm Elliott plays the title role in a BBC television production of Dracula. Does Dracula Really Suck? (aka Dracula and the Boys) is released as the first gay vampire movie.
1970: Christopher Lee stars in El Conde Dracula, the Spanish. film adaption of Dracula. Sean Manchester founds The Vampire Research Society.
1971: Marvel Comics releases the first copy of a post - Comics code vampire comic book, The Tomb of Dracula. Morbius, the Living Vampire, is the first new vmapire character introduced after the revision of the Comics Code allowed vampire to reappear in comic books.
1972: The Night Stalker with Darrin McGavin becomes the most watched television television movie to that point in time. Vampire Kung - Fu is released in Hong Kong as the first of a string of vampire martial arts films. In search of Dracula by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu introduces Vlad the Impaler, the historical Dracula, to the world of contemporary vampire fans. A Dream of Dracula by Leonard Wolf complements McNally's and Florescu's effort in calling attention to vampire lore. True Vampires of History by Donald Glut is the first attempt to assemble the stories of all of the historical vampire figures. Stephen Kaplan founds The Vampire Research Center.
1973: Dan Curtis Productions' version of Dracula (1973) stars Jack Palance in a made - for - television movie. Nancy Garden's Vampire launches a wave of juvenile literature for children and youth.
1975: Fred Saberhagen proposes viewing Dracula as a hero rather than a villian in The Dracula Tape. The World of Dark Shadows is founded as the first Dark Shadows fanzine.
1976: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice is published. Stephen King is nominated for the World Fantasy Award for his vampire novel, Salem's Lot. Shadowcon, the first national Dark Shadows convention, is organized by Dark Shadows fans.
1977: A new, dramtic version of Dracula open on Broadway starring Frank Langella/ Louis Jourdan stars in the title role in Count Dracula, a three - hour version of Bram Stoker's book on BBC television. Martin V. Ricardo founds the Vampire Studies Society.
1978: Chelsea Quinn Yarbo's Hotel Transylvania joins the volumes of Fred Saberhagen and Anne Rice as a third major effort to being a reappraisal of the vampire myth during the decade. Eric Held and Dorothy Nixon found the Vampire Information Exchange.
1979: Based on the success of the new Broadway production, Universal Pictures remakes Dracula, (1979) starring Frank Langella/ The band Bauhau's recording of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" becomes the first hit of the new gothic rock music movement. Shadowgram is founded as a Dark Shadows fanzine.
1980: The Bram Stoker Society is founded in Dublin, Ireland. Richard Chase, the so - called Dracula killer of Sacremento, California, commits suicide in prison. The World Federation of Dark Shadows Clubs (now the Dark Shadows Official Fan Club) is founded. 1983: In the Drcember issue of Dr. Strange, Marvel Comics' ace occultist kills all the vampires in the world, thus banishing them from Marvel Comics for the next six years. Dark Shadows Festival is founded to host an annual Dark Shadows convention.
1985: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice is published and reaches the best seller lists.
1989: Overthrow of Romanian dictator Nikolai Ceaucescu opens Transylvania to Dracula enthusiasts/ Nancy Collins wins a Bram Stoker Award for her vampire novel, Sunglasses After Dark.
1991: Vampire: The Masquerade, the most successful of the vampire role - playing games is released by White Wolf.
1992: Bram Stoker's Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola opens. Andrei Chikatilo of Rostov, Russia, is sentenced to death after killing and vampirizing some 55 people.
1994: The film version of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire opens with Tome Cruise as the Vampire Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis.
1995: In May, the International Transylvanian Society of Dracula sponsors the World Dracula Conference in Romania.
1996: Members of a vampire "cult" led by Rod Ferrell are arrested for the murder of two people in Florida. They were subsequently tried and convicted of the murders.
1997: The centennial of the publications of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula occasions a flurry of activity through 1997 and into 1998, including the publication of a number of commemorative books, many television programs, and the issuance of a number of postage stamps (Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and the US). June 13 - 15: "Dracula the Centenary" is held in Whitby, England. It is sponsored by the Whitby Dracula Society. August 13: Serial killer Ali Reza Khoshruy Kuran Kordiyeh, known as the Tehram vampire, is publicly executed in Iran. August 14 - 17: Dracula '97: A Centennial Celebration is the largest of several events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Dracula is held in Los Angeles. The event is sponsored by the American and Canadian chapters of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula and the Count Dracula Fan Club.
I. Forrest James Ackerman (1916 - present)
Forrest James Ackerman, science fiction and horror fiction writer and editor, was born on November 24, 1916, in Los Angeles, the son of Carroll Cridland Wyman and William Schilling Ackerman. After attending the University of California at Berkeley for a year (1934 - 35), Ackerman held a variety of jobs and spent three years in the U.S. Army before founding the Ackerman Science Fiction Agency in 1947. By that time, he had been a science fiction fan of many years and in 1932 had been a co founder of The Time Travelers, the first science fiction fanzine. He was a charter member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Science Fiction League, an early fan club, and attended the first science fiction fan convention in 1939.
Since that time he has spent his life promoting the science fiction and horror genres in both print and film mediums. That lifetime of work has earned him a special place in the world of science fiction as a behind - the - scenes mover and shaker in the development of the field. Besides writing numerous fiction and nonfiction articles, Ackerman worked as the literary agent for a number of science fiction writers. Along the way he amassed an impressive collection of genre literature and artifacts now housed at his Hollywood home, the Ackermansion. Among his prized artifacts is Bela Lugosi's Dracula cape. He also owns more than 200 editions of Bram Stoker's Dracula novel.
Ackerman is most remembered by the general public as the editor of and main writer for Famous Monsters of Filmland, an important fan magazine that emerged in 1958 as monster movies were coming recognized as a separate genre of film with their own peculiar audience. During the 20 years of its existence, the magazine filled a void for the growing legion of horror and monster movie fans. Up to this time, there were no vampire fan clubs or periodicals. Ackerman sold the idea of Famous Monsters to publisher James Warren. The first issue was released as a one - time publication, but the response was far beyond what either had imagined. It soon become a periodical. In the first article of the premiere issue, "Monsters Are Good For You", Dr. Acula (one of Ackerman's pseudonyms) suggested, "A vmapire a day keeps the doctor away."
Ackerman made broad contributions to the larger science fiction and horror worlds while furthering the development of the vampire in pop culture. He regularly featured vampire movies and personalities --- though they shared space with other monsters ---on the pages of Famous Monsters. He edited and authored a number of books including an important vampire title, London After Midnight Revisited (1981), a volume about the famous original vampire feature directed by Tod Browning. More recently, he put together several retrospective volumes on Famous Monsters of Filmland. He appeared in a number of genre movies, mostly in cameo parts, including two vmapire films, Queen of Blood (1966) and Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971).
Possibly his most significant contribution to the vampire field was the creation of Vampirella. Ackerman partly developed the idea of Vampirella, a sexy young vampire from outer space, from the movie character Barbarella, who was created by Roger Vadim and portrayed by Jane Fonda (Vandim's wife at the time). The first issue of the Vampirella comic book appeared in 1969 and went on to become the most successful vampire comic book ever. It ran for 112 issues and, revived in the 1990's by Harris Comics, has again become a top seller.
In 1953, he was given the first Hugo Award as science fiction's number one fan personality. He was awarded the Ann Radcliffe Award from the The Count Dracula Society in 1963 and again in 1966. In 1997, Ackerman's lifetime of service to fandom was recognized with a special award at the Dracula '97: A Centennial Celebration in Los Angeles.
Aconite (aconitum napellus) is another name for wolfsbane or monkshood. This poisonous plant was believed by the ancient Greeks to have arisen in the mouths of Cerebus (a three - headed dog that guards the entrance to the Underworld ruled by Hades; the God of the Underworld. It later was noted as one of the ingredients of the ointment that witches put on their body in order to fly off to their sabbats. In Dracula (Spanish 1931), aconite was substituted for garlic as the primary plant used to repel the vampire.
III. Vampires in Africa
The peoples of Africa have not been known, in spite of their elaborate mythology, to hold a prominent belief in vampires. Montague Summers, in his 1920's survey of vampirism around the world, could find only two examples; the asasabonsam and the obayifo. Since Summers, very little work has been done to explore vampirism in African beliefs.
The Obayifo, unknown to Summers, was actually the AShanti name for a West African vampire that reappearedunder similar names in the mythology of most of the neighboring tribes. For example, among the Dahomeans, the vampire was known as the asiman. The obayifo was a witch living incognito in the community. The process of becoming a witch was an acquired trait — there was no genetic link. Hence, there was no way to tell who might be a witch. Secretly, the witch was able to leave its body and travel at night as a glowing ball of light. The witches attacked people —especially children — and sucked their blood. They also had the ability to suck the juics from fruits and vegetables.
The asasabonsam was a vampirelike monster speciesfound in the folklore of the Ashanti people of Ghana in western Africa. In the brief description provided by R. Sutherland Rattray, the asasabonsam was humanoid in appearance and had a set of iron teeth. It lived deep in the forest and was rarely encountered. It sat on treetops and allowed its legs to dangle downward, using its hook - shaped feet to capture unwary passersby.
Working among the tribes of the Niger River delta area, Arthur Glyn Leonard found a belief that witches left their homes at night to hold meetings with demons and to plot the death of neighbors. Death was accomplished by "gradually sucking the blood of the victim through some supernatural and invisible means, the effects of which on the victim is imperceptible to others." Among the Ibo, it was believed that the blood - sucking process was done so skillfully that the victim felt the pain but was unable to perceive the physical cause of it, even thought it would eventually prove fatal. Leonard believed that witchcraft was, in reality, a very sophisticated system of poisoning (as was a certain amount of sorcery in medieval Europe).
P. Amaury Talbot, working among the tribes in Nigeria, Daryll Forde discovered that disembodied witches were believed to attack people while they slept at night, They could suck their blood, and ulcers were believed to be a sign of their attack. They could also operate like an incubus/succubus and suffocate people by laying on top of them.
Among the Yakö people of Nigera, Daryll Forde discovered that disembodied witches were believed to attack people while they slept at night. They could suck their blood, and ulcers were believed to be a sign of their attack. They could also operate like an incubus/succubus and suffocate people by lying on top of them.
The question of witchcraft was evoked by anyne who suffered a hurtful condition, and anyone accused was severely dealt with by various trials by ordeal. Generally women who were barren or post - menopausal were primary subjects for accusations. It was not uncommon to sentence a convicted witch to death by fire.
Melville Herskovits and his wife Frances Herskovits were able to trace a witch/vampire, whose existence was acknowledged by most West African tribes, to similar vampire figures found in the Caribbean, the loogaroo of Haiti, the asema of Surinam, and the sukuyan of Trinidad. These three vampires are virtually identical, though found in colonies of the French, Dutch, and English. The vampire beliefs seem an obvious example of a common view carried from Africa by the slaves, which then persisted through the decades of slavery into the present.
More recently, John L. Vellutini, editor of the Journal of Vampirology, took up the challenge of exploring the whole question of vampirism in Africa. However, he argued that beneath the surface of African beliefs about witchcraft, much material analogous to the Eastern European or Slavic vampire could be found. Witches were seen as powerful figures in African culture with numerous powers, including the ability to transform into a variety of animal shapes. Using their powers, they indulges themselves in acts of cannibalism, necrophagy (i.e. feeding on corpses), and vampirism. These actions usually constituted acts of psychic vampirism rather than physical malevolence. For example, Thomas Winterbottom, working in Sierre Leone in the 1960's, noted:
A person killed by witchcraft is supposed to die from the effects of a poison secretly administered or infused into his system by the witch; or the latter is supposed to assume the shape of some animal, as a cat, or a rat, which, during the night, sucks the blood from a small and imperceptible wound, by which a lingering illness and death are produced.
With similar results, the obayifo, an Ashanti witch, sucked the blood of children as it flew about in its spirit body at night. Among the Ga people, M.J. Field found that witches gathered around a baisea, a type of pot, which contained the blood of their victims — though anyone looking into it would see only water. In fact, the liquid was believed to hold the vitality they had taken from their victims.
When a person was accused of witchcraft, he or she was put through an ordeal to determine guilt, and if found guilty, executed. The methods adopted by some tribes bore a strange resemblance to the methods applied to suspected vampires in Eastern Europe. For example, one tribe began the execution by pulling the tongue out and pinning it to the chin with a thorn (thus preventing any final curses being given to the executioners). The witch was then killed by being impaled on a sharpened stake. On occasion, the head was severed from the body and the body burnt or left in the woods for predators.
Even more closely tied to the practices of European witchcraft were the efforts taken to ascertain if a deceased person was a witch. The corpse of the accused witch would be taken from the ground and examined for signs of blood in the burial plot, incorruption, and abnormal swelling of the corpse. The grave of a true witch could use to exit the ground in the form of a bat, rat, or other small animal. It was believed that the witch could continue to operate after his/her death, and that the body would remain as at the time of death. By destroying the body, the spirit was unable to continue its witchcraft activity.
Witches also had the power to raise the dead and to capture a departed spirit, which they turned into a ghost capable of annoying the kinsmen of the departed person. There was also widespread belief throughout West Africa, in the isithfuntela (known by different mes among different peoples), the disinterred body of a person enslaved by a witch to do the witch's bidding. The witch reportedly cuts out the tongue and drives a peg into the brain of the creature so that it becomes zombie - like.
The isithfuntela similarly attacked people by hypnotizing them and then driving a nail in their heads.
Vellutini concluded that Africans shared the belief with Europeans in the existence of a class of persons who could defy deah and exert a malignant influence from the grave. Like the European vampires, African vampires were often people who died in defiance of the community mores or from suicide. Unlike the literary vampire, the African vampires were simply common people like the vampires of Eastern Europe.
Vellutini speculated that African beliefs in witches and witchcraft might have been spread to the rest of the world, although anthropologists and ethnologists did not encounter these beliefs firsthand until the nineteenth century. While certainty possible, further research and comparison with evidence for alternative theories, such as that proposed by Devendra P. Varma for the Asian origin of vampire beliefs, must be completed before a consensus can be reached.
IV. African American Vampires
Vampire beliefs have not been prominent among Africa, which believed in both vampires and witches who acted like vampires and witches who acted like vampires, and were brought to the United States either directly or by way of Haiti or the other French islands in the Caribbean. Folklorists working among African - American in the southern United States in the late - nineteenth and early - twentieth centuries found a number of accounts of vampires. Some were more traditional bloodsuckers. One account from Tennessee told of an old woman whose health seemed to constantly improve while the children's health declined because she sucked their blood while they slept "de chillun dies, an' she keeps on a - livin'."
The most defineable vampire figure reported among African Americans was the fifollet, or the feu - follet, known to the residents of Louisana. The fifollet, the traditional will - o - the - wisp (light seen at night over the swamp areas), derived from the French incubus/succubus figure, was the soul of a dead person that had been sent back to Earth by God to do penance, but instead attacked people. Most of the attacks were mere mischief, but on occasion, the fifollet became a vampire who sucked the blood of people, especially children. Some believed that the fifollet was the soul of a child who had died before baptism.
MODERN AFRICAN VAMPIRES: Vampires have made only infrequent appearances in African American folklore, and, similarly, African Americans have been largely absent from modern vampire movies and novels. The few black vampire movies emerged in the era of blaxploitation movies in the early - and mid - 1970's. Only one African - American vampire character, Prince Mamuwalde (better known as Blacula), attained any fame beyond the fans of vampire movies. The prince, portrayed by Shakespearean actor William Marshall, appeared in two movies, Blacula (1972) and Scream Blacula Scream (1973). Released the same year as Blacula was Alabama's Ghost (1972), Gana blaxploitation movie in which a vampire rock group battles a ghost. Another lesserknown African American vampire movie is the 1973 Ganja and Hess (released in video under a variety of names including Blood Couple, Double Possession, Black Evil, and Black Vampire). Like Blacula, the Dr. Hess Green (played by Duane Jones), who became a vampire after being stabbed with an ancient African dagger by his assistant. The vampire never became a prominent role for black actors, however, and with a few notable instances --- Teresa Graves in Old Dracula (also known as Vampira) and Grace Jones in Vamp) ---few have appeared in leading roles.
V. Leo Allatius (1586 - 1669)
Leo Allutius (also known as Leone Allacci) seventeenth - century Greek vampirologist, was possibly the first modern author to write a book on vampires. Allatius was born in 1586 on the Greek island of Chios. In 1600 he moved to Rome to attend the Greek College there. After completing his studies, he returned to Chios as the assistant to the Roman Catholic Bishop Marco Gustiniani. He later moved back to Italy to study medicine and rhetoric, and worked for many years at the Vatican Library. Among his passions was the reunion of the Greek and Roman churches.
In 1645 he completed De Graecorum hodie quirundam opinationibus, in which he discussed many of the beliefs common to the people of Greece. Allatius covered the Greek vampire traditions in great detail. He described the vrykolakas, the undecomposed corpse that has been taken over by a demon, and noted the regulations of the Greek Church for the discernment and disposal of a vrykolakas. He then noted his own belief in the existence of vampires, which had occasionally been reported on Chios.
While Allatius personally accepted the reality ov vampires, and his book helped to popularize the connection between Greece and vampires, he did not dwell upon the subject throughout his life. He continued to work at the Vatican library, and in 1661, was honored by being appointed its custodian. Allatius died in Rome on January 19, 1669.
VI. The Vampire of Alnwick Castle
Among the famous case reports of real vampires were those of William of Newburgh, who, in the twelfth century, collected a variety of accounts of vampires in England. One incidentthay occurred in his lifetime concerned a man, who served the Lord of Alnwick Castle. The man, who was himself known for his wicked ways, was further plagued by an unfaithful wife. Having hidden on the roof above his bed to see her actions for himself, he fell to the ground and died the next day.
Following his burial, the man was seen wandering through the town. People became afraid of encountering him and locked themselves in their houses after dark each day. During this time an epidemic of an unamed disease broke out and a number of people died. The sickness was blamed on the "vampire." Finally, on Palm Sunday, the local priest assembled a group of the more devout residents and some of the leading citizens who proceeded to the cemetery. The uncovered the body, which appeared gorged with blood that gushed forth when it was struck with a spade. Having decided that the body had fed off the blood of its many victims, it was dragged out of town and burned. Soon thereafter, the epidemic ended, and the town returned to normal.
Aluka is the word for a leech (Haemopsis sanguisuga) in ancient Hebrew. the word appeared in the Jewish Bible in Proverbs 30:15, where it was variously translated as leech or horseleech. The word was derived from an Arabic word (alukah), meaning "to hang to." In Syria and Israel, there were several species of leeches, one of which would attach itself to the neck of horses as they drank from streams. Others dwelt in more stagnant waters and would cling to the legs of any who wandered their way. They were known for their tenacity in adhering to the skin, and often could only be detached by killing them.
Some have suggested that the cryptic expression in Proverbs, "The leech (aluka) has two daughters, Give, Give,: in fact, referred not to the common leech but to a mythological vampire figure, a Syrian/Hebrew derivation of the Arabic ghoul, which sucked blood and dined on the flesh of the dead. During the nineteenth century, such an interpretation was offered by several Bible scholars, however, it was always a minority interpretation and is no longer regarded as a viable option by contemporary scholars.
VIII. Vampires in America
European settlers who came to America brought their belief in vampires with them, though most English colonists arrived before the vampire became part of the popular culture of Great Britain. Certainly, Polish settlers from the northern Kashab area of Poland brought and kept alive vampire beliefs in their Canadian settlements. Amid the vast mythology of the many Native American tribes there have been few vampires reported, and even passing references to American Indians are rare in vampire literature. Similarly, there have been few reports from the African American community, though remnants of African vampire mythologies have appeared in the South.
VAMPIRISM IN NEW ENGLAND: While reports of vampires in the United States have been infrequent, there were stories scattered throught the nineteenth - century of what appear, at least on cursory examinationm to document a belief in vampires and action taken against them by settlers in a rather confined area in New England. The first such incident reportedly occurred during the American Revolution. A man named Stukeley, who had 14 children, began to experience the death of his brood one by one. After six had died, one of the deceased, his daughter Sarah, began to appear in dreams to his wife. The bodies were exhumed and all but that of Sarah had decomposed. Her body was remarkably preserved. From each body, they cut out the heart, which they burned before reburying the bodies. The first account of this story was not published until 1888, a century after it supposedly occurred. No contemporary accounts of this story exist.
A similar early case was reported in 1854, much closer to the time of its occurrence. It concerned the Ray family of Jewett City, Conneticut. Besides the father and two sons died of consumption, and a third son had taken ill. (Throughout the nineteenth century, consumption, i.e., tuberculosis, was a deadly disease with no known cause or cure. It thus became the subject of much occult speculation). The family believing that their deceased relatives were the cause of the problem, exhumed the bodies and burned them. How prevalent this belief was is not known, but there certainly existed a community of belief that passed from generation to generation. Henry David Thoreau recorded in his journal on September 16, 1859, " I have just read of a family in Vermont who, several of its members having died of consumption, just burned the lungs, heart, and liver of the last deceased in order to prevent any more from having it."
Another story was published in a Vermont paper in 1890. It concerned the Corwin family, who lived in Woodstock, Vermont. Six months after one of the Corwins had died of consumption, a brother took sick. The family disinterred the body of the first brother and burned the heart. Unfortunately, there is no contemporary account of this incident, only a newspaper story published 60 years after the reported occurrence.
Among the widely retold accounts was that of the family of Mary E. Brown of Exeter, Rhode Island. Mary died of tuberculosis in December 1883. Six months later, her oldest daughter also died. In 1888, her son Edwin and his sister Mercy contracted the disease. Mercy died in January 1892. Edwin, though ill, clung to life. Two months later, the family, deciding that a vampire was involved, exhumed the bodies of all their dead relatives. The mother and oldest daughter were mere skeletons, but Mercy's body appeared to be healthy and full of blood, and the body was turned sideways in the coffin. They concluded that Mercy was a vampire, and therefore, her heart was cut out and burned before the body was reburied. The ashes were dissolved in medicine and given to Edwin. It did not help, however, and he died soon afterward. Mercy's body remains buried in the cementery behind the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church in Exeter, and some local residents still think of her as the town's vampire.
George R. Stetson, the first scholar to examine the stories, noted, "In New England the vampire superstition is unknown by its proper name. It is there believed that consumption is not a physical but a spiritual disease, obsession, or visitation; that as long as the body of a dead consumptive relative has blood in its heart it is proof that an occult influence steals from it for death and is at work draining the blood of the living into the heart of the dead and causing its rapid decline." John L. Vellutini, editor of the Journal of Vampirology, has done the most complete examination of the accounts and has made a number of pertinent observations on these cases. Like Stetson, he found that "vampirism" was not used in the earlier accounts to describe the actions against the corpses. The subject of vampirism was seemingly added into the accounts by later writers, especially journalists and local historians. Thus, by the time of the Mercy Brown case in 1892, vampirism was being used as a label to describe such incidents.
PHYSIC VAMPIRISM IN NEW ENGLAND: As early as 1871, pioneer anthropologist Edward B. Tyler, in his work Primitive Culture, proposed a definition of vampirism, possibly with the New England cases in mind. Tyler wrote, "Vampires are not mere creations of groundless fancy, but causes conceived in spiritual form to account for specific facts of wasting disease." In this interpretation, vampirism occurred when "the soul of a deadman goes out from its buried corpse and sucks the blood of living men. The victim becomes thin, languid, bloodless, and, falling into rapid decline,dies." He further noted, "The corpse thus supplied by its returning soul with blood, is imagined to remain unnaturally fresh and supple and ruddy..." Tyler's definition of vampirism was close to what had become known as psychic vampirism. It was almost identical to the definition proposed by the French psychical researcher Z.J. Piérart during the 1860s that was popular in occult circles for the rest of the 1800s. It differed radically from the idea of the Eastern European vampire, which was believed to be a revived corpse that attacked living people from whom it sucked the blood.
The belief, discovered by Stetson, underlying the practice of removing and burning the heart of a deceased tubercular patient could properly be described as a form of psychic vampirism. Vellutini was also quite correct in his observation that no belief in vampires (that is, the resuscitated corpse of Eastern European vampire lore) was ever present in the belief system of New England.
The practice of attacking the corpses of dead tubercular patients disappeared in the early twentieth - century, due, no doubt, to the discovery of the cause and then the cure of tuberculosis. Periodically accounts of the New England cases were rediscovered and published. As recently as 1993, Paul S. Sledzik of the National Museum of Health and Medicine reported on his examination of a cemetery near Griswold, Conneticut, of corpses that showed signs of tuberulosis, which had been mutilated in the nineteenth century.
An understanding of the Anarchs, the Anarch Revolt, and the operation of the Camarilla is integral to the popular role - playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade. Periodically within the community of vampires, younger members (measured by the length of time they have been a vampire) have risen in revolt against the authority of their elders. According to the myth of the game, in ancient times the fourth generation rose against the third generation, destroyed the structure they had imposed on the community, and killed at least some of them. The most important rebellion occurred in the fifteenth century. Many of the elder vampires were short sighted in their reaction to the growing power of the Inquisition. As vampires were discovered and taken from their lairs, the elders began to use their children as shields to protect them from the Inquisition's long arm. Realizing how they were being fed to the Inquistion, th young rose in what was termed the Anarch Revolt. The Camarilla, the coalition of vampire clans in Europe, was formed to counter both the Inquisition and the Anarch Revolt.
The Camarilla won their war against the Anarchs, but did not succeed in destroying them. Some aligned themselves with the Sabbat, an organization led by the Lasomba clan which refused to submit to the Camarilla's rules. Others remained unaligned.
In the present, younger vampires tend to identify with the Anarchs. They are individually weaker than the elders, but make up for their condition by their numbers. When their numbers grow large enough, they will tend to revolt against the local prince, and they have taken advantage of the weakened condition of the elders in the immediate aftermath of a clash between the two main vampire organizations, the Camarilla and the Sabbat. In those cities controlled by either the Sabbat or the Camarilla, the Anarchs are viewed as constant threat.
The Anarchs have been able to take control of several cities, most notably in 1944 when they led a revolt in Los Angeles that led to the formation of the Anarch Free States along the West Coast of the United States. Their control gives California an unusual place in the vampire world.
Anemia is a disease of the blood that has come, in some quarters, to be associated with vampirism. Anemia is caused by a reduction of either red blood cells or hemoglobin (the oxygen - carrying pigment of the cells) relative to the other ingredients in the blood. The symptoms include a pale complexion, fatigue, and in its more extreme instances, fainting spells. All are symptoms usually associated with a vampire attack. In Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula, during the early stages of Lucy Westenra's illness, Dr. John Seward hypothesized that possibly she was suffering from anemia. He later concluded that she was not suffering from the loss of red blood cells, but from the loss of whole blood. Dr. Abraham Van Helsing agreed with his friend, "I have made careful examination, but there is no functional cause. With you I agree that there has been much blood lost; it has been, but is not. But the conditions of her are in no way anemic." (Chapter 9) Thus, the association of anemia and vampirism was dismissed.
The successful 1997 television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, introduced several new vampire characters as objects of the Slayer's deadly intentions. However, one of the vampires proved distinct, Angel or Angelus (David Boreanaz). He was young and handsome. He appeared to be only a few years older than Buffy, but in fact was some 240 years old. He originally hailed from Greece and spent the first decades as a vampire in Europe. He killed freely, like other vampires lacking any conscience, killing his own family and neighbors. His search for further victims eventually led him to Budapest. While there he met a young Gypsy who eventually became another victim, and her family retaliated by punishing Angelus. Although they left him a vampire, they restored his conscience. (When one becomes a vampire, he or she loses the soul, and there is no remorse over the killing). From that time forward, in spite of the blood lust, he found himself unable to feed on a human being. He changed his name from Angelus to Angel, and shortly thereafter, around World War I, he moved to America. He lived alone and shunned the company of other vampires.
Flash forward to the town of Sunnydale in the mid 1990's, where Angel meets some of his old friends, Darla and The Master. Darla had originally turned him, and The Master invited him back into the fold. He refused their offer. In the meantime Angel took a liking to Buffy and made himself her self - appointed guardian, warning and protecting her. One evening, as three vampires sent by the Master attacked Buffy, Angel helped defeat them. His intervention warned her of the Master's initial attempt to establish himself in Sunnydale, taking advantage of a particular moment each century, the Harvest. And still another time he came to her aid and during the process he was injured. Buffy cared for his wounds and found herself falling in love with this vampire.
Angel soon had to confront two new vampires who arrived in Sunnydale to fill the vacuum caused by the death of the Master, Spike and Drusilla. While Buffy was concentrating on Spike and Drusilla, Angel placed his ability to feel human emotion in jeopardy when he and Buffy shared an intimate moment.
The result was disastrous; Angel lost his soul (conscience) and reverted to his previous persona of Angelus. as the second season ended, Buffy now realized that she had to destroy the evil vampire with whom she had fallen in love. As Buffy readjusted her relationship with Angel, and as Angel, who still remembered his feelings for Buffy, began toying with her, the stage was set for their future confrontations.
The vampire's relationship to the animal kingdom is manifested in its ability to achieve transformation into various animal shapes, its command over the animal kingdom, especially the rat, the owl, and the bat, the moth, the fox, and the wolf; and to a lesser extent its prey upon animals for food. Also, on rare occasions, animal vampires have been reported.
ANIMALS IN VAMPIRE FOLKLORE: In the older folklore, the vampire's command of animals or the ability to transform into animals was a minimal element at best. However, the vampire was often associated with other creatures, such as werewolves, who were defined by their ability to transform themselves. Among the vampires who did change into animals were the chiang - shih vampires of China, who could transform into wolves.
More importantly, the vampire, especially in Western Europe, saw the animal world as a food supply and would often attack the village's cattle herd and suck the animal's blood. Sudden, unexpected, and unexplained deaths of cattle would often be attributed to vampires. For example, Agnes Murgoci noted that one of the first tests in determining if a recently deceased man had become a vampire would be the sudden death of his livestock. Sir James Frazer observed that in Bulgaria, where the cattle suffered from frequent vampire attacks, people treated such attacks by having their herds pass between two bonfires constructed at a nearby crossroads know to be frequented by wolves. Afterward, the coals from the bonfires were used to relight the fires in the village. In Japan, the vampire kappa lived at the water's edge and would attack cows and horses and try to drag them into the water.
A few animals, particularly cats and horses, were also believed to have a special relationship to vampires. It was thought in many Eastern European countries that if one allowed an animal such as a cat to jump over the corpse of a dead person prior to burial, the person would return as a vampire. (This belief emphasized the necessity of the deceased's loved one to properly mourn, prepare, and care for the body). The horse, on the other hand, was frequently used to locate a vampire. Brought to the graveyard, the horse would be led around various graves in the belief that it would hesitate and refuse to cross over the body of a vampire.
DRACULA'S ANIMALS: Dracula's command of the animal kingdom appeared quite early in Bram Stoker's novel. In the first chapter of Dracula, even before Jonathan Harker arrived at Castle Dracula, the carriage he was traveling in was suddenly surrounded by an intimidating ring of wolves. Just as suddenly, the driver (later shown to be Dracula in disguise) dismissed the wolves with a wave of his arm. After he arrived at the castle and began to familiarize himself with the Count, Harker noticed the howling of the wolves. Dracula then spoke one of his most memorable lines: "Listen to them ---the children of the night. What music they make." Later, in London, while Dracula was continuing his attack upon Lucy Westenra, he called Bersicker, a wolf from the local zoo, to his aid. Bersicker assisted Dracula by breaking the window at the Westenra home to give Dracula a means of entrance.
Abraham Van Helsing warned the men who would finally track Dracula and kill him that Dracula could not only alter the weather, but that he also could 'command the meaner things; the rat, and the owl, and the bat — the moth, and the fox, and the wolf." The men discovered the truth of his words for themselves when they broke into Dracula's residence, Carfax, and were suddenly set upon by thousands of rats.
TRANSFORMATION: Stoker first hinted at Dracula's ability to transform himself into animal form when the imprisoned Harker looked out of his window to see Dracula crawling down the castle wall. "What manner of man is this, or what manner of creature is it in the semblance of man?" Harker wondered (chanpter 3). Dracula traveled to England aboard a ship, the Demeter, which he caused to be wrecked upon the shore at Whitby. Dracula escaped the wreckage in the form of a dog. Through the rest of the novel Dracula made few appearances, however, he constantly hovered in the background in the form of a bat. Observed outside of R.N. Renfield's window at the asylum, Dr. John Seward note the strange behavior of large bat. "Bats usually wheel and flit about, but this one seemed to go straight on, as if it knew where it was bound for or had some intention of its own" (Chapter 11).
Stoker's characters were, of course, familiar with the vampire bats of Central and South America and understood the vampire's close association with the bat. At one point Seward examined one of the children bitten by Lucy who had been admitted to a hospital. The doctor attending the boy hypothesized that the wounds on his neck were caused by a bat. "' Out of so many harmless one,' he said, 'there may be some wild specimen from the south of a more malignant species. Some sailor may have brought one home, and it managed to escape; or even from Zoological Gardens a young one may have got loose, or one be bred there from a vampire"' (chapter 15).
ANIMALS AND THE CONTEMPORARY VAMPIRE MYTH: While there has been, as a whole, less attention paid to animals in the Dracula movies and stage plays, the command of animals is an essential element in the alteration of the plot in the first of the Dracula movie, Nosferatu, Eine Symphonic des Garuens. Building upon Dracula's command of the rats that so bedeviled Van Helsing and the men as they entered Carfax, Graf Orlock, the Dracula character in Nosferatu commanded plague ---bearing rats. He arrived at Bremen with the rats, and the pestilence that accompanied them was a sign of the vampire's presence. The death of the vampire brought an end to the plague.
The vampire's ability to transform into different forms, especially that of a bat, has remained an essential element to most modern vampire movies and novels. The improvement of special effects in movies has allowed for more lifelike transformations to be depicted. Special effects in the recent Bram Stoker's Dracula were among the movie's more impressive features. There has been a noticeable trend, however to strip the vampire of its less believable qualities. Both Anne Rice and Chelsea Quinn Yarbo, for example, have denied their vampires the ability to transform themselves out of human shape, though they retain other supernatural abilities.
During the last generation, as the vampire became the hero or at least the sympathetic figure with whom the reader identified, the question of the vampire feeding off of humans rose to the fore. If a vampire renounces the taking of blood from human victims, there are few nutritional options remaining: purchasing blood from various sources, finding willing donors, artificial blood substitutes, or animals. Animals were the most frequently chosen objects, and novels frequently include reflections on the adequacy of animal blood. In Rice's Interview with the Vampire, Louis was unable to bring himself to attack a human for the first four years of his vampiric existence and lived off the blood of rats and other animals.
ANIMAL VAMPIRES: On occasion, quite apart from stories of vampires changing into animal forms, stories of vampire animals have surfaced. As early as 1810, stories came from the borderland between England and Scotland of sheep, sometimes as many as 10 a night, having their jugular vein cut out and their blood drained. the best known incident of a similar occurrence, reported by Charles Fort, concerned a rash of sheep killings near Caven, Ireland, in 1874. Some 42 instances of sheep having their throats cut and blood drained (but no flesh consumes) had been noted. Near the dead sheep, footprints of a dog - like animal were found. Finally a dog, seemingly the offending animl, was shot. At that point the affair should have ended. However, the sheep kept dying and more dogs were shot. Then reports began to come in from Limerick, more than 100 miles away. Accounts ended in both communities without any final resolution. In 1905, a similar spat of sheep killings occurred in England near Badminton in Gloucester. Such incidents have become part of the UFO lore of the last generation in North America. Another famous even involving possible animal vampire was the cutting of the throat of Snippy the horse in Colorado in September 1967.
Several novels have featured animal vampires, the most famous being Ken Johnson's Hounds of Dracula (1977, also released as Dracula's Dog) that was made into the movie, Zolan: Hound of Dracula. Youthful vampire readers may be familiar with the vampire rabbit Bunnicula, the subject of several books by James Howe and Deborah Howe, and the vampires duck, Count Duckula, star of an animated television series and Marvel comic book. Both Bunnicula and Count Duckula were vegetarians.
XIII. Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat Fan Club
Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat Fan Club was founded in 1988 as a popular response to the very successful vampire novels of Anne Rice. It originated at an autograph party held October 18, 1988 at de Ville Books & Prints in New Orleans. Sue Quiroz suggested the idea of starting a club or two of her friends — Susan Miller and Theresa Simmons. The three immediately began to gather the names of potential members among those at the store. They sought and received Rice's approval. She suggested the addition the addition of a reference to Lestat de Lioncourt to the name of the club since most of the public response was to him. The original three founders of the club were joined by Melanie Scott, and the club was soon launched.
The first quarterly newsletter was issued in March 1989. The group sponsored its initial major event, the "Coven Party", a costume gala, in October 1989. The party has become an annual event complete with guest celebrities and a theme drawn from the Lestat books/ At the time of the first party, the club had some 400 members. It grew slowly over the next few years until the release of the first issue of The Vampire Companion, an irregular publication of the Innovation Corporation. The Companion was intended to compliment the comic book version of Rice's books that Innovation was releasing. The Companion carried an article about the club and a membershio form. Membership rose quickly from some 500 members to several thousand.
The Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat Fan Club may be contacted at PO Box 58277, New Orleans, LA 70158 - 8277. It publishes a newsletter.
XIV. Appearance of a Vampire
An discussion of the appearance of the vampire must take into account the several vampire types. The contemporary vampire of the 1980's and 1990's has shown a distinct trend toward a normal appearance that allows them to completely fit in with human society and move about undetected. Such modern vampires have almost no distinguishing characteristics with the exception of fangs (extended canine teeth), which may be retractable and show only when the vampire is feeding. As such, the contemporary vampire harks back to the vampire characters of the pre - Dracula literary vampires. There was little in the appearance of Geraldine. Lord Ruthven, Varney the Vampire, or Carmilla, to distinguish them from their Contemporaries (though Varney had prominent fangs).
However, the contemporary vampire is still largely based on the dominant figure of Dracula as developed for the stage by Hamilton Deane and especially as portrayed by Bela Lugosi. Hamilton Deane must be credited with the domestication of Dracula and making him an acceptable attendee at the evening activities of Victorian British society. Deane's Dracula donned evening clothes and an opera cape with a high collar.
Bela Lugosi in the movie Dracula (1931) confirmed Deane's image of the vampire in popular culture and added to it. He gave Dracula an Eastern European accent and a swept - back, slicked - down hairdo with a prominent widow's peak. In the Horror of Dracula (1968), Christopher Lee added the final prominent feature to Dracula's appearance, the fangs. Prior to Lee the vampire had no fangs, at least no visible ones. Lee, the first prominent vampire in Technicolor, also gave Dracula a set of red eyes, which to a lesser extent have become a standard (though by no means unanimous) aspect of the vampire's appearance, especially in motion pictures. Since Lee, the image of the vampires in popular culture has been set. The fangs, the cape, and to a lesser extent, the evening clothes, the red eyes, and the widow's peak now quickly convey the idea that a person is a vampire. The use of these definitive signs of a vampire's appearance is most evident on greeting cards and the artwork on the cover of vampire novels and comic books.
This modern image of the vampire, with the exception of the extended canine teeth, varies considerably from both that of Dracula, as presented in the original novel of Bram Stoker, and the vampire of folklore. The latter, at least in its European incarnation, was a corpse, but a corpse notable for several uncorpselike characteristics. Its body might have been bloated and extended so that the skin was tight like a drum. It would have extended fingernails that had grown since its burial. It would be dressed in burial clothes. It would stink of death. The ends of its appendages might show signs of having been eaten away. In appearance the folkloric vampire was horrible, not so much because it was monstrous, but because of its disgusting semi - decayed nature.
Between the folklore vampire and the contemporary vampires of popular culture lies the Dracula of Bram Stoker's novel. He was described in some detail in the second chapter of the book — he was dressed in black clothes; his hair was profuse and his eyebrows massive and bushy; he had a heavy mustache; his skin was pale; he had hair in the palm of his hand and long extended fingernails. Most noticeable were the brilliant extended canines that protruded over his lower lips when the mouth was closed. His eyes were blue, though they flashed red when he was angry or upset. He was of mature years, though he got younger as the novel proceeded. John Carradine's stage productions of Dracula in the 1950's were probably closest to Dracula as he appeared in the novel.
Armand is a 400 - year - old, adolescent looking vampire and major character in "The Vampire Chronicles" of Anne Rice. He is introduced in Interview with the Vampire where in the years immediately prior to the French revolution he headed a grouple of vampires who performed at the Theater of the Vampires in Paris. He first appeared on the streets of Paris after learning of the presence of fellow vampires Louis and Claudia in the city. He broke up a fight between Louis and one of the other vampires, whom he had sent to present the two with an invitation to the theater. After the performance the following evening, he and Louis, who were strongly attracted to each other, had a conversation concerning God and the meaning of existence, during which Louis was forced to confront the meaningless of life.
Louis also had to deal with Claudia's jealousy over his obvious infatuation with Armand and her own dilemma of being trapped in the body of a child. His acknowledgement of his feelings for Armand freed him to create a companion for Claudia, in the older woman Madeleine, a dollmaker. Armand's feelings for him saved Louis's life when he, Madeleine. The vampires had confined Louis in a coffin, but Armand released him. In return for the favor, an angry Louis warned Armand that he was about to vent his anger. Thus Armandescaped when Louis burned the theater, killing the vampires caught in its confines.
In the second volume of the Chronicles, The Vampire Lestat, Armand's background is laid out. He was born in Southern Russia but as a child his family was taken prisoner by Tartars and sold into slavery in Constantinople. He was brought by a vampire named Marius and taken to Venice. Marius used him as a model for painting, The Temptation of Amedeo. Armand was only 17 years old when Marius made him a vampire. Through the centuries he retained his youthful appearance with auburn hair, brown eyes, and a beautiful face. When Marius' home was invaded by a group of Satanists, Armand was inducted into their coven and went on to become an accomplished Satanist leader. He moved out across Europe gathering potential Satanists into new covens. Eventually he settled in Paris as the head of a coven. Over the years he had fed regularly, and perfected a technique of drawing people with a death wish to him, but kept several matters to himself. He never made another vampire. He also had lost (or never possessed) any belief in God or Satan.
He had been in Paris a century when Lestat arrived, and as a new vampire encountered Armand and his coven. Attempts to bring Lestat into the coven resulted in its being destroyed and most of their number being killed. Eventually, Lestat bought and gave them the theate, hence when they discovered that Claudia had attempted to kill Letstat, they were particularly incensed.
After Louis burned the theatre, he and Armand traveled the world together. They lived together in New York City for many years, only returning to New Orleans in the mid 1970's. A short time later, they went their separate ways.
After Louis gave the interview that became the book, Interview with the Vampire, Daniel Malloy, the interviewer, came to New Orleans looking for Lestat but found Armand instead. He developed a relationship with Armand, but was frustrated as Armand would come and go at will leaving Daniel begging Armand to give him the Dark Gift (transformation into a vampire). Through Daniel, Armand learned about the twentieth century, and finally decided to leave his old ways behind. He became obssessed with new technological gadgets from food blenders to television. He quickly made a fortune and built a fantasy shopping entertainment complex near Miami called the Night Island.
While he refused to make Daniel a vampire, Armand did give Daniel an amulet that contained a vial of his blood. If ever he was in danger from other vampires, he was to break the vial and drink it. They would feel Armand's power and stay away from him. However, Armand's continued refusal to make him a vampire was a constant source of conflict. Daniel left and allowed his life to degenerate. Finally, in 1985, Armand reconnected with his disparate young lover.
Nineteen eighty - five was also a year of crisis for the vampire community. Around the world, vampires were being killed. It was the work of Akasha, the awakened primal vampire, but Armand was not yet aware of her activity. Through his clairvoyance, Daniel perceived Akasha as the name of the new evil. In the face of the threatening situation, Armand broke down and made Daniel a vampire, the only time he had transformed anyone.
After the final confrontation with Akasha, the surviving vampires gathered at Night Island to recoup, but then go their separate ways. Several years later Armand went to New Orleans to meet Lestat, about whome he had developed some concern. He met his old friend as Lestat was about to embark on his adventure into heaven and hell. He was still around when Lestat returned. Lestat again destroyed Armand's worldview with his story of the great beyond. The religious feelings that welled - up inside led him to commit suicide by exposure to the sun. Several other vampires imitated his action.
In 1998, Rice announced that her next vampire novel would focus on Armand.
XVI. Vampires in Armenia
Armenia is an ancient land stiuated between Turkey and Russia. It was the first land to make Christianity its state religion. The Armenian church is similar to the Eastern Orthodox churches, but did not follow the development of Orthodox theology through the fifth to seventh centuries. Late in the nineteenth - century Armenia was the location of a number of massacres by occupying Turkish soldiers. Throughout most of the twentieth - century it was a part of the Soviet Union until that country broke up in the early 1990's.
Little has been written about vampirism in Armenia. Its place in vampire history is due to an account in an 1854 text by Baron August von Haxthausen that was mentioned by Montague Summers. von Haxthausen visited Mount Ararat in the Caucasians. According to local legend there was a vampire, Dakhanavar, who protected the valleys in the area from intruders. He attacked travelers in the night and sucked the blood from people's feet. He was outwitted by two men who heard of the vampire habits and slept with their feet under the other's head. The vampire, frustrated by encountering a creature that seemed to have two heads and no feet, ran away and was never heard of again.
XVII. Assamite Vampire Clan
A vampire clan in the popular role - playing game Vampire: The Masquerade, the Assamites are identified with the medieval Order of Assassins. The Assamites claim to be the oldest of the various clans. According to the myth of the game, Haqim was the lord of the armies of the First City who observed Caine (or Khayyin) turn the king and queen of the city into vampires. With several colleagues, he slew the two during the day and drained their blood into a goblet. He then cut himself and allowed himself to almost die. His fellow conspirators then fed him the goblet of blood and laid him to rest. They also took him from the city and eventually hid away in a fortified mountain fortress, called Alamut or the Eagle's Nest.
When he recovered from his ordeal, he greeted his first progeny and set himself over against the other progeny of Caine which had multiplied. When opportunity allowed, they killed and drank the blood, thus growing stronger. Eventually, the Canaanite children learned of what they named the Assamites. The Ventrue attempted to destroy them, but were unsuccessfu;. Eventually the Assamites made common cause with one group of the followers of Islam and helped them turn back the Roman allies of the Ventrue. The last threat came from the Knights Templars during the Crusades. However, as the European vampire clans fell victim to the Inquisition, they had a more immediate threat to their survival. When, in the fifteenth century, the Camarilla was formed by seven of the vampire clans, the Assamites stayed aloof and supported the Islamic invasion of Europe that carried them through the Balkans into the very gated city of Vienna.
In the meantime, the Assamites had problems of their own, as Muslims turned on them and attacked the Alamut. They made peace with the Camarilla in 1496, but the price was to submit to the magic of the Tremere. As a result, the blood of the other clans became poisonous, and the Assamites could no longer operate as assassins who gathered to them the blood of the children of Caine.
Up to this time, all the Assamites were male. The first female was embraced (transformed into a vampire) in 1746. All new members were chosen by the clan as a whole from humans who are already skilled in personal combat (or another particular skill prized and needed by the clan). They must also be able to label enemies of the clan as their enemies and kill without remorse. They are intensely loyal individuals. After seven years of training, recruits found worthy are embraced in a clan ritual. At this time, each is given some of the heartblood, a mixture of the blood of the fallen heroes of the clan which has been collected and stored for this purpose. The heartblood is said to also contain some blood even of the clan founder.
After the embrace, the new clan members, called fida'i, "those who sacrifice themselves," become full clan members known as rafiq. The clan is headed by the Silsila, the elders, and the three members of the Du'at, the senior most members of the clan. The Du'at is made up of the Caliph (head of the military), the Vizier (senior scholar), and the Amr (chief magician). The Du'at advises the master, the old man of the mountain. The clan as a whole lives by the khabarm their code which emphasizes the virtues of loyalty, brotherhood, honor,vengeance, secrecy, faith (in the khabar), and community. They follow the Path of Blood, their goal being to rid the world of the other children of Caine. Clan members learn to practice restraint and to stay apart from the other clans. They value knowledge as a means of circumventing the treaty of 1496.
XVIII. Vampires in Australia
Vampires do not play a large part in the folklore of Australia. However, in Aborignal cultures, there existed the yara - ma - yha - who, a vampirelike being. It was described as alittle red man. approximately four feet tall, with an exceptionally large head and mouth. It had no teeth and simply swallowed its food whole. Its most distinguishing features, however, were its hands and feet. The tips of the fingers and toes were shaped like the suckers of an octopus.
The yara - ma - yha - who lived in the tops of wild fig trees. It did not hunt for food, but waited until unsuspecting victims sought shelter in the tree and then dropped on them. The story of the yara - ma - yha - who was told to young children who might wander from the tribe, and naught children were warned that it might come and take them away.
When a person camped under a fig tree, a yara - ma - yha - who might jump down and place its hands and feet on the body. It would then drain the blood from the victim to the point that the person was left weak and helpless, but rarely enough, at least initially, to cause the victim to die. The creature would later return and consume its meal. It then drank water and took a nap. When it awoke, the undigested portion of its meal would be regurgitated. According to the story, the person regurgitated was still alive, and children were advised to ffer no resistance should it be their misfortune to me a yara - ma - yha - who. Their chances of survival were better if they let the creature swallow them.
People might be captured on several occasions. Each time, they would grow a littler shorter until they were the same size as the yara - ma - yha - who. Their skin would first become very smooth and then they would begin to grow hair all over their body. Gradually they were changed into one of the mythical little furry creatures of the forest.
XIX. Vampires in Ancient Babylon and Assyria
During the nineteenth - century, the writings of anicent Mesopotamia (the lands between the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys, present - day Iraq) were discovered and translated. They indicated the development of an elaborate mythology and a universe inhabited by a legion of deities of greater and lesser rank. From this vast pantheon, the closest equivalent of the true vampire in ancient Mesopotamian mythology were the seven evil spirits described in a poem quoted by R. Campbell Thompson that begins with the line, "Seven are they! Seven are they!":
Spirits that minish the heaven and earth, That minish the land Spirits that minish the land, Of giant strength and giant tread, Demons (like raging bulls, great ghosts), Ghosts that break through all houses, Demons that have no shame, Seven are they! Knowing no care, they grind the land like corn; Knowing no mercy they rage against mankind, They spill their blood like rain, Devouring their flesh (and) sucking their veins.
They are demons full of violence, ceasely devouring blood.
Montague Summers suggested that vampires had a prominent place in Mesopotamian mythology, beyond that suggested by the belief in the seven spirits. In particular he spoke of the ekimmu, the spirit of an unburied person. He based his case on an exploration of the literature concerning the Netherworld, the abode of the dead. The Netherworld was portrayed as a somewhat gloomy place. However, an individual's life there could be considerably improved if at the end of their earthly existence they received a proper, if simple, burial that included the affectionate care of the corpse. At the end of tablet 12 of the famous Gilgamesh (or Gilgamish) Epic, there was an accounting of the various degrees of comfort of the dead. It closed with several couplets concerning the state of the person who died alone and unburied, which Summers quoted as:
The man whose corpse lieth in the desert — Thou and I have often seen such an one — His spirit resteth not in the earth; The spirit hath none to care for it — Thou and I have often seen such an one The dregs of the vessel — the leaving of the feast, And that which is cast into the street are his food.
The key line in this passage was "His spirit resteth not in the earth", which Summers took to mean that the spirits of those who died alone (i.e., the ekimmu) could not even enter the Netherworld and thus were condemned to roam the earth. He then connected this passage with other passages concerning the exorcism of ghosts, and quoted at length various texts that enumerated the various ghosts that had been seen. However, the ghosts were of a wide variety, as one text stated:
The evil spirit, the evil demon, the evil ghost, the evil devil, From the earth have come forth; From the the underworld into the land of the living they have come forth; In heaven they are unknown On earth they are not understood They neither stand nor sit, Not eat nor drink.
It appeared that Summers confused the issue of revenants and the return of the dead who could become vampires with ghosts of the deceased who might simply haunt the land. The ghosts were plainly noncorporeal — they neither ate nor drank, whereas the dead in the underworld had a form of corporeal existence and enjoyed some meager pleasures. The source of this misunderstanding was an inadequate translation of the last parts of the Gilgamish Epic. The line "The spirit resteth not in the earth", was originally translated in such a way as to leave open the possibility of the dead wandering in the world of human habitation. However, more recent translations and a survey of the context of the last couplets of the Gilgamish Epic restlessly not on earth but through the Netherworld. David Ferry's translation, for example, rendered the passage thusly:
And whose corpse was thrown away unburied? He wanders without rest through the world down there
The one who goes to the Netherworld without leaving behind anyone to mourn for him?
Garbage is what he eats in the Netherworld. No dog would eat the food he has to eat.
Thus while the idea of vampires did exist in Mesopotamia, it was not as prominent as Summers would indicate. Summers should not be overly chastised for his error, however, because even eminent scholar E.A, Wallis Budge made a similar mistake in his belief comments on tablet 12 in 1920:
the last lines of the tablet seem to say that the spirit of the unburied man reposeht both in the earth, and that the spirit of the friendless man wandereth about the street eating the remains of food which are cast out of the cooking pots.
However, neither Budge nor E. Campbell Thompson, whom Summers quoted from directly, made the error of pushing these several texts in the direction of vampirish. interpretation.
XX. Roy Ward Baker (1916 - )
Roy Ward Baker, a director of vampire movies for Hammer Films in the 1970's, was born in London. In 1934, he joined Gainsborough Studios as an assistant director. He worked at Gainsborough through the decade, but left in 1940 to become an officer in the British army. While in the service, he directed films for the Army Kinematograph Service. After the war he returned to directing for various studios including 20th - century Fox, where he directed four films in the early 1950's.
In the late 1960's, Baker began to work for Hammer films, where he directed The Anniversary, Quartermass and the Pit (1969), one of the studio's very successful Quartermass series. In 1971, he was assigned the first of several vampire movies that Hammer Films became so well - known for during the 1960's. The Vampire Lovers (1970) was the first of the Hammer productions based on Sheirdan Le Fanu's story of a female vampire, "Carmilla". Starring Ingrid Pittm it was one of the best of the Hammer productions. Baker was then immediately put to work on the next Christopher Lee Dracula movie, The Scars of Dracula only to meet disaster. The man was avenged by his girlfriend and brother, and Dracula was finally killed by a bolt of lightening. The film was a commercial success in both England and America and Baker continued to work on other Hammer horror movies such as Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971).
Baker's last vampire film for Hammer came at a crucial point in the studio's life. The company was in financial trouble and gambled on a project in cooperation with Shaw Brothers, a film company in Hong Kong. The project was a movie that mixed the vampire horror genre with the martial arts movie. Baker was chosen to direct the film variously known as The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires and The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula. In the story Abraham Van Helsing (played by Peter Cushing) traveled to China in search of the elusive Dracula. The crusade to destroy Dracula and his new Chinese vampire allies frequently turned into a martial arts demonstration. Even the combination of Cushing's serious performance and Baker's mature direction could not rescue the unbelievable plot. Rather than saving Hammer, the film helped seal its fate. Warner Bros. refused to release the film to its potential major market in America, and Hammer went into bankruptcy in 1975.
In his post - Hammer period, Baker was called on to direct at least one other vampire/horror movie, The Monster Club (1981). The movie, which starred an aging John Carradine as author Ronald Chetwynd - Hayes, featured several episodes based on Chetwynd - Hayes' short stories, including one vampire tale. Veteran actor Vincent Price helped Carradine introduce the film's distinct episodes and provided a transition between each. Price played Eramus, one of the few times he played a vampire.
XXI. John L. Balderston (1889 - 1954)
John L. Balderston was the playwright of the American version of Dracula, the Vampire Play in Three Acts. He was born on October 22, 1889, in Philadelphia, the son of Mary Alsop and Lloyd Balderston. He attended Columbia University and began a career in journalism in 1911 as the New York correspondent of the Philadelphia Record. In 1915, he moved to England and worked as editor for The Outlook; from 1923 to 1931 he was the chief London correspondent of the New York World.
Balderston authored his first play, The Genius of the Marne, in 1919. He followed with Morality Play for the Leisured Class (1920), Tongo (1924), and Berkeley Square (1926). Balderston was still in England in 1927 when producer Horace Liveright attempted to purchase the American dramatic rights to Dracula from Bram Stoker's widow. Florence Stoker did not like Liveright, who turned to Balderston to assist him in the negotiations. Balderston had become known to Liveright after his play, Berkeley Square, a ghost story, became a hit both in London and New York. Balderston secured the rights from Mrs. Stoker, and Liveright then hired him to modernize the stage version of Dracula by Hamilton Deane that had been playing in England.
Balderston's version of the play was very different from earlier ones. His major changes included combining the characters of Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray into a single character, Lucy Seward, who became the daughter of the now mature John Seward. Originally Seward had been Lucy's young suitor. Lucy's other suitors, Quincey P. Morris and Arthur Holmwood, completely disappeared from the play.
Published by Samuel French, Balderston's version has become the most influential of the several dramatic versions of the novel. It opened on Broadway on October 5, 1927 and, after 241 performances, went on the road to Los Angeles and San Francisco. It spawned both a midwestern and East Coast touring company. It has subsequently been the version most frequently used when the play has been revived through the years. It most important revival began in 1977 when it opened for a new run on Broadway. Balderston's version also became the basis of two film versions of Dracula ---the 1931 version with Bela Lugosi and the 1979 version with Frank Langella. Langella, it should be noted, starred in the 1977 stage revival.
Balderston went on to work on two more plays: Red Planet (1932, with J. E. Hoare), and Frankenstein (1932, with Peggy Webling). He also translated the Hungarian play Farewell Performance (1935) into English. He retired to Beverly Hills, California, where he died on March 8, 1954.
XXII. Vampires in the Baltic States
The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are three small countries located on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. They share a common religion, Roman Catholicism, and have a long history of withstanding the encroachments of their neighbors to the south (Poland) and east (Russia). They are not united ethnically, though they are not Slavs. The Estonians were closely related to the Finns. The Latvians descended from the Letts, an ancient Baltic tribe. The Lithuanians derived from the ancient Balts, a tribe that moved into the Niemen River valley from the West, Lithuanian is the oldest of the Baltic languages.
Both Estonia and Latvia were brought into the Roman Catholic fold in the thirteenth - century by the Germanic Knights. In the fourteenth - century, Lithuania grew into a large kingdom that included Byelorussia and parts of the Ukraine and Russia.During the next centuries, however, it faded in power. All of the Baltic States existed as independent nations between World Wars I and II. They were annexed by Russia during World War II and remained a part of the U.S.S.R. until the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's. Historically, the Baltic States have not shown a vital vampiric tradition, although they shared a belief in revenants with their Polish and Russian neighbors.
TWENTIETH - CENTURY VAMPIRES: In this century, the story of one case of vampirism in Lithuania has been frequently repeated since its inclusion by Montague Summers in his book The Vampire in Europe. The case referred to events in the life of Captain Pokrovsky. In a village near his family estate, Captain Pokrovsky learned of a man who had recently remarried and was growing pale and listless. He reported that the villagers believed him under attack of a vampire. Polrovsky sent a physician to examine the man. The doctor discovered a loss of blood and a small puncture wound on the neck. There was no other wound that could account for the blood loss. Various efforts did not prevent the wound on his neck from growing larger, and the man eventually died. Following his death, his wife felt compelled for her own safety to leave the community lest she be attacked by the villagers as the vampire who killed her husband.
XXIII. Theda Bara (1889 - 1955)
Theda Bara is best known as the silent movie star who brought the character of the vamp, the woman who used her allure to attach herself to a man and seduce and destroy him, to the silver screen. Bara was born Theodosia Goodman in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was an immigration from Eastern Europe and her mother a wigmaker of French/German descent. She grew up in the prosperous Jewish community in the Avondale section of the city. She was drawn to acting at an early age and was a member of the drama club in high school. After two years at the University of Cincinnati, she dropped out, moved to New York. and became a stage actress.
In 1914, with her career stagnant, she met movie director Frank Powell. He obtained for her a first part as an extra in a now lost film, The Stain but by the end of the year she had been cast as the villianess in the Fox Company's new film, A Fool There Was. It was shot at the Fox Studio in Ft. Lee. New Jersey, while Theda lived in New York. The play with which the film began, inspired by a Rudyard Kipling poem, "The Vampire", was written by Porter Emerson Browne. It opened in New York in 1909 to critical and popular acclaim. The film version made Goodman, reborn as Theda Bara, a star. She played the vampire who destroyed the life of an American diplomat. William Fox may have decided to bank his future on the film because of the success of another recent film with a similar theme, The Vampire, released by the Kalem Film Company.
The uniqueness of A Fool There Was rested not so much with its originality as with the publicity program created by Fox. To sell the film with the unknown star, a fictional biography of Theda Bara was created and presented in a press conference in January 1915. She was described as an Arabian actress and came before the reporters in a fur - bedecked coat. After the press conference, a young Louella Parsons was granted a few brief minutes with Theda who confessed to the charade. Parsons sucked up the exclusive, a leak planned all along by Fox's publicity men. The day after the newspapers published the press account, Parsons released her exclusive, and the planned leak turned Theda into one of the most talked - about women in the country, and the movie had not yet opened.
A Fool There Was became one of the highest - grossing films of 1915. It was introduced by a live actor who read Kipling's poem. The critics praised Theda as a great actress and the film for not giving in to demands for a happy ending. While Fox searched for other films for his new star, he assigned Bara to a role in her second movie, The Kreutzer Sonata. She again played a wicked woman who stole the husband of another woman. She did not get away with it this time, however, and the wife eventually killed her. Her third film, The Clemenceau case could also be classified as a vamp movie and was enormously successful. Theda was being praised by critics, drawing large audiences, and becoming the target of moral critics who were calling for the banning of her films.
While filming her fourth movie, The Devil's Daughter, the nickname she had picked up around the set, "Vamp", was mentioned to a reporter. He used it, and it became the common way to describe Theda and the roles in which she was being cast. As she played the part to reporters at press conferences, the publicity scripts became more involved and eventually suggested she was a reincarnation of some famous wicked ladies such as Lucretia Borgia or Elizabeth Bathory.
While Thead received good reviews for her next film, The Two Orphans, in which she played a heroine, it was a flop at the box office due in large part to Fox's pulling the publicity budget. Fox wanted her to return to the vamping. The next film was a gangster movie with the made - for - Theda title Sin. The Fox publicity camp went to work calling the nation to "Sin with Theda Bara". Sin was a great success in spite of being banned in several states.
Over the next several years Theda starred in a host of films (without dialogue to worry about, the production time on films was relatively short), and while she played a variety of roles, she continually returned to the vamp role of which her audiences yearned. Her star status earned her leads in more impressive films such as Carmen, Camille, and Cleopatra.
Theda's vamp image premeated the popular culture and inspired a number of songs (mostly comedies) such as "The Vamp", "I'm a Jazz Vampire", "Since Sarah Saw Theda Bara", and "Sally Green, the Village Vamp", as well as a new dance, The Vampire Walk. However, from the heights of stardom, after only five years, in 1919 her career began to wane. Theda was assigned to a series of bad films and her drawing power dropped seriously. In attempting to change her image, she starred as an Irish lass in Kathleen Mavourneen, which received good reviews but turned into a disaster. It was rejected by the Irsh because it portrayed the poverty in the old country and becausee Theda. a Jew, starred as an Irish girl. Angry theater patrons set off stink bombs and riots.
Theda left Fox in 1920 and found herself again at age 35 a largely unmarketable commodity. While she made several movies during the 1920's, her career was obviously over, and after Madame Mystery in 1926, she never returned to the movies (although she did appear on the stage occasionally). She lived a long life in her Beverly Hills home, remembered to her death as the original vamp. She died in Hollywood in 1955.
XXIV. Baron Blood
The vampire Baron Blood was one of a host of super villians created by Marvel Comics as worthy adversaries of its very successful superheroes. He first appeared in The Invaders (No.7) in 1976, a time when Marvel was well into its creation of what came to be known as the alternative "Marvel Universe" (a world where all of their comic superheroes could exist and interact). Baron Blood was born late in the nineteenth - century as John Falsworth, the younger son of Lord William Falsworth, a British nobleman. Shortly after the turn of the century, when his brother inherited control of the family fortune, the younger Falsworth went to Romania to search for Dracula. He planned to gain control of Dracula and beomce a powerful person, but he underestimated the Count's powers and was instead turned into a vampire. Falsworth returned to England as Dracula's servant and agent to create havoc in England. He became Dracula's instrument of revenge for the defeat described in Bram Stoker's novel.
Falsworth became a German agent during World War I, which is when he first assumed his identity as Baron Blood. After the war, he disappeared until he reemerged as a Hitler supporter in World War II. He returned to England, posing as his own grandson, and took up residence at Falsworth Manor. He attacked his own family, but was defeated by the Invaders, the super - team that had been assembled to defeat the Third Reich. He was killed by a stalactite threaded through with silver. He was then entombed in a chapel with a stake in his heart and his casket surrounded by garlic.
Baron Blood did not reappear until 1981 when Captain America, one of the original Invaders, was summoned to England. The now aged Lord Falsworth believed that Baron Blood was the cause of a rash of what had been defined as slasher murders. Captain America then discovered that Baron Blood was not in his tomb. He had been resurrected some years before by a Dr. Charles Cromwell, who had been sent to Blood's tomb by Dracula. After awakening, Blood killed Cromwell and assumed his identity. He lived quietly for many years taking blood from his patients. Captain America tracked him down, killed him, then decapitated him and burned his body.
Captain America had finally disposed of Baron Blood, but he was too worthy a villian to leave in the ashes. He reappeared in the form of Victor Strange, brother of Marvel's sorcerer hero Dr. Stephen Stange. Victor had died and was frozen cryogenically. When Dr. Strange tried to revive him with magical spells, one of the spells worked but turned Victor into a vampire. Therefore, when the cryogenic machine was turned off in 1989, Victor awoke as a vampire. He donned a costume similar to Baron Blood's, and was named Baron Blood by Marie Laveau, the voodoo priestess that Dr, Strange was figthing at the time of Victor's resurrection. Baron Blood settled in Greenwich Village and like the vampire Morbius (another Marvel vampire), satisfied his craving for blood by attacking criminals. He reappeared occasionally in Dr. Strange episodes until August 1993, when he committed suicide by plunging a knife into his midsection. Dr. Strange buried the Baron, but there was no reason to believe that Baron Blood has finally been destroyed and will not be able to return again.
XXV. Elizabeth Bathory (1560 - 1614)
Elizabeth Bathory was the countess who tortured and murdered numerous young women and, because of these acts, became known as one of the "true" vampires in women and, because of these acts, became known as one of the "true" vampires in history. She was born in 1560, the daughter of George and Anna Bathory. Though frequently cited as Hungarian, due in larger part to the shifting borders of the Hungarian Empire, she was in fact more closely associated with what is now the Slovak Republic. Most of her adult life was spent at Castle Cachtrice, near the town of Vishine, northeast of present - day Bratslava, where Austria, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic come together. (The castle was mistakenly cited by Raymond T. McNally as being in Transylvania).
Bathory grew up in an era when much of Hungary had been overrun by the Turkish forces of the Ottoman empire and was a battleground between Turkish and Austrian (Hapsburg) armies. The area was also split by religious differences. Her family sided with the new wave of Protestantism that opposed the traditional Roman Catholicism. She was raised on the Bathory family estate at Ecsed in Transylvania. As a child she was subject to seizures accompanied by intense rage and uncontrollable behavior. In 1571, her cousin Stephen became Prince of Transylvania and, later in the decade, additionally assumed the throne of Poland. He was one of the most effective rulers of his day, though his plans for uniting Europe against the Turks were somewhat foiled by having to turn his attention toward fighting Ivan the Terrible, who desired Stephen's territory.
In 1574, Elizabeth became pregnant as a result of a brief affair with a peasant man. When her condition became evident, she was sequestered until the baby arrived because she was engaged to marry Count Ferenc Nadasdy. The marriage took place in May 1575. Count Nadasdy was a soldier and frequently away from home for long periods. Meanwhile, Elizabeth assumed the duties of managing the affairs at Castle Sarvar, the Nasdasdy family estate. It was here that her career of evil really began —with the disciplining of the large household staff, particularly the young girls.
In a time period in which cruel and arbitrary behavior by those in power toward those who were servants was common, Elizabeth's level of cruelty was noteworthy. She did not just punish infringements on her rules, but found excuses to inflict punishments and delighted in the torture and death of her victims far beyond what her contemporaries could accept. She would stick pins in various sensitive body parts, such as under the fingernails. In the winder she would execute victims by having them stripped led out into the snow, and doused with water until they were frozen.
Elizabeth's husband joined in some of the sadistic behavior and actually taught his wife some new varieties of punishment. For example, he showed her a summertime version of her freezing exercise — he had a woman stripped, covered with honey, then left outside to be bitten by numerous insects. He died in 1604, and Elizabeth moved to Vienna soon after his burial. She also began to spend time at her estate at Beckov and at a manor house at Cachtice, both located in the present - day country of Slovakia. These were the scenes of her most famous and vicious acts.
In the years immediately after her husband's death, Elizabeth's main cohort in crime was a woman named Anna Darvulia, about whom little is known. When Darvulia's health failed in 1609, Elizabeth turned to Erzsi Majorova, the widow of a local tenant farmer. It was Majorova who seems to have been responsible for Elizabeth's eventual downfall by encouraging her to include a few women of noble birth among her victims. Because she was having trouble procuring more young servant girls as rumors of her activities spread through the countryside, Elizabeth followed Majorova's advice. At some point in 1609, she killed a young noble woman and covered it by charges of suicide.
As early as the summer of 1610, an initial inquiry had begun into Elizabeth's crimes. Underlying the inquiry, quite apart from the steadily increasing number of victims, were political concerns. the crown hoped to confiscate Elizabeth's large landholdings and escape having to pay back the extensive loan that her husband had made to the king. With these things in mind, Elizabeth was arrested on December 29th, 1610.
Elizabeth was placed on trial a few days later. It was conducted by Count Thurzo as an agent of the king. As noted, the trial (rightly characterized as a show trial by Bathory's biographer Raymond T. McNally) was initiated to not only obtain a conviction, but to also confiscate her lands. A week after the first trial, a second trial was convened on January 7, 1611. At this trial, a register found in Elizabeth's living quarters was introduced as evidence. It noted the names of 650 victims, all recorded in her handwriting. Her accomplices were sentenced to life imprisonment in solitary confinement. She was placed in a room in her castle at Cachtice without windows or doors and only a small opening for food and a few slits for air. There she remained for the next three years until her death on August 21, 1614. She was buried in the Bathory land at Ecsed.
Above and beyond Elizabeth's reputation as a sadistic killer with more than 600 victims, she has been accused of being both a werewolf and a vampire. During her trials, testimony was presented that on occasion, she bit the flesh of the girls while torturing them. These accusations became the basis of her connection with werewolfism. The connection between Elizabeth and vampirism is somewhat more tenuous. Of course, it was a popular belief in Slavic lands that people who were werewolvesin life became vampires in death, but that was not the accusation leveled at Elizabeth. Rather, she was accused of draining the blood of her victims and bathing in it to retain her youthful beauty, and she was by all accounts a most attractive woman.
RECOVERING ELIZABETH'S STORY: No testimony to this activity was offered at her trial, and in fact, there was no contemporary testimony that she engaged in such a practice. Following he death, the records of the trials were sealed because the revelations of her activities were quite scandalous for the Hungarian ruling community. Hungarian King Matthias II forbade the mention of her name in polite society. It was not until 100 years later that a Jesuit priest, Laszlo Turoczy, located copies of some of the original trial documents and gathered stories circulating among the people of Cachtice, the site of Elizabeth's castle. Turoczy included an account of her life in a book he wrote on Hungarian history. His book initially suggested the possibility that she bathed in blood. Published in 1720's, it appeared during the wave of vampirism in Eastern Europe that excited the interest of the continent. Later writers would pick up and embellish the story. Two stories illustrate the legends that had gathered around Elizabeth in the absence of the court records of her life and the attempts to remove any mention of her from Hungarian history:
It was said that one day, the aging countess was having her hair combed by a young servant girl. The girl accidentally pulled her hair, and Elizabeth turned and slapped the servant. Blood was drawn, and some of it spurted onto Elizabeth's hands. As she rubbed it on her hamds, they seemed to take on the girl's youthful appearance. It was from this incident that Elizabeth developed her reputation for desiring the blood of young virgins.
The second story involves Elizabeth's behavior after her husband's death, when it was said she associated herself with younger men. On one occasion when seh was with one of those men, she saw an old woman. She remarked, "What would you do if you had to kiss that old hag?" He responded with expected words of distaste. The old woman, however, on hearing the exchange, accused Elizabeth of excessive vanity and noted that such an aged appearance was inescapable, even for the countess. Several historians have tied the death of Bathory's husband and this story into the hypothesized concern with her own aging, and thus, the bathing in blood.
Elizabeth has not been accused of being a traditional blood - drinking or bloodsucking vampire, though her attempts to take and use the blood to make herself more youthful would certainly qualify her as at least a vampire by metaphor. Previously a little known historical figure, she was rediscovered when interest in vampires rose sharply in the 1970's; since that time she has repeatedly been tied to vampirism in popular culture. Noticeable interest in Elizabeth was evident in the publication of a series of books in the early 1970's beginning with Valentine Penrose's Erzsebet Bathory , La Comtesse Sanglante, a 1962 French volume whose English translation, The Bloody Countess, was published in 1970. It was followed be Donald Glut's True Vampires of History (1971) and Gabriel Ronay's The Truth about Dracula (1972). Penrose's book inspired the first of the Bathory films; the movie in turn, inspired a novel based on its screenplay, Countess Dracula by Michael Perry. The celebration of the mythical countess in the 1970's motivated Dracula scholar Raymond McNally to produce by far the most authoritative book on Elizabeth to date — Dracula was a Woman: In Search of the Blood Countess of Transylvania — which appeared in 1984. Based on a new search through the original court documents, and a broad understanding of Eastern European history and folklore, McNally thoroughly demythologized the legend and explained many of the problems that had baffled previous researchers. Recently, Elaine Bergstrom authorized a novel, Daughter of the Night (1992), that drew inspiration from McNally's study.
BATHORY ON FILM: The first movie inspired by the Bathory legend was the now largely forgotten I Vampiri (released in the United States as The Devil's Commandement), notable today because of the work of future director Mario Bava as the film's cameraman. A decade later, as part of its vampire cycle, Hammer Films released what is possibly the best of the several movies based on Elizabeth's life, Countess Dracula (1970). Ingrid Pitt starred in the title role. The film was built around the mythical blood baths and prtrayed her as going increasingly crazy as she continued her murderous career.
Daughters of Darkness (1971), one of the most artistic of all vampire films, brought the countess into the twentieth - century in a tale with strong lesbian overtones. In the movie, Elizabeth and her companion Iona check into an almost empty hotel where they meet a newlywed couple. When it is revealed that the husband has a violent streak, the stage is set for Elizabeth and Iona to move in and "help" the new bride. A series of vampiric encounters ensues, and in the end, the wife (the newest vampire) emerges as the only survivor).
Elizabeth (or a character model on her) also appeared in Legend of Blood Castle (1972), Curse of the Devil (1973), and Immoral Tales (1974), all films of lesser note. In 1981, a full - length animated version of Elizabeth's story was released in Czechoslovakia. More recent films include Thirst (1980) and The Mysterious Death of Nina Chereau (1987).
BATHORY AND DRACULA: Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula (1897), read of Elizabeth in The Book of Werewolves by Sabine Baring - Gould (1865) where the first lengthy English - language account of Elizabeth's life appeared. McNally has suggested that the description of Elizabeth might have influenced Stoker to shift the site of his novel from Austria (Styria), where he initially seemed to have set it, to Transylvania. In like measure, McNally noted that Dracula became younger and younger as the novel proceeded, an obvious allusion to the stories of Elizabeth bathing in blood to retain her youth. He made a strong case that the legends about her "Played a major role in the creation of the character of Count Dracula in the midst of Bram Stoker".
Like Superman, Batman is one of the most popular late twentieth - century superheroes. Batman (a DC Comics character) created a popularized image of the bat, the development of which to some extent must be credited to Dracula, the 1897 book by Bram Stoker, and its translation in the 1920's and 1930's to the stage and motion picture screen. However, Batman was not a vampire — he was a human heroes with human resources, and his enemies, while often very strange, were usually human as well.
Batamn first appeared in Detective Comics No. 27 in 1939. Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife were killed in a mugging. In his grief, their son Bruce Wayne, grew up with the idea of becoming a policeman. He studied criminology and developed his body to an amazing degree. As a young adult, he changed his plan and decided to become a vigilante. He settled on the Batman costume after two events — first a bat flew in the window as he was trying to find a uniform to put fear into the hearts of his criminal enemies. Later, the independently wealthy Wayne fell through the floor of his mansion and discovered a bat - infested cave --- the perfect headquarters for Batman.
The clear association of Batman with Dracula must have been in the mind of his creators, because a scant four months after his initial appearance, he encountered a vampire in a two - part story in issues No. 31 and No. 32 of Detective Comics in September and October 1939. A vampire tried to take control of Bruce Wayne's girlfriend, unaware that Wayne was Batman. Batman tracked the Monk, as the vampire was known, to his home in Hungary, which was also the home of his allies, the werewolves. Batman eventually found the vampire and his vampire bride asleep and killed them with a silver bullet fired into the coffins.
The full development of Batman as a definitive comic book hero in the years after World War II occurred as the debate over the effect of comic books on children proceeded. After DC Comics subscribed to the Comics Code in 1954, there was little opportunity (or reason) for Batman and his new sidekick Robin the Boy Wonder to encounter vampires and the supernatural. However, this did no good because Decobra had cleverly hidden his heart elsewhere. Batman then retreated from this first battle. By the time of their next confrontation, he figured out the Decobra had hidden his heart in a grandfather clock at the house. When Batman impaled the heart with an arrow, Decobra died.
Several years prior to this encounter with Decobra, Batman had begun an ongoing relationship with Kirk Langstrom. Langstom developed a serum to turn himself into Man - Bat. Though not originally a vampire bat, Man - Bat would eventually encounter vampires and bring Batman into the realm with him. Both Man - Bat's and Batman's encounter with vampire were orchestrated by writer Gerry Conway, the first writer for Marvel's The Tomb of Dracula, and artist Gene Colan, who had worked through the 1970's on The Tomb of Dracula. Both were working for DC during the early 1980's.
In 1982, immediately after the conclusion of the first episode with Man - Bat, where he was cured of the condition that had turned him into a bat, Batman (now in the hands of writer Conway and artist Colan) squared off against vampires again. An unsuspecting Robin was captured by his girlfriend, Dala, who turned out to be a vampire. He attempted to escape, but in the process he was confronted by Dala's colleague, the resurrected Monk. Robin was bitten and then allowed to escape. Because the only way to save Robin was with a serum made from the vampire's blood, Batman went after the vampires. Unsuccessful in his first encounter, Batman was bitten and also became a vampire. He then set up a second confrontation that was successful and he was ablo to obtain the necessary ingredients to return himself and Robin to normalcy.
Except for his ongoing relationship with Man - Bat, Batman did not confront a vampire again until 1991. The new story was published in a comic book monograph rather than either of the Batman comic book serials. It concerned Batman's adventures in what was described in the introduction as an "alternative future" and a Batman who was "an altogether different Batman than we're used to". In Batman and Dracula: Red Rain, Gotham City was under attack by a group of vampires led by Dracula. Batman (without Robin) was drawn into the fray. In his effort to find what was believed to be a serial killer, he met Tanya, a "good" vampire who had previously organized opposition to Dracula. She had developed a methadone - like artificial substitute that quenched the vampire's need for blood. After they united to fight Dracula, Batman was wounded in the battle and became a vampire. In his closing lines he repeated Tanya's phrase, "Vampires are real...but not all of them are evil". In the sequel, Batman Bloodstorm, Batman finally defeated Dracula and the vampires, and in his closing report to Commissioner Gordon, indicated the means for disposing of the last vampire, Batman himself.
Meanwhile, the unvampirized Batman continued his adventures in Batman and Dectective Comics.
XXVII. Vampire Bats
Vampire bats, three species of which exist in Mexico and Central and South America, have become an integral part of the modern myth of vampires, and bat symbolism is inseparable from current inconography of the contemporary vampire. Europeans discovered and first described vampire bats in the sixteenth century. Modern biologists who specialize in the study of bats recognize as vampires vampires only three species of the mammalian family Phyllostomatidae, subfamily Desmodontinae. The most common is Desmodus rotundus. Rarer are Diaemus youngi and Diphylla ecaudata.
THE NATURE OF VAMPIRE BATS: Bats are the only mammals that can fly. There are almost 1,000 species, nearly one - fourth of all the mammalian species now on earth. The largest have a wingspan of several feet. Much of their time is spent sleeping while hanging upside down, a position from which they can drop into space and easily begin flying.
Vampire bats are characteristically distinguished from other bats by their feeding habits. Whereas most species of bats feed off of fruits and other plants and/or insects, the vampires live exclusively off the blood of various vertebrates. Diaemus and Diphylla will feed on birds, but Desmodus, the common vampire bat, feeds exclusively on other mammals. Their teeth include razor - sharp incisors with which they cut into their prey. Rather than suck the blood, however, they allow it flow and lap it up with their tongue, somewhat like a cat drinking milk. They also seem to have an anitcoagulant substance in their saliva that helps keep the blood of their victims flowing during feeding. They are quite agile and mobile and can walk, run, and hop, unlike some species. They have a good sense of smell and large eyes that provide clear vision. The average adult vampire bat nightly consumes some 15 milliliters of blood --- approximately 40 percent of their prefeeding weight. After feeding, the stomach and intestinal area appear bloated, and some of the feast will have to be digested before the bat can return home.
In real life, the vampire bat has emerged as a problem among South American farmers as a carrier of rabies, which it transmits to the cattle it feeds on. Vast eradication programs have been developed but with mixed results.
Two sixteenth - century Europeans, Dr. Oliedo y Valdez (1526) and M. Giroalme Benzoni, (1565) were the first to bring word of the vampire bat to their homelands. Benzoni, in his History of the New World, notes:
There are many beasts which bite people during the night; they are found all along this coast to the Gulf of Paria and in other areas, but in no other part are they as pestiferous as in this province Nuevo Cartago, today Costa Rica; they have gotten to me at several places along this coast and especially at Nombre de Dios, where while I was sleeping they bit the toes of my feet so delicately that I felt nothing, and in the morning I found the sheests and mattresses with so much blood that it seemed that I had suffered some great injury. (Turner, 2)
A reoccurence of this rare even (as vampire bats do not normally like human blood) was noted several centuries later by Charles Waterton, author of Wanderings in South America, who awakened one morning after sleeping on a hammock to find his friend complaining that vampire bats had attacked him. Waterton looked into the matter:
On examining his foot, I found the vampire bats had tapped his great toe; there was a wound somewhat less than that made by a leech; the blood was still oozing from it. Whilst examining it, I think I put him in a worse mood by remarking that an European surgeon would not have been so generous as to have blooded him without making a charge. (Robertson, 71)
Waterton had a much friendlier attitude toward the vampires:
I had often wished to have been once sucked by the vampire...There can be no pain in the operation, for the patient is always asleep with the vampire is sucking him; and for hte loss of a few ounces of blood, that would be a triffle in the long run. Many a night have I slept with my foot out of the hammock to tempt this winged surgeon, expecting he would be there; but it was all in vain.
On his journey around the world in the 1880's, Charles Darwin observed the vampire bat feeding and wrote the first brief "scientific" account, which was published in 1890.
THE BAT IN SOUTH AMERICAN FOLKLORE: Bats in general, and the vampire bat in particular, have not gone unnoticed by the peoples of South America, who have integrated them into their mythology. E.W. Roth, an ethnologist who studied the people of Guyana (Guinea), had informally designated one of their plants "bat's bane" because its juice, when rubbed on the toes, would kill an attacking bat. The native folklore contains several tales of such bats. Camazotz was a significant deity among the ancient Maya of Guatemala. A god of the caves, he was seen as dwelling in the Bathouse in the Underworld, and he played a key part in the story told in the Maya's sacred book, Popul Vuh.
THE BAT IN WESTERN FOLKLORE: Although the bat was not tied to the vampire myth until the nineteenth - century, it has appeared repeatedly since the days of Aesop and his fables. Early observers of bats commented on the likeness in feature with human beings. They also observed bats suckling their young from a pair of breast nipples. Because bats are creatures of the night, in many cultures, they came to be associated, as did the owls, with the unknown, the supernatural, and more sinister aspects of life. In Greek mythology, bats were sacred to Proserpina, the wife of Pluto, god of the underworld. In the Middle Ages, bats came to be associated with the Christian devil. They were ofteh believed to be signs of and even agents of death.
Bats did have some positive associations. Among the Gypsies, for example, they were seen as bearers of good luck. Gypsies prepared small bags of dried bat parts for children to wear around their necks. In Macedonia, bat bones were kept as good luck objects. Possibly the most positive use of the bat has been in heraldry. Several families in both continental Europe and the British Isles have a bat on the family heraldic crest. The Wakefield crest, for example, is topped by a bat with wings outspread and also has three owls, another night creature, on the shield.
The Spanish conquistadors interpreted the new variety of bats, the blood - drinking ones that they found in Mexico and South America, in light of both the prior image of bats in Western folklore and their traditional beliefs about "human" vampires. For example, they not only called them vampire bats but also described them as "blood - sucking" creatures rather than "blood - lapping" ones. Over the next centuries the association of bats and vampires gradually grew stronger. William Blake utilized a vampire bat in the artwork for his epic poem Jerusalem to symbolize the Spectre, the annihilating and constricting energies in the human psyche. Bats also appear in Francisco Goya's Los Caprichos (1796 - 98), where they hover above the figure of Reason in "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters"and behind the babies in "There is Plenty to Suck."
Although bat and vampires were often connected by the mid - nineteenth - century (for example, they appear on the cover page of Varney the Vampyre), it was not until Dracula (1897) that they became inextricably associated. In Dracula, the bat is one of the creatures of the night that Dracula rules and inot which he can transform. The bat appears early in the story and hovers outside the window of Jonathan Harker's room at Castle Dracula. Later, Harker observes Dracula assuming batlike characteristics as he crawls down the outside wall of the castle. Once the action transfers to England, Dracula's presence is more often signaled by the bat than by his human form. Dracula's appearances in bat form are always at night, and the association of the vampire with the bat contributed substantively to the twentieth - century understanding of the vampire as an exclusively nocturnal being.
With the popularization of vampires in the post - World War II West, the bat became one of the most common images at horror movies and Halloween. Naturalists who study bats have caried on a "public relations" program for them because they believe bats have a bad image as a result of their popular association with Dracula.
XXVIII. Mario Bava (1914 - 1980)
Mario Bava was the horror film director responsible for several of the most memorable vampire films of the 1960's. He was born on July 31, 1914, in San Remo, Italy, the son of Eugenio Bava, a pioneer Italian cameraman. Bava followed his father's occupation and entered the film industry in the 1930's as World War II began. He worked as a camera man for two decades before he became a director. The disruption of the industry through the 1940's limited the numver of features he worked on; but beginning in 1950, he worked on one more films almost every year. His first directing work was in 1956 when Riccardo Freda quit his directing position position in the middle of filming I Vampiri, one of several movies inspired by the Elizabeth Bathory legend. Bava was asked to finish the film, and his directing career was born.
In 1960, Bava directed La Maschera del Demonio, now an important and classic vampire film. Among other things. the film lifted its femal lead, Barbara Steele, to stardom, at least among horror movie fans. The story concerned a seventeenth - century witch, Princess Asa, who was killed by having a spiked mask (hence the name of the movie) driven onto her face. She was revived by a drop of blood that fell her tomb simultaneously with the arrival of a present - day double named Katia (also portrayed by Steele). Princess Asa, aided Dominici. a vampire, attemtped to find a new life by taking over the body of Katia.
La Maschera del Demonia (released in the United States as Black Sunday and in Great Britain as Revenge of the Vampire) was a black and white feature, but it set the stage for Bava's color productions later in the decade. While Bava often made his films on a low budget, he became known for his ability to take inexpensive sets and, through the utilization of light, convey the gothic atmosphere of the supernatural world. Bava believed in the worlds of the real and the unreal, the natural and the supernatural, and felt that he lived his life at the border between the two. At the borderland horror arose and intruded upon normal reality, and Bava assumed that each person was more or less aware of the presence of that borderland in their own life. In his films, the psychological state of his characters was more important than the plot, which led many viewers to complain about the slow movement and lack of action in Bava productions. Although his plots moved slowly at times, Bava had no problem showing explicit violence on the screen. La Maschera del Demonio was banned in England for many years and faced problems with censors in both Canada and Mexico. Several of its scenes were edited before release in the United States.
Before the 1960's were over, Bava made four more movies that featured vampirism. After Black Sunday, Bava returned to the vampire theme in 1961 with Ercole al Centro della Terra (released in the United States as Hercules in the Haunted World). Bava brought in Christopher Lee from England to play Lico the vampire, Hercules' opponent. He then returned to Russian literature for inspiration. (Black Sunday was based on a story by Nicolas Gogol). I tre Volti della Paura (released in the United States as Black Sabbath , an attempt to associate it with the very successful Black Sunday) consisted of three short stories brought together to create a full - length feature. The third story (in the American version) was a rather faithful adaption of Alexey Tolstoy's The Wurdalak, and was notable for the only appearance of horror superstar Boris Karloff as a vampire. He played a peasant who returned to his home to attack his family.
Sei Donne per l' Assassino (released in the United States as Blood and Black Lace) was the bloodiest of Bava's vampire movies. He took a mystery story and rewrote it as a vampire tale. In the movie, the vampire was shown as a serial killer who attacked models at a beauty salon. When found, each victim was half - naked, disfigured, and drained of blood. Blood abounded on the screen, and Bava dwelt on the gore as a means of drawing the audience into the mind of the killer.
In 1965, Bava made his last vampire movie, Terrore nell Spazio (released in the United States as the Planet of the Vampires), which turned out to be one of the pioneering science fiction vampire motion pictures. In the film, a space crew lands on another planet and encounters vampires. The vampires take over the ship and, as the movie ends, are preparing to invade Earth.
Bava continued to make movies regularly through the mid - 1970's. He spent part of that time in the United States making some of the early "splatter" movies. His Blood and Black Lace served as somewhat of transition film into this emerging horror genre. He directed his last movie, La Verne dell'ille, in 1979, the year before his death.
While Bava made more than 20 movies, his vampire movies were his most memorable. Although the vampire movies were only a small percentage of his total output, his name belongs on the short list of directors who made the most vampire movies during their careers.
XXIX. Elaine Bergstrom (1946 - )
Elaine Bergstrom, a science fiction/horror fiction writer who has written five vampire books, was born in 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio. Bergstrom burst into the vampire scene in 1989 with the publication of Shattered Glass, a novel that introduced a new vampire, Stephen Austra, and his vampire family. They were an old and powerful family who quietly existed as glass workers, specifically the special leaded glass that went into the old cathedrals of Europe and their modern imitations. Shattered Glass brought Austra to the United States where he met artist Helen Wells, who he turned into a vampire like himself. She became a continuing part of his story. The initial conflict concerned Austra's renegade brother who forced the "good" Stephen into a final showdown. Included in the novel was one of the more horrorific chapters in vampire literature --- Austra's brother surprised the two lovers in bed in a hotel room and proceeded to vampirize them in a slow torturous act.
Austra and Helen Wells' story was resumed in two subsequent novels, Blood Alone (1990) and Blood Rites (1991). Bergstrom's fourth vampire novel, Daughter of the Night (1992), was based on the life of Elizabeth Bathory and was especially inspired by its treatment in Raymond T. McNally's biographical study, Dracula Was a Woman. More recent efforts from this very productive author have included Tapestry of Dark Souls, (1993), a novel built around the characters of TSR, Inc.'s Ravencroft, one of hte vampire - oriented, role - playing games, and an exploration of the further adventures of Mina, the character attacked by Dracula in the original Bram Stoker novel.
XXX. The Vampire Berwick
Among the incidents of vampirism reported by William of Newburgh in his Chronicles, completed in 1196 A.D., was the case of the Berwick vampire. The subject of them account was a rather wealthy man who lived in the twelfth - century in the town of Berwick in the norther part of England near the Scottish border. After his death, the townspeople reported seeing his body roaming through the streets at night keeping the dogs howling far into the evening. Fearful that a plague (associated with such revenants in popular lore) might attack the population, the townspeople decided to dismenber the body and burn it. That action having been accomplished, the body no longer appeared in town; however, a disease did sweep through the town causing many deaths that were attributed to the after - effects of the vampire's presence.
XXXI. Vampire Bibliography
Essential to the development of the modern movement of vampire enthusiasts and of scholarship on the subject has been the bibliographical work done by a small group of dedicated researchers/collectors. Besides the rather brief bibliographies in some of the more important volumes of vampire studies, an early conprehensive attempt to list vampire titles can be found in Donald Glut's The Dracula Book (1975). However, Glut limited himself to the single character Dracula rather than vampires in general. The first attempt to compile a comprehensive bibliography of Vampires Unearthed was compiled by Martin V. Riccardo and became the basis of all future vampire bibliographical work.
Literary vampires have received the most attention. Beginning in the mid - 1970's, Margaret L. Carter began to compile a bibliography of English - language fictional works on the vampire. Her work has resulted in a series of publications combining her interests in bibliography and literary criticism. Her earlier works, Shadow of Shade: A Survey of Vampirism in Literature (1975), Specter or Delusion? The Supernatural in Gothic Fiction (1987), and Dracula: The Vampire and the Critics (1988), culminated in her more comprehensive The Vampire in Literature: A Critical Bibliography (1989). To deal wiht the vast outpouring of new vampire fiction and to add references to items missed in the 1989 work, Carter produces an annual supplement (nine had appeared by January 1998). Carter's work is especially notable for her attention to the vampire in short fiction, the only such listing that has been attempted. Carter has also compiled anthologies of vampire fiction, written vampire short stories, and edited a vampire fiction magazine.
The new popularity of vampire fiction was further demonstrated by an excellent annotated bibliography of vampire literature compiled by Greg Cox. The Transylvanian Library: A Consumer's Guide to Vampire Fiction (1993) provides a light, but no less useful, romp through the world of the literary vampire from John Polidori's original tale "The Vampire", through the novels of 1988. Cox was an assistant editor for TOR Books, which has published a number of vampire books including the novels of Brian Lumley and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
Of a more serious nature is Brian Frost's Monster with a Thousand Faces (1989), which also covers vampire fiction through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is notable for its discussion of many obscure works.
Through the 1990's, Robert Eighteen - Bissang, owner of Transylvania Press in White Rock, British Columbia, has been gathering what has become the largest and most comprehensive collection of vampire literature ever assembled. That collection has become the basis of a massive bibliography of vampire fictuin and nonfiction titles scheduled for publication in the immediate future. Also, working with J. Gordon Melton, who owns a similar collection, Eighteen - Bisang has projected a number of specialized bibliographical volumes on such topics as the editions of Dracula and juvenilia. Melton is compiling a comprehensive bibliography of non - fiction writing on vampires, and is developing bibliographies in several of the European lagnuages.
While most of the bibliographical work was being done in North America, at least one important effort occurred in Europe. Author and anthologist Jacques Finñe , who has produced a number of titles in fantasy and horror literature, produced the bibliographie de Dracula in 1986. This book - length annotated work, which built upon Riccardo's earlier effort, is important for its inclusion of non - English titles.
Comic books, treated in a chapter by Riccardo, have become an ever more important home to the vampire. An extensive bibliography was compiled by J. Gordon Melton and published in 1994 as The Vampire in the Comic Book by the The Count Dracula Fan Club. A more exhaustive bibliography is in process of completion by Melton and Eighteen - Bisang.
The comprehensive efforts of Riccardo, Carter, Cox, Frost, Finné, Eighteen - Bisang, and Melton have been most useful to scholars, but they have been supplemented by a variety of selective bibliographies which have circulated widely among enthusiasts. For example, Eric Held of the Vampire Information Exchange has regularly published lists of vampire literature, music, and films in the V.I.E. Newsletter. In 1992 he issued a 35 - page Vampire Bibliography of Fiction and Non - Fiction, a selected listing with some brief annotations for the members of V.I.E.
Bistritz (or Bistrita) is a town of some 35,000 inhabitants located in northeastern Transylvania in present - day Romania. It entered into the world of vampires as the first location visited by Jonathan Harker, in Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. It is only 59 miles from Borgo Pass where Harker was met by the carriage that took him to Castle Dracula. Bistritz was an old German settlement and the tower of the German Church found there is still the highest in all of Romania. Harker's account mentions a series of fires between 1836 and 1850 that destroyed much of the old town. In Stoker's day, the town had approximately 12,000 residents.
While there Harker stayed at the Golden Krone (Crown) Hotel. Unlike the very real Bistritz, the Golden Krone is a complete fiction, or at least it was. In 1974. in order to take advantage of the tourists interested in Dracula, a Golden Krone Hotel was opened, and the meal Harker ate while at the hotel was placed on the menu. Robber steak consisted of bits of bacon, onion, and beef roasted on an open fire together with red pepper on a stick. It was served with Mediasch wine. Today a tourist at the Golden Krone can also dine on "Elixir Dracula", (a red liquor made from plums), stuffed cabbage Birgau, Dracula cakes, and Dracula red wine. The hotel also sells a line of Dracula paraphernalia and souvenirs.
In the late 1960's the movie industry began to generate a series of movies specifically directed toward the African American community. While the vampire was essentially a European folklore character, and there have been only a few references to vampires in Africa or in African American lore, it was inevitable that "blaxploitation" producers would consider the possibilities of a Black vampire motion picture. In 1972 the first of the two most important African American vampire movies, Blacula, starring William Marshall, appeared.
Blacula told the story of Prince Mamuwalde, an African leader in 1780 who was trying to find a way to stop the slave trade which haunted Africa's west coast. He sought out Count Dracula (Charles Macaulay) to obtain his assistance in the endeavor. Dracula merely laughed at the Prince, who with his wife, Luva, started to leave. Before they could get away, however, they were attacked by Dracula and his vampire cohorts. Mamuwalde was vampirized and sealed in a tomb. Luva was left to die of starvation, unable to help her husband as Dracula cursed Mamuwalde to become Blacula, his African counterpart.
The story then switched to 1965 when some Americans purchased the furnishings of Castle Dracula and shipped them to Los Angeles, unaware that the ornate coffin they had obtained housed Blacula's body. Blacula was awakened and discovered a new love, Tina, the exact image of his Luva. As the plot progressed, she fell victim to a shooting incident, and he turned her into a vampire to save her. But then she was staked to death, and in his grief Blacula committed suicide by walking into the sunlight.
Blacula was revived by the magic of voodoo a year later in a sequel, Scream Blacula Scream. In collusion with the voodoo priestess Lisa, he searched for a way to rid himself of his vampirism, but was thwarted by the police. In a novel, but entirely appropriate, twist of the storyline, he was killed by a pin stuck through the heart of a voodoo doll.
Because of the large audience of vampire movie enthusiasts, the Blacula movies have had a heightened popularity and joined the list of those few blaxploitation films which found a broad audience beyond the African American community. Blacula was awarded the Ann Radcliffe Award by the Count Dracula Society.
XXXIV. Blade the Vampire Slayer
In April 1971, following the change in the Comics Code that allowed vampires to return to comic books, Marvel Comics introduced its new vampire comic book, The Tomb of Dracula. It brought the story of Dracula into the 1970's and brought together descendants of the characters in Bram Stoker's novel to fight the revived vampire. During the course of the long running series, Marvel also introduced several new characters. Among the most enduring was Blade the Vampire Slayer. Blade, an African American, further reflected the social changes in post World War II America previously noted by readers in the appearance of a woman, Rachel Van Helsing, as a strong weapon - carrying vampire slayer who assumed the role once held by her grandfather, Abraham Van Helsing.
Blade was warrior equipped with a set of teakwood knives. He initially appeared in the July 1973 (No.10) issue of The Tomb of Dracula on the London docks, where he proceeded to kill several vampire members of Dracula's Legion. Their deaths led to Blade meeting Quincy Harker and Rachel Van Helsing. After introductions, the action took Blade to the ship Michelle over which Dracula had assumed control. Their initial confrontation ended in a draw, but Dracula escaped and the ship was destroyed by an explosion. Blade returned two issues later to help Harker and Frank Drake (a modern descendant of Dracula) find Harker's daughter Edith who had been kidnapped by Dracula.
The story of Blade's early involvement with vampires was finally told in the October 1973 (No. 13) issue. At the time of his birth, his mother was visited by a physician, Deacon Frost who turned out to be a vampire. Frost killed his mother, and Blade dedicated his life to looking for him. That search grew into an enmity against all vampires and led him to the recently revived Dracula. He had worked primarily in America, and thus had never met Harker, Van Helsing, or Drake, but had heard about their activities.
Blade frequently reappeared through the 70 issues of The Tomb of Dracula. He also made a guest appearance in the Fall 1976 issue (No. 8) of Marvel Preview. The battle between Blade and Dracula seemed to reach a conclusion when Blade stuck one of his knives into Dracula, who apparently died. However, others stole the body, the knife was removed, and Dracula was revived. Later, Dracula seemed to win when he bit Blade. But it turned out that because of the unusual circumstances involving the vampire present at the time of Blade's birth, Blade was immune to the vampire state.
In the June 1976 issue (No. 48), Blade teamed with another new character introduced into The Tomb of Dracula, Hannibal King. He, too, had an encounter with Deacon Frost, the vampire that killed Blade's mother. In the February 1977 issue (No. 53) the two finally tracked Frost down and destroyed him.
Vampires were banished from Marvel Comics in 1983, and very few characters from The Tomb of Dracula appeared during the next six years. Blade practically disappeared, but quickly made his presence felt after the reintroduction of vampires into the Marval Universe in issues 10 and 14 of Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme Comics (a subsidiary of Marvel) of The Tomb of Dracula (1991 - 1992), which resumed the story from the end of the first series without reference to the banishment of vampires and the destruction of Dracula in 1983.
In 1992 Marvel united its older occult - oriented characters and created some new ones when it created a new realm on the edge of the Marvel Universe that would be the arena of the Midnight Sons. In this new storyline, vampires had been banished from the world in 1983 by a magical formula of Marvel's master of the occult arts, Dr. Strange. His magical operation created the Montesi effect. That effect was being weakened and allowed a new assault upon the world by the forces of supernatural evil. These forces were led by Lilith (the ancient Hebrew demoness, not Dracula's daughter).
The new evil forced the return of the old vampire fighters, including Blade, who received a new iamge more akin to Marvel's other superheroes and had his weapons system upgraded. The fresh storyline was created simultaneously in five different comic book titles under the collective heading Midnight Sons. Blade and his old acquaintances Frank Drake and Hannibal King united as a private investigation organization, The Nightstalkers. The adventures of The Nightstalkers lasted until early in 1994 when both Drake and King were killed in the war with the supernatural forces of evil. Blade survived to continue the fight in his own new comic book series Blade, the Vampire - Hunter which ran for 10 additional issues (1994 - 1995). For several years, Blade was not heard from, and then in 1997 a new Blade series was launched wiht a preview issue (reprinting a story from The Tomb of Dracula) released in anticipation of the series which he begam in March 1998 and the movie, Blade, with Wesley Snipes in the title role, which appeared later in the year.
Nothing has so defined the vam pire as its relationship to blood. The vampire was essentially a bloodsucker, a creature who lived off the blood of humans. Quite early in his visit to Castle Dracula, Jonathan Harker was lectured by his host on the general importance of blood. He noted that the Szekelys, "we of the Dracula blood", helped to throw off the despised Hungarian yoke. He further noted, in a line which soon would take on a double meaning, "Blood is too precious a thing in these day of dishonorable peace..." (chapter 13). As Harker tried to understand his desperate situation, he noted that Dracula had bad breath with "a bitter offensive, as one smells in blood". He discovered the secret when he found Dracula asleep with his mouth redder than ever and "on the lips were gouts of fresh blood, which trickled from the corner of the mouth and ran over the chin and neck...It seemed as if the whole awful creature were simply gorged with blood; he lay like a filthy leech, exhausted with his repletion". Harker lamented his role in freeing Dracula on London.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BLOOD: Since ancient times, humans have seen the connection between blood and life. Women made the connection between birth and their menstrual flow. Hunters observed the relationhip between the spilling of blood and the subsequent loss of consciousness, the ceasing of breath, and eventually death of the animals they sought. And if an animal died of some cause with no outward wound, when cut, the blood often did not flow. Blood was identified with life, and thinkers through the ages produced endless speculations about that connection. People assigned various sacred and magical qualities to blood and used it in a variety of rituals. People drank it, rubbed it on their bodies, and manipulated it in ceremonies.
Some believed that by drinking the blood of a victim the conqueror absorbed the additional strength of the conquered. By drinking the blood of an animal one took on its qualities. As late as the seventeenth century, the women of the Yorkshire area of England were reported to believe that by drinking the blood of their enemies they could increase their fecundity.
Among blood's more noticeable qualities was its red color as it flowed out of the body, and as a result redness came to be seen as an essential characteristic of blood, the vehicle of its power. Red objects were often endowed with the same potency as blood. In particular, red wine was identified with blood, and in ancient Greece, for Blood was (and continues to be) seen as somehow related to the qualities possessed by an individual, and beliefs carried references to admirable people as having "good" blood or evil persons as possessing "bad" blood. The blood of the mother was passed on to the child, and with it the virtues and defects of the parents were passed to any offspring. The blood, in a somewhat literal sense, carried the essential characteristics of the larger collectives — families, clans, national/ethnic groups, even whole races. Such beliefs underlie the modern myth which permitted the Nazi purge of Jews and other supposed lesser races and the practices in American blood banks until recent decades to separate "negro" blood from that of "white" people.
To a lesser extent, blood was identified with other body fluids, most notably semen. In the process of creating a baby, men do not supply blood, only their seed. Thus it was through the semen their male characteristics were passed to the child. In the mythology of race, each of the body fluids — semen, the blood that flowed when the hymen was broken, and menstrual blood — were associated together as part of the sexual teaching of medern ritual magic.
BLOOD IN THE BIBLICAL TRADITION: The ancient Jewish leaders made the same identification of blood and life. In the biblical book of Genesis, God tells Noah,
But you must not eat the flesh with the life, which is the blood, still in it. And further, for your life - blood I will demand satisfaction; from every animal will I require it, and from a man also will require satisfaction for the death of his fellow - man.
He that shed the blood of man, for that man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.
Israel instituted a system of blood sacrifice in which animal blood was shed as an offering to God for the sins of the people. The book of Leviticus included detailed rules for such offerings with special attention given to the proper priestly actions to be taken with the blood. The very first chapter stated the simple rules for offering a bull. It was to be slaughtered before the Tent of the Presence, and the priest was to present the blood and then fling it against the altar. The mysterious sacredness of the blood was emphasized in that God reserved it to himself. The remaining blood was spilled before the altar, and strictures were announced against the people eating the blood. "Every person who eats the blood shall be cut off from his father's kin" (Lev. 7:27).
Special rules were also established for women concerning their menstrual flow and the flow of blood that accompanied childbirth. Both made a woman ritually impure, and purification rituals had to be performed before she could again enter a sanctuary. In like measure, the discharge of semen caused a man to be ritually impure.
The most stringent rules concerning blood were in that section of Leviticus called the Holiness Code, a special set of rules stressing the role of the people, as opposed to the priest, in being holy before God. Very early in the code, the people are told:
If any Israelite or alien settled in Israel eats blood, I will see my face against the eater; and cut him off from his people, because the life of a creature is the blood, and I appoint it to make expiation on the altar for yourselves; for the blood is the life that makes expiation. Therefore I have told the Israelites that neither you, nor any alien settled among you, shall eat blood.
Indeed, "For the blood is the life" has been the most quoted Biblical phrase in the vampire literature.
Christianity took Jewish belief and practice to its extreme and logical conclusion. Following his death and (as Christians believe) his resurrection, Jesus, its founder, was worshiped as an incarnation of God who died at the hands of Roman executioners. Christians depicted his death as a human sacrifice, analogous, yet far more powerful, than the Jewish animal sacrifices. As the accounts of his last days were assembled Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper during which he took a cup of wine and told his disciples, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, shed for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 27:24–26). As he hung on the cross, a soldier pierced his side with a lance, and his blood flowed from the wound.
Early Christian thought on the significance of Christ's death was clearly presented in the Apocalypse (The Book of Revelation) in which John spoke of Jesus as the one who "freed us from our sins with his life's blood" (Revelation 1:5). He admonished those suffering persecution by picturing their glory in heaven as the martyrs for the faith. They wore a white robe which had been washed in the blood of the Lamb.
In Christian lands, to the common wisdom concerning life and bloodm theological reflection added a special importance to blood. The blood of Christ, in the form of the red wine of the Eucharist, became the most sacred of objects. So holy had the wime become that during the Middle Ages a great controversy arose over allowing the laity to have the cup. Because of possible carelessness with the wine, the Roman Catholic Church denied the cup, a practice which added more fuel to the fire of the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century.
In the light of the special sacredness of Christ's blood, the vampire, at least in its European appearances, took on added significance. The vampire drank blood in direct defiance of the biblical command. It defiled the holy and stole that which was reserved for God alone.
THE VAMPIRE AND HEMATOLOGY: The vampire myth arose, of course, prior to modern medicine. It has been of some interest that Dracula was written just as modern medicine was emerging, and Bram Stoker mixed traditional lore about blood with the new medicine. Lucy Westenra, even as she anticipated her marriage to Arthur Holmwood, lay hovering near death. Reacting quickly, Abraham Van Helsing gathered Holmwood and Lucy's two other suitors, Quincy P. Morris and Dr. John Seward, to apply a wholly unique scientific remedy to the vampire's attack. He had diagnosed a loss of blood, and now Van Helsing ordered a transfusion, at the time a new medical option. He and each of Lucy's suitors in turn gave her their blood. Following her death, Holmwood, in his grief and disappointment, made the observation that in the giving of blood he had in fact married Lucy and that in the sight of God they were husband and wife. Van Helsing, assuming his scientific role, countered his idea by suggesting that such an observation would make Lucy a polyandrist and the previously married Van Helsing a bigamist.
The idea of using a transfusion to counter the vampire introduced a new concern into the developing myth of the vampire through the twentieth century, especially as the supernatural elements of the myth were being discarded. If vampirism was not a supernatural state, and rather was caused ultimately by a moral or theological flaw of the original vampires, then possibly the blood thirst was the symptom of a diseased condition, caused by a germ or a chemical disorder of the blood, either of which might be passed by the vampire's bite. In the mid - 1960s there was brief, yet serious, medical speculation that vampirism was the result of misdiagnosed porphyria, a disease that causes its victims to be sensitive to sunlight and which could be cured or helped.
Anemia is a disease of the blood that was initially associated with vampirism. Anemia is caused by a reduction of either red blood cell or hemoglobin (the oxygen - carrying pigment of the cells) relative to the other ingredients in the blood. The symptoms include a pale complexion, fatigue, and in its more extreme symptoms include a pale complexion, fatigue, and in its more extreme instances, fainting spells. All are symptoms usually associated with a vampire attack. In Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula, during the early stages of Lucy Westenra's illness, Dr. John Seward hypothesized that possibly she was suffering from anemia. He later concluded that she was not suffering from the loss of red blood cells, but from the loss of whole blood. Dr. Abraham Van Helsing agreed with his friend, "I have made careful examination, but there is no functional cause. With you I agree that there has been much blood lost; it has been, but is not. But the conditions of her are in no way anaemic" (chapter 9). While Stoker dismissed any association of anemia and vampirism, over the succeeding decades, attempts to posit anemia as the underlying explanation of vampirism occasionally emerged.
THE LITERARY TRADITION: Increasingly through the century, as knowledge of the minute details concerning the function and makeup of human blood were explored by research specialists, novelists and screenwriters toyed with the idea of vampirism as a disease. During the last years of the pulp fiction era, writers such as Robert Bloch, George Whitley, David H. Keller, and William Tenn suggested the diseased origin of vampirism in a series of short stories. For example, in William Tenn's 1956 short story "She Only Goes Out at Night", Tom Judd, the son of a village doctor, falls in love with a strange woman. Tom's father coincidentally discovered an epidemic in town whose victims were all anemic. The woman, who had just moved to town, was a Romanian by descent and only came out at night. Putting the sudden wave of anemia together with the behavior patterns of the woman, the wise old doctor suggested she was a vampire. As he explained it, the vampire condition was passed from parent to child, though usually only one child in each generation developed it. His son still wanted to marry the woman. He responded with a medical observation, "Vampirism may have been an incurable disease in the fifteenth century, but I am sure it can be handled in the twentieth", Her symptoms suggested she had an allergy to the sun, for which he prescribed sunglasses and hormone injections. He then dealt with her blood thirst by supplying her with dehydrated crystalline blood which she mixed with water and drank once a day. The vampire and Tom lived happily ever after.
Vampirism as disease came powerfully to the fore in the late 1960's television series Dark Shadows. Dr. Julia Hoffman was introduced into the show to treat the problems of Maggie Evans, one of the show's main characters. A short time after her initial appearance, she met Barnabas Collins and discovered that he was a vampire. Rather than seek to destroy him, however, she devised a plan to assist him in a cure of his vampiric condition. Collins soon grew impatient and demanded that the process be speeded up. His body did not react favorably to the increased dosages of Hoffman's medicines, and he reverted to his true age — 200 years old. He was able to revive his youth by biting a young woman, and he then turned on Hoffman. Hoffman was able to thwart his efforts by threatening him with her research book, which contained all the treatments and revealed Collin's true nature. Before Barnabas could locate the book, he and the storyline were transported into the past, to 1795.
Shortly after his return to the present (1968). Collins was in a car accident. Hospitalized, he received a transfusion that temporarily cured him. He was a human and for the first itme in 200 years was able to walk in the sunlight. He was, however, returned to a vampiric state by the bite of his former love, Angelique Bouchard, who had died and returned as a vampire.
A character similar to Hoffman also appeared in the recent television series, Forever Knight. Nicolas Knight, the show's vampire, was a policeman on the Toronto police force. His friend and confidante was Dr. Natalie Lambert, a forensic pathologist. Throughour the series, she sought a means to transform Knight into a human, but with negative results to date.
In the decades since World War II, novelists have also explored the idea that a diseased condition produced vampirism. Simon Raven's Doctors Wear Scarlet (1960), for example, described vampirism as a form of "sado - sexual perversion". The story sent the hero, Richard Fountain, to Greece to escape an oppresive personal situation in England. In Greece he met a beautiful vampiress who slowly drained his blood. He was rescued before he was killed and returned safe to his British home.
Jan Jennings' Vampyr (1981) brought a research scientist into a relationship with Valan Anderwalt, a vampiress. The scientist, in love with the Valan, tried to find the cause of her state. He traced vampirism to ancient China and found it to be a contagious physical condition which had been brought to America by the early Dutch colonists. Unfortunately, he was not able to make any progress in curing her.
The same year Whitley Strieber introduced an interesting triangle relationship in The Hunger. Miriam Blaylock was an immortal alien vampire. She was on earth and could transform humans into vampires. Such human vampires, however, were wishing to lose another companion, Blaylock sought out the services of an expert in longevity, Sarah Roberts, in the hopes that she would be able to save John, her present male companion. Unfortunately. no solution presented itself before John succumbed to his deteriorating condition.
Most recently, Dan Simmons sent his leading character, Kate Neuman, a hematologist, into post - revolutionary Romania in Children of the Night. The book began with her using her knowledge of rare blood diseases to treat people in Bucharest. While there, she fell in love with a seven - month - old boy, Joshua, presumably an orphan. He was unique in that he required biweekly transfusions to stay alive. He also had unusual blood which, she came to believe, held the clue to cures for AIDS, cancer, and other blood diseases. She arranged his adoption and brought him home with her to Colorado. Soon after, the boy was kidnapped and returned to Romani. In the exciting climax of the story, she was forced to return to Romania and to face the boy's father, Vlad the Impaler, the real Dracula. Dracula was dying, and his son, Joshua, was to become the leader of the family in his place.
CONCLUSION: The traditional beliefs that surrounded the blood, the medical exploration of its properties, and the analogies it horbored to life itself, facilitated the adaptability of the vampire myth to a seemingly endless number of situations. Such adaptability has provided an understanding of why the vampire myth has stayed alive and has so many devotees to this day. Scientific considerations of the vital function played by blood in the human body have, if anything, given it an even more mystical place in human life and promoted its resacralization in this post - secular society.
XXXVI. Borgo Pass
A mountain pass in Transylvania (at the time a part of Hungary and now located in Romania) made famous in the opening chapter of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Borgo Pass (or Birgau Pass) is an oft - trod passageway through the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe. Dracula opened with the journey of Jonathan Harker to Castle Dracula. Arriving at the city of Bistritz, he received a letter from Count Dracula directing him to Borgo Pass (which begins near the town of Tihucza). The next day he took the coach from Bistritz to Bukovina and was let out at the Pass. Here he was met by a coach with a mysterious driver (later revealed to be Count Dracula himself) and taken to Castle Dracula. The scene at Borgo Pass has been most effectively used over the years in the various Dracula movies to build an initial atmosphereof foreboding.
In spite of its remote location, the Transylvanian Society of Dracula in Romania regularly calls it members to meetings in the Borgo Pass, especially at Halloween at the Castle Dracula Hotel.
XXXVII. Carol Borland (1914 - 1994)
Carol Borland, the female star of the film Mark of the Vampire (1935), graced audiences with her prescence opposite costar Bela Lugosi. Born in Fresno, California, Borland developed a love for acting in her early teens. In 1929 she saw Lugosi perform in the stage production of Dracula in Oakland, California, and became infatuated with him. She wrote a short novella as a sequel to Dracula called Countess Dracula which concerned two couples who found their way to Castle Dracula. Accounting to the script, they met the count, who told them of the death of his "sisters" and hence his livine alone. She later contacted Lugosi who invited her to join him for breakfast at his hotel. She later did a reading of it for him.
While Lugosi was in Hollywood making Dracula, Borland was finishing high school and winning the California Young Shakespearean Actress Award. Her prize included a scholarship to the University of California. She did not remain long in school. Lugosi invited her to take the part of Lucy in a revival of the Dracula play following the success of the movie. The tour, while brief, established their relationship, and in 1934 she auditioned for the part of Luna in Mark of a Vampire. He assisted her in landing the part (which included an under - the - table bribe). The part included only one lind of dialogue, but the image created of the female vampire became one of the most memorable among 1930s films, and is sometimes cited as the direct inspiration of Morticia Addams (of the Addams Family), and later of Vampira and Elvira.
Borland suffered for her role in Mark of the Vampire. Rumors circulated that she could not handle dialogue and hence she was offered only bit parts in the years to follow. She married, left acting, and became a teacher. Her novel was finally published shortly after her death in 1994.
XXXVIII. Angélique Bouchard
Angélique Bouchard (Lara Parker), the other vampire who appeared through the Dark Shadows televsion series, was introduced during the episodes that told the sotry of Barnabas Collins' origin in the 1790's. Barnabas had been engaged to marry a woman names Josette du Prés. Angélique, a witch, decided that she wanted him enough to interfere with the wedding by casting a spell on Josette that would cause her to fall in love with Jeremiah Collins, Barnabas' uncle. Angélique's actions did not win Barnabas to her, but it did lead to his killing his uncle in a duel. Angry and frustrated, Angélique unleashed a curse on Barnabas. Shortly thereafter a bat attacked him and he emerged from the encounter as a vampire. Angélique was the first person seen by the new vampire and her magical skill could not prevent her from becoming her initial victim.
Barnabas' vampirism would soon lead to his confinement in the Collins family crypt in New England for two centuries. He was released in the late 1960's and in 1969, Angélique again entered Barnabas' life as Cassandra Collins, the wife of Roger Collins. At this point, Barnabas had been temporarily cured of his vampirism. His brief return to mortality was interrupted by the arrival of Nicolas Blair, who claimed to be Cassandra's brother. His first encounter with Blair, a warlock, led to a new attack by a bat. As a result Barnabas did not become a vampire, but did fall under Blair's power. Cassandra was killed; however, Blair raised her as a vampire. Like Barnabas, Angélique was a nocturnal creature with prominent fangs, who could be killed by fire, daylight, and a hearfelt stake. She eventually became the instrument of Barnabas' return to the vampiric life. After her biting him, he again became a vampire at the cost of temporarily transferring his allegiance away from Blair to her. Angélique's life as a vampire soon ended, but death is always a temporary matter for the magical creature.
XXXIX. Dion Boucicault (1820 - 1890)
Dion Boucicault was perhaps the most commercially successful playwright of the Victorian Era whose plays on the vampire theme were an important landmark in the spread of the vampire in the popular consciousness in mid - nineteenth - century England. Born Dionysus Larder Boursiquot in Dublin, he left school at an early age to join an English drama company with whom he acted under the stage name Lee Moreton. He also began to write his own plays and gradually gave up acting for playwriting. Then in 1844 he began a four - year period in France studying the French stage and absorbing popular plots. He was also in Paris in December 1851 to see his second version of The Vampire and after his return to England he quickly composed a vampire play for the popular actor Charles Keane (1811 - 68). Boucicault also had the use of the new Princess Theatre which had a full set of innovative technical resources.
Keane refused the part (as he was already engaged for the moment and Boucicault assumed the role himself. Keane's young ward Agnes Robertson did accept the female lead, and during the process of rehearsing Boucicault fell in love. In the next few years he would write plays not only for Keane but for Robertson. The Vampire earned Boucicault good reviews for his acting, but Robertson's review fell far short of expectations, and the play was not a commercial success. The Vampire, A Phantasm in Three Dramas which opened in June 1852 at the Princess, was set in Wales. Its three acts followed a set of characters through their descendants, each act being 100 years after the previous one. The heroine learns of her danger through a dream sequence in which the portraits of her ancestors come to life to warn her. The vampire is seen as seeking the love and blood of a virgin which if found will give him new life got for another century.
In 1853, Boucicault and Robertson moved to the United States where they would stay until the outbreak of war. While here he rewrote The Vampire and came out with a new play, The Phantom, a much simplified and more realistic drama. He did not, for example, keep the scene in which the portraits came to life. The Phantom opened in Philadelphia in 1856 and in New York the following year. It became a standard part of his repertoire and he continued to develop it. Along the way, he even moved the setting from Wales to Scotland (a la Charles Nordier) and his own vampire character, Alan Raby, became Sir Alan Ruthven. The new play opened in London in 1861 and appears to have been much more successful than his first.
Boucicault himself seems to have had an understanding that in plays like The Phantom he was playing to a popular audience, not producing great drama or art. In reference to it, he is noted as having observed, " I can spin out these rough - and - tumble dramas as a hen lays eggs. It is a degrading occupation, but more money has been made out of Guano than out of poetry."
XL. The Bram Stoker Society
The Bram Stoker Society was founded in 1980 to encourage the study and appreciation of the work of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. The society has developed a program to promote the appreciation of Stoker's work, especially as it relates to his life in Ireland, his birthplace. The society encourages research into the Irish associations of the Stoker family, promotes tourism connected with Stoker and other Irish gothic novelists (such as Sheridan Le Fanu), and campaigns for plaques to be placed on the Irish sites associated with the Stoker family. In 1983, partially in response to the society's efforts, a plaque was placed at No. 30 Kildare Street in Dublin, where Stoker resided in 1871. Stoker's granddaughter Ann Stoker, and his grandnephew Ivan Stoker - Dixon, attended the unveiling of the plaque, sponsored by the Irish Tourist Board.
In September 1986, the society suspended its independent existence and reorganized as The Bram Stoker Club of the Philosphical Society in Trinity College, Dublin. Stoker was at one time president of the Bram Stoker Archives were opened. The archives consisted of Leslie Shepard's collection of Bram Stoker materials (first editions, autographs, and other memorabilia) on display in the Graduate Memorial Building. The exhibition was intended to be on permanent public display, but the issue of lack of proper security for the collection led Shepard to withdraw the materials from the room in May 1989.
In the wake of the disruption caused by the withdrawal of the collection, the society reorganized separately from the club and the college. The club has coninued in existence as an approved independent body in Trinity College, and is affiliated with the Bram Stoker Society in Dublin. It currently sponsors the Bram Stoker International Summer School for a weekend each June (since 1991), held in Clontarf, Dublin, near where Stoker was born. In publishes a newsletter and an annual journal. It has pressed for the establishment of a permanent Bram Stoker museum in Dublin, a goal yet to be realized. Leslie Shepard, editor of The Dracula Book of Great Vampire Stories, is currently the chairman of the society. It may be contacted through David Lass, Hon. Secretary, The Bram Stoker Club and Society, Regent House, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.
XLI. Bram Stoker's Dracula
The most recent of the many attempts to bring the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker, to the motion picture screen appeared in 1992 from Columbia Pictures. Directed by one of Hollywood's top directors, Francis Ford Coppola, it opened on Friday, November 13, and became the largest nonsummer movie opening of all time.
Coppola had a goal of making a more accurate version of Stoker's original novel, and his version relied more closely on the storyline of the book than any previous Dracula movie. The story opened with Jonathan Harker (played by Keanu Reeves) leaving his fiance, Mina Murray (Winona Ryder), to travel to Castle Dracula in Transylvania. His first encounters with Dracula (Gary Oldman) reflected the major incidents recorded in the book, though Dracula's colorful appearance could hardly have been more different from his description in the novel. Their encounter as Harker was shaving produced one of the film's most memorable moments. Harker had cut himself, and Dracula took the razor from Harker and licked it to taste the drops of blood. Harker was attacked by the three female vampire brides, residents of the castle, and was only able to escapre after Dracula left for England.
In England, the three suitors of Lucy Westenra (Sadie Frost) —Quincey P. Morris (Bill Campbell), Arthur Holmwood (Cary Elwes), and Dr. John Seward (Richard E. Grant) —rose to the occasion as Dracula launched his attack on her. Unable at first to determine the cause of her problems, Seward called in Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins). Van Helsing organized the opposition that finally defeated Dracula after tracking him back to his castle.
While Coppola's version of Dracula is by far the most faithful to the book, it deviated at several important points. For example, as a prelude to the movie, Coppola briefly told the story of Vlad the Impaler, the fifteenth - century Romanian ruler who served as a historical reference for the Dracula character. This prelude indicated the influence of the books by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu that created fans for Vlad, the historical Dracula. In introducing the theme of Vlad the Impaler, Coppola borrowed an idea from the Dan Curtis/Jack Palance version of Dracula (1973). Curtis used Vlad's story to provide the rationale for Dracula's attack upon the specific women he chose as targets in England. In Dracula (1974), Palance saw a picture of Lucy, Harker's fiance, who was the mirror image of his lost love of the fifteenth century. He traveled to England in order to recapture the love of his pre - vampire life. In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Winona Ryder played not only Mina Murray, but Elizabeth, Dracula's original love. To continue the storyline, Coppola allowed Dracula to walk around London freely in the daytime (as Dracula seemed able to do in the novel), but he now used his time in the city to establish a liaison with Mina and with his suave continental manners win her love. In the final scene, Mina went to the dying Dracula and through her love facilitated his redemption as he died.
Vlad's reaction to the death of Elizabeth (or Elisabeta), who committed suicide and hence could not go to heaven in Eastern Orthodox theology, provided Coppola with an explanation of the origin of Dracula's vampirism. Since she could not go to heaven, Dracula blasphemed God and symbolically attacked the cross with his sword. Blood flowed from the impaled cross, Dracula drank, and presumablyas a result was transformed into a vampire.
Coppola also enlarged upon the account of R. N. Renfield, another character in the original novel who was introduces as a resident of the insane asylum managed by John Seward, who no explanation as to the reason for his being there. His mental condition was explained by Coppola as due to his having traveled to Castle Dracula and becoming insane because of his encounters with the residents. This earlier connection with Dracula also explained why he, but none of the other inmates of the asylum, reacted to Dracula's arrival and activities in London.
Bram Stoker's Dracula was accompanied by a massive advertising campaign which included more than 100 separate pieces of paraphernalia and souvenir items, including a novelization of the script, a four - issue comic book series, two sets of trading cards, jewelry, tee shirts, posters, a board game, and several home computer games. The TNT cable television network sponsored a sweepstakes the week of the movie's opening that offered the winner a trip to London, "one of Dracula's favorite cities!" While it opened to mixed reviews (an occupation hazard with any horror genre film), the Coppola movie shows every sign of taking its place as one of the most memorable Dracula adaptations of all time. It opened in Bucharest, Romania, in July 1993, at which time a special drink, dubbed "Dracula Spirits" and made of vodka and red fruit juice, was issued by a Romanian distillery. In spite of the mixed reviews, the movie surprised media observers by becoming the largest box office opening ever experienced by Columbia and the largest ever for a non - summer opening . It played on almost 2,500 screens around the country and grossed more than $32 million.
XLII. Vampire Brides
Vampire brides is a popular term that refers to the harem - like arrangement that is believed to exist between the vampire (a male) and his victims ( a group of young women). The idea derived entirely from Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. During the opening chapters the title character lived in his remote castle home with three young women. They were described by a number of names including "young women," "weird sisters," and "ghostly women." At the end of the novel, Abraham Van Helsing entered Castle Dracula to kill the women, whom he simply called "sisters."
The idea of calling them "brides" possibly derived from the incident in the novel when, following the death of Lucy Westenra, Lucy's fiance Arthur Holmwood suggested that the sharing of blood created a husband - wife relationship between himself and his now dead wife - to - be. However, it received its substance from various movies which pictured a male vampire in a continuing relationship with several female vampires. Commonly in vampire novels and movies, vampires attacked a person of the opposite sex. Most vampires were male and most of their victims, with whom they developed a close relationship, were women. This relationship has often been developed, by implication if not actual reference, in a manner similar to the popular image of the Middle Eastern harem. Frequently, the women were clothed in frilly bed clothes while the man was in formal dress. This image of the vampire brides was present in the two Count Yorga films and in John Carradine's The Vampire Hookers (1979).
The idea of the vampire brides emphasized the sexual nature of the vampire's relationship to his victims. The vampire attacked (raped) his victims and then tied them to him in a slavelike structure in which love played a little or no part. In Dracula, the three women accused him of never having loved and of loving no one in the present.
As a part of the 1990's wave of interest in all things related to Dracula, it has been inevitable that the stories of the brides would be explored by novelists. The first was Elaine Bergstrom in her Dracula sequel, Mina and more recently, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has been working on a trilogy telling their story.
XLIII. Poppy Z. Brite (1967 - )
Novelist Poppy Z. Brite has emerged in the 1990's as the literary representative of the gothic punk culture, usually thought of as centering on goth music and the nightclubs where it flourishes. She has also highlighted the vampiric element of that subculture through her first novel, Lost Souls (1992), which was nominated for Best First Novel of 1992 by the Horror Writers of America and for The Lambda Literary Award. Brite was born and raised in New Orleans, where she returned after attending college at the University of North Carolina. While establishing herself as an author she held a number of odd jobs, including a stint as an exotic dancer, and still occasionally models. Her first stories appeared in the now - defunct magazine, The Horror Show between 1985 and 1990.
Lost Souls traces the modern adventures of a small group of vampires headed by Zillah, a 100 - year - old vampire who, as the result of a one night stand with a vampire, became the father of Nothing. As the alienated Nothing grew onto adolescence, he left the parents who adopted and raised him and headed out to find his roots. He eventually encountered the ageless Zillah, learned the story of his origin, and returned to the French Quarter and the room where he was conceived. Brite followed her initial success with equally fine (if nonvampiric) novels: Swamp Foetus, Drawing Blood, and Exquisite Corpse, and biography of rock musician and actress Courtney Love - Cobain.
Brite returned to vampires in two anthologies, hailed as among the finest collections of contemporary vampire stories, Love in Vein (1994) and Love in Vein II (1996).
XLIV. Tod Browning (1882 - 1962)
Todd Browning, a career director of horror films who brought both Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi to the screen in their first vampire roles, is most remembered today for his work on a single film, Dracula (1931). He was born July 12, 1882, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, but at the age of 16 ran away from home and joined a carnival. For years he made his living by assuming various "horror" persona. His carnival performances led to his becoming an actor. He appeared in his first film in 1913 and was soon working behind the camera. He assisted in directing for a couple of years and in 1917 directed his first movies, Jim Bludso and Peggy, the Will o' the Wisp. In 1919 he met Lon Chaney, who had a part in The Wicked Darling. They went their separate ways through the early 1920's, but were reunited at MGM in 1925 and for the next five years had one of the most fruitful collaborations Hollywood had known. Browning appreciated Chaney's ability to distort his face and apply makeup and developed scripts especially for him. Together they made The Unholy Three (1925), The Blackbird (1926), The Road to Mandalay (1926), The Unknown (1927), London After Midnight (1927), West of Zanzibar (1928), The Big City (1928), and Where East Is East (1929).
In 1927 Browning directed London After Midnight, the first vampire feature film, in which Chaney played both the vampire and the detective who pursued him. The film was memorable because of the extraordinary distorting makeup Chaney developed. Even he complained of its discomfort. The movie was based upon a novel, The Hypnotist, written by Browning, and then became the basis of a novelization by Marie Coolidge - Rask published in 1928 with stills from the movie. In Browning's plot, the vampire turned out to be an identity assumed by the detective to trap a criminal.
In 1930, as Universal Pictures was making its transition to talking movies, the company hired Browning to film Dracula. Browning immediately thought of Chaney for the starring role and approached him about the part. Unfortunately, before he could respond, Chaney died. Eventually, after a highly publicized search for an actor to play the title role, Bela Lugosi was selected.
Browning has been seen by most film critics as a mediocre and unimaginative director, especially criticized for his largely stationary camera. He was now set to do what would become his most memorable film, an adaption of the Hamilton Deane play as revised by John L. Balderston. He is best remembered for adding the opening scenes that occur in Castle Dracula standing on the stairs with a giant spider web behind him to welcome R. N. Renfield (who went to Transylvania instead of Jonathan Harker in this version) has been among the most reproduced pictures in movie history. These opening scenes lifted the movie from being merely a filmed stage play, the impression it gave once the action shifted to London.
Browning's Dracula must be seen in the context of its time. For all practical purposes it was the first Dracula movie, few people having seen the banned Nosferatu or the other even lesser - known European attempts at adaptation. It was also one of the first horror movies with sound. Given the level to which movies had progressed, the low expectations for the film's success, and the financial hardship then being experienced by Universal, the production values of Dracula were appropriate. Even today the opening scenes are effective, though post - Hammer Films audiences have been quick to note the sanitized presentation of a Dracula without visible fangs who never bit his victims for the audience to see. Most importantly, one cannot deny the audience response to the movie, and Universal credited it with keeping the company from bankruptcy.
Browning would go on to make several more films in the 1930's. His next film, Freaks, became one of the most controversial movies of the era. A pet project, the movie harked back to his carnival days and pictured the lives of various people who were born with bodies that pushed them outside of acceptable society. It was banned in 28 countries and was a commercial flop in the United Sates. He returned to the vampire theme in 1935 with Mark of the Vampire, a talkie remake of London After Midnight, Browning retired in 1939 following his work on The Devil Dolls, and lived quietly until his death on October 6, 1962.
Bruja is the spanish name for witch. A bruja was very much like the strega of Italy and bruxa of neighboring Portugal. The term was found throughout Latin America where it was used simultaneously with local names for witches and for witch/vampires, such as the tlahuelpuchi, the blood - sucking witch of Mexico. In both Spain and the Americas, the bruja was a living person, usually a woman, who was able to transform herself into various kinds of animals and attack infants.
XLVI. Brujah Vampire Clan
A vampire clan in the popular role - playing game Vampire: The Masquerade, the Brujah originated with a vampire of the third generation who lived in the First City created by the original vampire, Caine. Brujah lived through the flood that destroyed the First City and participated in the building of the Second City. Some blame him for the torment that caused the third generation to turn on the second generation. In the end, Brujah was killed by one of his own progeny, named Troile, who drank his parent's blood. Afterward, he wandered the world, possibly out of fear from the others of the third generation. He finally settled in what today is Tunisia and his progeny built the city state of Carthage. They saw their work as creating what the Second City could have been. Here they lived openly, and the other clans, especially the Ventrue, seeing the tradition of keeping a protective cover between vampire and humans thwarted, united against the Brujah. The Brujah lost and their city was put to flames. Troile has not been seen since.
While the Brujah nominally joined the Camarilla, the coalitio of clans that formed in the fifteenh - centuryin reaction to the Inquisition, they have ever been the Anarchs, with little use for organization. In the presence of blood they tend to frenzy, when the madness of the beast nature temporarily takes over. Other clans fear them and think of them as berserk.
There are three main factions among the Brujahs: The Idealists, the most conservative traditionalists; the Iconoclasts, th most complete anarchs; and the Individualists, who combine the best of the two other factions. These latter factions have propelled the clan into leadership in some areas and to dominate in those small areas of Greece. Switzerland, and Italy which the Brujah control today.
In America, the Brujah helped torment the rebellion against England at the end of the eighteenth - century and many traveled to the new country after the Revolutionary War. In the 1940s, one of their number, Jeremy MacNeil, became the catalyst in driving the princes from the cities along the American West Coast and the setting up of the Anarch Free States out of a collection of the Brujah, the Ravnos, the Nosferatu and the Gangrel. MacNeil is still the leading Anarch in Los Angeles.
Organizationally, the Brujah tend to be faddish, and their meetings largely celebrate their independence. They will gather occasionally for what is termed a rant. The rant provides an opportunity to share information and acknowledge accomplishments and failure. The clan has few rules, but does demand that members not violate the Masquerade that keeps their presence hidden from mortal society, and do nothing to endanger the clan. Those accused are tried and judged at a rant. There being little organization, the Brujah leadership is exercised by power individuals.
The bruxa (female) or bruxo (male) was the witch figure of Portugal, similar in many ways to the bruja of Spain and Mexico. The bruxa was a pre - Christian figure that became prominent in the Middle Ages. At that time, the Inquisition focused attention upon Pagan beliefs and demonized them as malevolent activities of Satan. In rural Portugal, belief in witchcraft survived into the twentieth - century and the government periodically has taken measures to destroy its continuing influence.
The bruxa (who was generally described as a woman) entered the lists of vampire entities due to her blood - sucking attacks upon infants. She also assumed the form of various animals, most often a duck, rat, goose, dove, or ant. Her power was largely confined to the hours from midnight to 2:00 in the morning. The witches in a region gathered at the crossroads on Tuesdays and Fridays, and these days assumed negative connotations in Portuguese folklore. At their gatherings, the witches were believed to worship Satan, from whom they gained various evil powers, such as the evil eye.
Protection from a bruxa was supplied by a wide variety of magical amulets. Children were also protected by the use of iron and steel. A steel nail on the ground or a pair of scissors under their pillow would keep the witches away. There was also a belief in the spoken word, and the folklore was rich in examples of various incantations against the witches. Garlic would be sewn into the clothes of children to protect them from being carried away by witches.
After an attack, attempts would be made to identify the malevolent witch. The mother of the deceased child could boil the child's clothes while jabbing them with a sharp instrument. The witch would supposedly feel the jabs on her own body and would be compelled to come and ask for mercy. Or the mother might take a broom and sweep the house backwards, from the door inward, while repeating an incantation to make the witch manifest. The broom, a symbol of witchcraft, was used to cause witches to relax. As recently as 1932, author Rodney Gallop reported the case of an infant in the town of Santa Leocadia de Baiao who had died of suffocation. The parents were sure that it had been "sucked by witches." The grandmother reported seeing the witch fly away disguised as a black sparrow.
Because of her ability to transform into animal forms, the bruxa was often associated with the lobishmen, the name by which werewolves were known in Portugal. The lobishmen was also known to change form on Tuesdays and Fridays, the same days the witches gathered.
XLVII. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the modestly successful 1992 movie and hit television series that began airing on the Warner Bros. Network in March 1997, has developed a wide fan base and is attributed to generating a light - hearted interest in vampires among teenagers of the 1990s. Now immersed in the popular culture, Buffy was created by Joss Whedon who also wrote the screenplay for the movie.
The storyline centers upon Buffy Summers, a cheerleader at Hemery High School in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. As she went about her vapid existence in which the next trip to the mall or the school dance were her only concerns, she met a strange man named Merrick (Donald Sutherland) who informed her that she was the Chosen One. Once each generation, there is a Chosen One who will stand alone against the vampires and the forces and entities of the evil supernatural world. That person is called the Slayer. As can be imagined, this news was, to say the least. most disturbing to the young teenager.
Buffy initially rejected the idea, but the naturally athletic cheerleader also found herself drawn to Merrick, the man destined to be her trainer. She had had strange dreams in which she faced enigmatic creatures in historical settings. Merrick claimed that her dreams were, in fact, her memories of real events from previous lives. He also claimed that he was also present when they occurred.
Once he secured Buffy's attention, Merrick elaborated on her role as one of the Order of Slayers. Each woman who was a Slayer had a birthmark on her left shoulder. Each was reincarnated over and over again and spent each new lifetime stopping the spread of vampirism. History aside, Buffy had a more immediate crisis. Lothos (Rutger Hauer), a 1,200 - year - old vampire king, he had come to Los Angeles, and Merrick took Buffy to the local cemetery to observe the emergence of some of Lothos' first victims from their graves. Her encounter with the new vampires convinced Buffy of the truth of all Merrick had told her.
While trying to lead an outwardly normal life, Buffy spent her afternoons perfecting her fighting skills which she demonstrated each evening on Lothos' minions (staking being the preferred method of dispatching them). Her actiivity soon caught the attention of Lothos, who in his anger killed Merrick. He also concluded that Buffy was the new slayer. Because she stood between him and his destiny she had to be slain. He gathered his group of new followers for an attack upon the upcoming school dance in the gym. At the dance, Buffy sqaured - off against Lothos, although it took all of her martial arts skills. During the fight, she made a stake from a broken chair and drove it home with a well - placed kick. Lothos died with the now immortalist word, "Oops!"
With Lothos out of the way, it appeared that Buffy could finish her high school and resume her vampire slaying as an audit. But such was not to be the case. As would be made known in 1997 in the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, at some time not long after killing Lothos, she burned down the very gym in which Lothos had died in order to destroy more of his minions. She was then transferred to a suburban high school in the community of Sunnydale.
Buffy and her mother hoped to finally resume a normal life, but each episode revealed that was not to be the case. She was bothered by dreams and, more importantly, was the one who understood the significance of the wave of deaths and disappearances among her new classmates. One body had even dropped out of a locker in the gym. Buffy met Giles, the librarian, who offered her a book on vampires.
Very early in her career at Sunnydale, Buffy found a support group among a small group of students who learned of the reality of vampires and Buffy's distinctive position in life. Willow (Alyson Hanningan) is a shy computer nerd, pretty, but slow in being socialized. Xander (Nicholas Brendan) is a young teen who is too unhip to be popular. Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) one of the most popular (and shallow) girls in school, was rewarded for her attempts to introduce Buffy into the circle of the school's elites by being drawn into her supernatural world. The group was held together by the wise Giles, whose library also became their headquarters. He particularly relied on Willow to extend his knowledge through her access to the Internet.
Only reluctantly did Buffy reconcile herself to her Chosenness. Her immediate task was to handle the Master, a powerful ancient vampire king who had planned to reenter the world of humans from which he has been banished. Each century there is an evening, called the Harvest, when he can select another vampire, a vessel, and send him out into the world. On the evening in question, his vessel Luke took over The Bronze, a teen club, and began to feed. The Master felt the strength received from each feeding, as if he had been feeding himself. Unfortunately for the Master, before he could gain the strength to break free, Buffy arrived and killed Luke.
The key person in her last - minute rescue of her classmates was a young man who warned her about the Harvest. Although he appeared to be a young man only a few years older than Buffy, he turned out ot be a 240 - year - old vampire named Angel (David Boreanaz). Once a vicious killer, he encountered some Gypsies who punished him by restoring his soul, or conscience. With a restored soul, Angel found out that he could no longer kill.
Although Buffy stopped the Master, it was only temporary. He would be back and it would be Angel who again intervened and told of a prophecy indicating that on the following evening Buffy would have to fight the Master; she would lose. The next evening, at the school dance, Buffy and the Master did fight, and Buffy did lose. However, she was rescued and revived by her friends and ended the season's initial offering by ending the Master permanently.
Buffy began the second year at Sunnydale somewhat more accepting of her purpose in life, but Angel dominated her attention. Their relationship grew through the school year and eventually culminated in their sharing an intimate moment. As a result, Angel lost his soul again and reverted to his former vicious nature. As the second season ended, Buffy still in love, knew she much kill Angel, and she made the first blow in that effort. Although Angel lost his soul, he retained a memory of his love for Buffy. Thus the tension was set for future confrontations. In the meantime, Buffy had to foil the various plots of the two new kids on the street, Spike and Drusilla. As older vampires, sans soul/conscience, they were full prepared to use all their guile to make life miserable for Buffy and her friends.
As an outgrowth of the success of the television show, a new set of novels based upon it have appeared, the first being written by Ritchie Cusick who wrote the novelization of the movie.
XLVIII. Vampires in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is one of the oldest areas of Slavic settlement. It is located south of Romania and sandwiched between the Black See and Macedonia. In the seventh - century A.D., the Bulgar tribes arrived in the area of modern Bulgaria and established a military aristocracy over the Slavic tribes of the region. The Bulgars were only a small percentage of the population, and they eventually adopted the Slavic language.
Christianity arrived with force among the Bulgarians in the nineth - century when Pope Nicholas I (858 - 67) claimed jurisdiction over the lands of the former Roman province of Illyricum. He sent missionaries into Bulgaria and brought it under Roman hegemony. The Bulgarian ruler, Boris - Michael, was baptized in 865, and the country officially accepted Christianity. The pope sent two bishops but would not send an archbishop or appoint patriarch, causing Boris to switch his allegiance to the eastern church in Constiantinople. A Slavic liturgy was introduced to the church and has remained its rite to the present.
Among the many side effects of Byzantine influence in Bulgaria was the growth of a new rival religious group, the Bogomils. The Bogomils grew directly out of an older group, the Paulicans, whose roots went back to the dualistic Maniceans. The Paulicans had been moved into Bulgaria from Asia Minor in order to prevent their alignment with the Muslim Arabs. The Bogomils believed that the world had been created by the rejected son of God, Satanel. While the earthly bodies of humans were created by Satanel, the soul came from God. It was seen by the church as a rebirth of the old gnostic heresy. Perkowski has argued at length that it was in the conflict of Bogomil ideas, surviving Paganism, and emerging Christianity that the mature idea of the Slavic vampire developed and evolved. However, his argument was not entirely convincing in that vampire developed in quite similar ways in countries without any Bogomilism. When the Christian Church split in 1054, the Bulgarians adhered to the orthodoxy of Constantinople.
The Bulgarians gained their independence at the end of the twelfth century, but were overrun by the Ottomans in 1396. They remained under Ottoman rule until 1878, when Turkish control was restricted by the Congress of Berlin, but did not become independent until 1908.
THE BULGARIAN VAMPIRE: The Bulgarian words for the vampire, a variety of the Slavic vampire, derived from the original Slavic opyrb.opirb. Its modern form appears variously as vipir, vepir, or vapir), or even more commonly as vampir, a borrowing from Russian. The modern idea of the vampire in Bulgaria evolved over several centuries. Most commonly, the Bulgarian vampire was associated with problems of death and burial, and the emergence of vampires was embedded in the very elaborate myth and ritual surrounding death. At the heart of the myth was a belief that the spirits of the dead went on a journey immediately after death. Guided by their guardian angel, they traveled to all of the places they had visited during their earthly life. At the completion of their journey, which occurred in the 40 days after their death, the spirit then journeyed to the next life. However, if the burial routine was done improperly, the dead might find their passage to the next world blocked. Generally, in Bulgaria,the family was responsible for preparing the body for burial. There were a number of ways in which the family could err or become negligent in their preparation. Also, the body had to be guarded against a dog or cat jumping over it or a shadow falling on it prior to burial. The body had to be properly washed. Even with proper burial, a person who died a violent death might return as a vampire.
As in other Slavic countries, certain people were likely candidates to become vampires. Those who died while under excommunication from the church might become a vampire. Drunkards, thieves, murderers, and witches were also to be watched. Bulgaria was a source of tales of vampires who had returned to life, taken up residence in a town where they were not known, and lived for many years as if alive. They even married and fathered children. Such people were detected after many years because of some unusual even which occurred. Apart from their nightly journeys in search of blood, the vampire would appear normal, even eating a normal diet.
Among the Gagauz people —Bulgarians who speak their own language, Gagauzi—the vampire was called obur, possibly a borrowing from the Turkish word for glutton. As with other vampires among the southern Slavs, the obur was noted as a gluttonous blood drinker. As part of the efforts to get rid of it, it would be enticed by the offerings of rich food or excrement. The obur was also loud, capable of creating noises like firecrackers, and could move objects like a poltergeist.
James Frazer noted the existence of a particular Bulgarian vampire, the ustrel. The ustrel was described as the spirit of a child who had been born on a Saturday but who died before receiving baptism. On the nineth day after its burial, a ustrel was believed to work its way out of its grave and attack cattle or sheep by draining their blood. After feasting all night, it returned to its grave before dawn. After some 10 days of feeding, the ustrel was believed to be strong enough that it did not need to return to its grave. It found a place to rest during the day either between the horns of a calf or ram or between the hind legs of a milch - cow. It was able to pick out a large herd and begin to work its way through it, the fattest animals first. The animals it attacked —as many a five a night—would die the same night. If a dead animal was cut open, the signs of the wound that the vampire made would be evident.
As might be suspected, the unexplained death of cows and sheep was the primary sign that a vampire was present in the community. If a ustrel was believed to be present, the owner of the herd could hire a vampirdzhija, or vampire hunter, a special person who had the ability to see them, so that all doubt as to its presence was put aside. Once it was detected, the village would go through a particular ritual known throughout Europe as the lighting of a needfire. Beginning on a Saturday morning, all the fires in the village were put out. The cattle and sheep were gathered in an open space. They were then marched to a nearby crossroads where two bonfireswere lit by a new fire created by rubbing sticks together. The herds were guided between the fires, Those who performed this ritual believed that the vampire dropped from the animal on whose body it had made its home and remained at the crossroads where wolves devoured it. Before the bonfires burned out, someone took the flame into the village and used it to rekindle all the household fires.
Other vampires, those that originated from the corpse of an improperly buried person or a person who died a violent death, were handled with the traditional stake. There were also reports from Bulgaria of a unique method of dealing with the vampire: bottling. This practice required a specialist, the djadadjii, who had mastered the art. The djadadjii's major asset was an icon, a holy picture of Jesus, Mary, or one of the Christian saints. The vampire hunter took his icon and waited where the suspected vampire was likely to appear. Once he saw the vampire, he chased it, icon in hand. The vampire was driven toward a bottle that had been stuffed with its favorite food. Once the vampire entered the bottle, it was corked and then thrown into the fire.
The folklore of the vampier has suffered in recent decades. The government manifested great hostility toward all it considered superstitious beliefs, which included both vampires and the church. As the church was suppressed, so was the unity of village life that provided a place for tales of vampires to exist.
According to Abraham Van Helsing, the vampire expert in the novel Dracula, a "sacred bullet" fired into a coffin containing a vampire will kill it. It was not an option that was pursued during the course of Dracula. Generally, however, a bullet, in this case a silver bullet, was the traditional means of killing werewolves, and guns have thought to have little or no effect on vampires. Stoker derived this insight directly from Emily Gerard's article, Transylvanian Superstitions" later incorporated in her book, The Land Beyond the Forest, his major source for information on Transylvania, who reported that a bullet fired into the coffin was a means of killing vampires among the Transylvanian peasantry.
The idea was considered by twentieth - century novels and movies, which frequently pictured the vampire's fate when confronted with modern weaponry. In those cases, however, if the vampire was hurt by the attack, the harm was very temporary, and the vampire quickly recovered to weak vengeance upon those secularists who would put their faith in modern mechanical artifacts.
Children's favorite vampire does not wear a tuxedo and cape and his hair does not sweep back in a widow's peak. He also does not need to shape shift into an animal form, because he already is an animal, a rabbit. He does not partake of blood, but rather a series of adventures, all of which are chronicled by James Howe and Deborah Howe, who have coauthored several books featuring the character Bunnicula.
According to the premier story, Bunnicula (1979), Bunnicula made his first appearance in a theater during a Dracula movie. He was found by Pete and Toby Monroe, who made him their pet, and named him Bunnicula after the movie. He joined the Monroe family's other two pets, Chester the cat and Harold the dog. Even though he does not suck the blood, Bunnicula is a vegetarian vampire who attacks objects such as carrots and tomatoes and sucks the juice out of them, leaving only a husk behind. He sleeps all day and has two fangs, just like Count Orlock.
One evening soon after his arrival, Bunnicula awoke from his daytime sleep and in the night headed for the kitchen. Chester spotted him raiding the refrigerator. He left behind the white husk of a tomato from which he had sucked the life (color) and juice. While Mrs. Monroe was baffled, Chester, who spent his spare time reading books, figured out that Bunnicula was a vampire. Chester also knew how to deal with the situation. He placed garlic on the floor in such a way as to keep the rabbit out of the kitchen. It was Harold who recognized that Chester was starving Bunnicula and doing so for no reason. Harold believed the rabbit was not doing anyone any harm and Chester should not act in a hostile manner toward him. While convincing Chester of the righteousness of his argument, he smuggled the thirsty Bunnicula into the kitchen, Eventually Chester, Harold, and Bunnicula would become friends and share a number of adventures.
LI. Richard Francis Burton (1821 − 1890)
Richard Francis Burton, the writer and explorer who first opened the world of Asian vampires into the West, was born March 19, 1821, in Hertfordshire, England. He never participated in the school system as his parents were constantly on the move. He was educated by tutors at the different locations around the world. However, he became fluent in half a dozen languages as a youth and acquired new ones at a regular pace throught his adult years.
In 1842, he became a cadet in the Indian army and began his adult career, which, like his childhood, was one of wandering. While in India he acquired several of the Indian languages and gathered a number of manuscripts of Indian works. Following his return to England in 1849, he published his first books, early studies of Indian languages, and a series of papers for the Asiatic Society. However, by this time he had his eye on what to was to become his most famous venture, a pilgrimage to Mecca. Disguising himself as a Muslim he joined the Hikk in Egypt and made his way to the shrine forbidden to all non - Muslims. His three - volume account, A Pilgrimage to El - Medinah and Mecah, appeared in 1855.
Meanwhile he returned to India, which he used as a launching point for his explorations of Africa. In 1858 he penetrated the then unexplored territories of central Africa and discovered one of the sources of the Nile. He followed this with a trip across America to Utah and wrote a book on the Mormons. He also served as a consul in West Africa and South America. He first visited Damascus in 1869.
In the early 1860s Burton lost many of the manuscripts that he had gathered through the years in a fire at the warehouse where they were stored. One of the manuscripts that survived, however. was a collection of tales of King Vikram, a real historical figure in Indian history who had become a mythological giant, much as King Arthur had in British history. The particular set of stories translated and published by Burton were equivalent to the more famous Arabian Nights tales. They were of further interest, however, in the storyteller was a vampire, in the mythology of India, the vetala, or betail. According to the story, King Vikram had been tricked to go a distance and bring back a body he would find. When Vikram found the body, it turned out to be the vampire.
Upon reaching the cremation ground, Vikram's final audience with the yogi revealed a considerable amount concerning the Indian attitude toawrd the afterlife and included a confrontation with several vampire figures. There was, for example, a Kali temple, with Kali in her most vampiric setting, described in some detail. Vikram and the Vampire was first published in 1870.
In 1872 Burton became consul in Trieste, Italy and lived there for the rest of his life. He published two more outstanding books, The Book of the Sword, a comprehensive history of the weapon, and 15 volumes of The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night. The latter became and has remained Burton's most popular book. Its immediate sales provided him with enough money in royalities for a more than comfortable retirement.
After his death at Trieste, on October 20, 1890, Burton's wife burned a number of his writings, including his private diary and his commentary on The Perfumed Garden, a Persian sex manual. (He had earlier published an edition of the renownedIndian sex manual the Karma Sutra). As his literary executor, she took complete control of his writings, regulated their publication, and tried to suppress knowledge of those aspects of Burton's romantic life which might have brought offense to Victorian society. In 1897 she oversaw the publication of a new edition of Vikram and the Vampire, for which she wrote the preface.
LII. Lord George Gordon Byron (1788 – 1824)
Lord George Gordon Byron, purported author of the first modern vampire story in English, was born in 1788 in London, the son of Catherine Gordon and John Byron. After his father spent the fortune brought to the marriage by his mother, she took Byron to Aberdeen, Scotland in 1790, where he had a poor but somewhat normal childhood, disturbed only by a lame foot. His father died in 1791. Due to the untimely death of a cousin in 1794, he became the family heir, and when his great - uncle died in 1798, he became Lord Byron. Soon thereafter, he and his mother move to the family estate in Nottinghamshire. In 1801 he entered Harrow School, and four years later went on to Trinity College at Cambridge University.
While at Cambridge Byron privately published his first poetry collection, Fugitive Pieces (1806). The next year another collection was published as Hours of Idleness (1807). He received his master's degree in 1808 and the following year took his seat in the House of Lords. He spent much of 1809 and 1810 traveling and writing Cantos I and II of Child Harolde. Its publication in 1812 brought him immediate fame. He also began his brief liaison with Lady Caroline Lamb.
The following year he broke off the relationship with Lamb and began his affair with his half - sister Augusta Leigh. At about the same time he was also initially exploring the subject of vampirism in his poem "The Giaour", completed and published in 1813. In the midst of the battles described in the poem, the Muslim antagonist speaks a lengthy curse against the title character, the giaour (an infidel. one outside the faith). Upon death, the infidel's spirit would surely be punished. However, the Muslim declared that there would be more:
But first, on earth as Vampire sent, Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent: Then ghastly haunt thy native place, And suck the blood of all thy race; There from thy daughter,sister. wife, At midnight drain the stream of life; Yet loathe the banquet which perforce Must feed thy livid living corpse. Thy victims are they yet expire Shall know the demon for their sire, As cursing thee, thou cursing them, Thy flowers are withered on the stem.
In "The Giaour" Byron demonstrated his familiarity with the Greek vrykolakas, a corpse that was animated by a devilish spirit and returned to its own family to make them its first victims. While the Greek vampire in "The Giaour" would be the only overt mention of the vampire in Byron's vast literary output, it merely set the stage for the more famous "vampiric" incident in Byron's life. Meanwhile, in January 1814, Byron married Annabelle Milbanke. Their daughter was born in December. Early in 1816, the couple separated after she and British society became became aware of Byron's various sexual encounters. When both turned on him, he decided to leave the country (for good as it turned out).
In the spring of 1816, Byron left for the Continent. Accompanying him was a young physician/writer, John Polidori. By the end of May, they had arrived in Geneva and early in June rented the Villa Diodati, overlooking the Lake of Geneva. Joining him were Percy Shelley, Mary Godwin, and Godwin's step sister, Claire Clairmont, another of Byron's mistresses. On June 15, weather having forced them inside, Byron suggested that each person write and share a ghost story with the small group. Two evenings later the stories began. The most serious product of this adventure was, of course, Frankenstein, Godwin's story expanded into a full novel.
Byron's contribution to the ghostly evening was soon abandoned and never developed. It concerned two friends who, like himself and Polidori, left England to travel on the Continent, in the story's case, to Greece. While there, one of the friends died, but before his death obtained from the other a promise to keep secret the matter of his death. The second man returned to England only to discover that his former companion had beaten him back home and had begun an affair with the second man's sister. Polidori kept notes on Byron's story, which Byron had jotted down in his notebook. (Gothic, a move directed by Ken Russell, also novelized, offered a fictional account of Byron and his associates during these weeks in Switzerland).
Byron and Polidori parted company several months later. Polidori left for England and Byron continued his writing and the romantic adventures that were to fill his remaining years. The ghost story seemed a matter of no consequence. Then in May 1819, he saw an item concerning a tale, "The Vampyre," supposedly written by him and published in the New Monthly Magazine in England. He immediately wrote a letter denying his authorship and asking a retraction. As the story unfolded, Byron discovered that Polidori had written a short story from his notes on the tale told by Byron in 1816 in Switzerland. Polidori's story was the first piece of prose fiction to treat a literal vampire, and the publisher of the New Monthly Magazine took it upon himself, based upon Polidori's account of the story's origin, to put Byron's name on it. In the light of a not unexpected response, he quickly published it in a separate booklet over Byron's name, and had it translated into French and German. Both Polidori and Byron made attempts to correct the error, and before the year was out Byron had the "Fragment of a Story: published as part of his attempt to distance himself from the finished story. The problem he encountered in denying his authorship was ample demonstrated in 1830 by the inclusion of "The Vampyre" in the French edition of his collected works. Byron must have been further irritated by Polidori's choice of a name for the vampire character in the story, Lord Ruthven, the same name given to the Byron - figure in Lady Caroline Lamb's fictionalized account of their liaison, Glenarvon (1816).
Once the Polidori incident was behind him, Byron never returned to the vampire in any of his writings. Twentieth - century critics, however, have seen vampirism as a prominent metaphor in the romantic treatment of human relations, especially destructive ones. Vampires are characters who suck the life - force from those they love, and the romantic authors of the early nineteenth - century, such as Byron, utilized psychic vampirism in spite of their never labeling such characters as vampires.
For example. critic James B. Twitchell saw the psychic vampire theme as an integral aspect of Byron's dramatic poem Manfred, the first acts of which were written in the summer of 1816 at the Villa Diodati. Illustrative of this "vampirism" was a scene in the first act in which the person who had just stopped Manfred from suicide offered him a glass of wine. Manfred refused comparing the wine to blood—both his and that of his half sister with whom he had affair. Here Twitchell saw a return to the Greek vampires who first drank/attacked the blood/life of those closest to them. Manfred was an early manifestation of "Thomme fatal," the man who acts upon those around him as if he were a vampire.
During a severe illness in April 1824, Byron underwent a series of bleedings that, ironically, probably caused his death. He died April 19, 1824. His body was returned to England for burial. In the mid 1990s, novelist Tom Holland issued an entertaining book based on the premise that Byron did not die, but lives on as a vampire.
In the mythological world of the popular role - playing game Vampire: The Masquerade. the biblical character of Caine (commonly spelled Cain in English language Bible translation) is the original vampire. According to the biblical story, the farmer Caine made an offering of the fruits of his work to God as did his shepherd brother, Abel. God rejected Caine's offering while accepting Abel's. The resentful Caine murdered his brother in response to which God cursed Caine, and cast him into the outer darkness. The role - playing game suggests that the curse was eternal life and a craving for blood, and that the curse has been passed to all present - day vampires.
In the darkness he met Lilith the reputed first wife of Caine's father Adam. She shared her blood with Caine, which awakened him to his power. After wandering in the wilderness for many years, he once again lived among mortals and created a city. During his years there created three vampires who comprised the second generation. They in turn created the third generation and as it grew in number (the exact size being unknown) Caine forbade the further creation of additional vampires.
The stable situation of Caine's city was disrupted by a great flood. Renewing his command not to create more vampires, he left his progeny to their own desires, and began wandering again. The vampires ignored his admonitions, and created a fourth generation, who rose up and slew most of the elders of the third generation. Meanwhile, over the millenia, a person claiming to be Caine occasionally appeared. Possibly the most famous account is the story of his appearance among a Gypsy band and embracing (turning into a vampire) a young man named Ravnos, after his father had been slain by other vampires. Ravnos would later encounter Ennoia, Caine's half - sister and daughter of Lilith, and embrace her (turn her into a vampire). Her subsequent treachery led to Ravno's death, and Caine cursed her. She went on to become the originator of the clan Gangrel.
Whenever Caine does make an appearance, he usually comes and goes very quickly. None of the older leaders of the present vampire community now organized as the Camarilla claim to have met Caine or to have any sure information as to the truth of the vampires' myth of their origin.
LIV. Dom Augustin Calmet (1672 – 1757)
Don Augustin Calmet, a French Roman Catholic biblical scholar and the most famous vampirologist of the early eighteenth century, was born February 26, 1672, at Mesnil - la - Horgne, Lorraine, France. He studied at the Benedictine monastery at Breuil, and entered the order in 1688. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1696. He taught philosophy and theology at the Abbey at Moyen - - Moutier and during the early of his career worked on a massive 23 - volume commentary of the Bible which appeared between 1707 and 1716. He biblical writings established him as one of the church's leading scholars, and he spent many years trying to popularize the work of biblical exegesis in the church. He was offered a bishopric by Pope Benedict XIII, but Calmet turned it down. However, in spite of his learned accomplishments, Calmet is most remembered today for his single 1746 work on vampires, Dissertations sur les Apparitions des Anges des Démons et des Espits, et sur les revenants, et Vampires de Hingrie, de Boheme, de Moravie, et de Silésie.
Like the work of his Italian colleague, Giuseppe Davanzati, Calmet's study of vampirism was started by the waves of vampire reports from Germany and Eastern Europe. Vampirism, for all practical purposes, did not exist in Frence, and was largely unknown to the scholarly community there until the early eighteenth century. Calmet was impressed with the detail and corroborative testimonies of incidents of vampirism coming out of Eastern Europe and believed that it was unreasonable to simply dismiss them. In addition, as a theologian, he recognized that the existence and actiona of such bloodsucking revenants could have an important bearing on various theological conclusions concerning the nature of the afterlife. Calmet felt it necessary to establish the veracity of such reports and to understand the phenomena in light of the church's view of the world. Calmet finished his work a short time after the Sorbonne roundly condemned the reports and especially the desecrations of the bodies of the people believed to be vampires.
Calmet defined vampires as people who had been dead and buried and who then returned from their graves to disturb the living by sucking their blood and even causing death. The only remedy for vampirism was to dig up the body of the reported vampire and either sever its head and drive a stake through the chest or burn the body. Using that definition, Calmet collected as many of the accounts of vampirism as possible from official reports, newspapers, eyewitness reports, travelogues, and critical pieces from his learned colleagues. the majority of space in his published volume was taken up with the anthology of all his collected data.
Calmet then offered his reflections upon the reports, He condemned the hysteria which had followed several of the reported incidents of vampirism and seconded the Sorbonne's condemnation of the multilation of exhumed bodies. He also considered all of the explanations that had been offered for the phenomena, including regional folklore, normal but little known body changes after death, and premature burial. He focused a critical eye upon the reports and pointed our problems and internal inconsistencies.
In the end, however, Calmet was unable to conclude that the reports supported the various natural explanations which had been offered, though he was unwilling to propose an alternative. He left the whole matter open, but seeemed to favor the existence of vampires by noting, "that it seems impossible to subscribe to the belief which prevails in these countries that these apparitions do actually come forth from the graves and that they are able to produce the terrible effects which are so widely and so positively attributed to them". He thus touched off the heated debate, which was to ensue during the 1750s. As contemporary scholar Massimo Introvigne has noted, in his first edition Calmet had posed five possible explanations of the stories he had considered. Three he dismissed, leaving him with the possibility that vampires were the result of the devil's activity or mere superstition. While leaning toward superstition, he did not reach a firm conclusion. However, in his third and last edition, he did conclude naught but that such creatures as vampires could return from the grave.
Calmet's book became a bestseller. It went throught two French editions in 1746, and 1749, and then the third edition of 1751 appeared under a new title Traité sur les Appartions des espirits et su les vampires ou les Revenans de Hongrie, de Moravie, etc.. It appeared in a German edition in 1752 and an English version in 1759 (reprinted in 1850 as The Phantom World). His critics relying primarily on the first edition, Calmet was immediately attacked by colleagues for taking the vampire stories seriously. while he tried to apply such critical methods as he had available to him, he only lightly questioned the legitimacy of the reports of vampiric manifestations. In 1751, he did question the reports in reaching his more skeptical conclusion.
As the controversy swelled following publication of his book, a skeptical Empress Maria Theresa stepped in. A new outbreak of vampirism had been reported in Silésia. She dispatched her personal physician to examine the case. He wrote a report denouncing the incident as supernatural quackery and condemned the mutilation of the bodies. In response, in 1755 and 1756, Maria Theresa issued laws to stop the spread of the vampire hysteria, including removing the matter of dealing with such reports from the hands of the clergy and placing it instead under civil authority. Maria Theresa's edicts came just befor Calmet's death on October 25, 1757.
In the generation after his death, Calmet was treated harshly by French intellectuals, both inside and outside the church. Later in the century, Diderot condemned him. Possibly the final word on Calmet came from Voltaire, who sarcastically ridiculed him in his Philosophical Dictionary. Though Calmet was favorably cited by Montague Summers, who used him as a major source for his study of vampires, his importance lies in his reprinting and preserving some of the now obscure texts of the vampire wave of eighteenth - century Europe.
LV. The Camarilla
An understanding of the operation of the Camarilla, the dominant international organization providing structure for vampire social life, is integral to the popular role - playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade (and the card - game variation called Vampire: The Eternal Struggle), created by Mark Rein - Hagen in 1991. According to the myth of Vampire: The Masquerade the Camarilla was founded in the fifteenth - century in reaction to the Inquisition which threatened the very survival of "the Kindred," a separate species of vampire in ancient times. According to the myth of the game, vampires originated with Caine, the biblical character who slew his brother Abel and was cursed with immortal life and the blood thirst. After wandering in the wilderness for many years, he once again lived among mortals and created a city and progeny, a small number of vampires who carry the "curse". The city was destroyed, and the later generations scattered to appear periodically as a secret force in history. The bulk of the presently existing vampires constitute the sixth and later generations, and they face pressure to create no more vampires as it is believed that the blood thins (the vampiric powers diminish) as each generation from Caine is created.
Beginning in 1435, the Inquisition was able to arrest and kill many of the Kindred. It stamped out whole bloodlines and put them to the true death in the fire. This period of attack drove the vampire community, which had lived somewhat openly on the edge of human society, completely underground. In 1486 at a global convocation, a secret worldwide network was established and name for the small secret rooms in which meetings were held. It established the law of the Masquerade, the attempt to convince the world that either all vampires were dead or, better still, never existed. The Masquerade demanded that all vampires make a reasonable effort at secrecy. Then, as a group the vampire community initiated effort to convince the world that they had never existed.
The accumalated wisdome of the near immortal vampires was turned their attention to the development of science and the suppression of superstition. In that process the early belief in vampires was crushed. The masquerade, however, is currently threatened by the mysticism which has arisen through a combination of forces–psychedelic drugs, the new music. and the establishment of the vampire image in popular culture. Those affected by the new mysticism are ready to believe in the existence of vampires. There is also a generation gap between these vampires who created the Masquerade and understand its necessity and those created in the last century whose brashness is seen by the elders as calling unwelcome attention to the vampire community.
The Camarilla is composed of the vampires from seven major bloodlines or clans, membership in a clan being defined by the lineage of the one who transformed in the person into the Kindred. The seven clans who compose the Camarilla are the Brujah, the Gangrel, the Malkavian, the Nosferatu, the Toreador, the Tremere and the Venture. In eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, the power of the Camarilla is challenged by the Sabbat. Like the Camarilla, it includes members from a variety of clans, most prominently the Lasomba and the Tzimisce. Unlike the Camarilla which rules by political action, the Sabbat tends to prize brute force and rules by fear and physical violence.
In ancient times. vampires lived rather openly at the edge of human society. During the last 500 years, however, they have moved incognito through the world of mortals much as a hunter moves in the forest of the beasts. The worldwide vampire society exists as a relatively small parallel society beside that of mortals and largely apart from their awareness of it. Largly urban, vampire communities exist in most of the major ciites of the world. The size of any given local vampire community can roughly be estimated on a 100,000 (mortals) to one (vampire) ratio. Vampires in each city structure their life in various ways, but one common pattern is to form around a strong man. a prince. In any case, vampires who enter a new city have to present themselves to the powers that are established there. To simply begin hunting is considered a violation of the vampiric order.
The Camarilla is also the name of the club formed in the mid - 1990s by players of Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (see next entry). Members of the club join a clan and create a vampire persona which is lived out in club activities, such as gaming sessions. The club emphasizes member participation and encourages new members to become active in a local chapter or even begin one themselves. Chapters are often involved in raising money for local charities or hosting blood drives, etc. Community service is emphasized as much as role playing.
The Camarilla is headed by a governing board, referred to as the Inner Circle.Each of the primary clans is represented on the board. In each city there is a city coordinator (referred to as the prince), chapter coordinators and their assistants (elders and regents), and the gaming referee (the city storyteller). This helps keep the real world and the game world separate. Chapters must have at least five members to receive a charter, and is first termed a "coterie". After six months of actiivity that includes the sponsoring of gaming sessions and some additional self - chosen task (the publication of a fanzine, organization of a special event, etc.), it can be designated as a "house," an honored position in the city.
LVI. The Camarilla: A Vampire Fan Association
The Camarilla: A Vampire Fan Association is a gothic vampire fan club founded in the early 1990s by players of Vampire: The Masquerade, the most popular of the vampire - oriented role - playing (or storytelling) games. In the game, the players assume the role of a vampire who is a member of a vampire societty called the Camarilla. In the myth, vampires created the Camarilla after the Inquisition in an effort to keep their race from being totally annihilated. They organized The Camarilla into clans, each of which was distinguished by a peculiar aesthetic/intellectual approach to the vampiric condition, or by a certain ethnic origin.
The Camarilla: A Vampire Fan Association focuses on the vampire as a tragic and romantic figure and tends to avoid its violent aspects. Members of the club join a clan and create a vampire persona which is lived out in club activities, such as gaming sessions. The club emphasizes member participation and encourages new members to become active in a local chapter or even begin one themselves. Chapters are often involved in raising money for local charities or hosting blood drives, etc. Community service is emphasized as much as role - playing.
The Camarilla is headed by a governing board, referred to as The Inner Circle. Each of the primary clans is represented on the board. In each city since there is a city coordinator (referred to as the Prince), chapter coordinators and their assistants (Elders and Regents), and the gaming referee (the City Storyteller). This helps keep the real world and the game world separate.
Chapters must have at least five members to receive a charter, and is first termed a "cotorie." After six months of activity that includes the sponsoring of gaming sessions and some additional self - chosen task (the publication of a fanzine, organization of a special event, etc.) it can be designed as a "House," an honored position in the city.
Individual members receive the membership handbook, The Tome of the Kindred (which explains the club's organization and assists members in developing their personae), and the club's quarterly fanzine, Requiem, plus a host of other materials. The Camarilla may be contacted at 8314 Greenwood Ave, N., Box 2850, Seattle, WA 98103.
LVII. Cappadocian Vampire Clan
A vampire clan in the popular role - playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade, the Cappadocians originated with Cappadocians, an enigmatic and mysterious figure who lived in the First City built by the original vampire Caine. He welcomed the embrace (the transformation into a vampire) as it gave him the time he need to seek answers to the great questions of life and death. After the flood took the First City, he moved to his native land (now called Turkey) and there created his first progeny, a man named Caias Koine, and later Jepheth and Lazarus. Together the group traveled the world and spoke with many famous teachers. Finally, from the words of a poor Hebrew. he redirected his search away from the dead, to God.
The group who now make up the Cappadocians moved to a monastery on Mount Erciyes, making a feast off its then current residents. Eventually, the Cappadocians accepted Christianity and made their several centers home to studies of a braod range. At one point, Cappadocius realized that the clan had grown too large, and at a gathering, when 12,000 showed up, he culled a group who were sealed forever in the underground center.
Cappadocius now turned to the attainment of Godhood. He wanted to ascend to heaven and drink God's blood, thereby becoming God. The surviving clan members moved into Europe and worked an alliance with the Ventrue. In return for space to work and study, they became the Ventrue's advisors. Some became monks and found protection in isolate monasteries where they could study unmolested.
In the twelfth century, the Cappadocians discovered a group of necromancers in Venice led by Augustus Giovanni. Their success at contacting the dead intrigued Cappadocius and he had some of his own blood drained and put into a secure jar. He also invited Giovanni to Erciyes where he received the embrace. Shortly thereafter, Cappadocius announced to the entire clan his desire to ascend to God and the short time left for him to accomplish this. He had had a vision of his own death and that of his progeny.
The predicted end came from Giovanni. He believed Cappadocius was mad. Shortly after the founding of the Camarilla, he carried out a plot to kill the anicent one. He also attacked the Lamia, a separate bloodline of Cappadocians who served as watchdogs for the elders. Giovanni personally drank from the leader, and had many of her followers killed. Soon afterward the Cappadocian clan died out and no longer exists. It remains a part of Vampire: The Masquerade as the game has expanded to include players who concentrate on vampire life in the Middle Age in the extension of the game, Vampire: The Dark Ages
In Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula, Carfax was residence purchased by Dracula prior to his leaving his castle. The purpose of Jonathan Harker's visit to Transylvania at the beginning of the novel was to complete the transaction by which Dracula secured a somewhat secluded home for himself relatively close to London. (Other firsm were employed to secure his London residences and carry out various business transactions. Thus, neither Harker or any other single person would know more than a small portion of what Dracula was attempting to accomplish).
Carfax was a fictional estate of some 20 acres located by Stoker in Purfleet. While modern London has almost reached out to Purfleet, in the 1890s Purfleet was a secluded village some 10 miles from the edge of London's East End, on the northern side of the River Thames in Essex. Stoker described the estate as being surrounded by a high wall built of stone. It had been abandoned for some years and was in a state of decay. He continued, "There are many trees on it, which makes it in places gloomy, and there is a deep, dark - looking pond or small lake, evidently fed by some springs..." It was located adjacent to an old church on one side and a lunatic asylum (the one run by Dr. John Seward) on the other.
Dracula's box of native soil were shipped from Whitby, where Dracula landed in England, to London. From there they were transported to Carfax. Carfax served as Dracula's "headquarters" from which he launched his attacks upon Lucy Westenra, Mina Murray, and R.N. Renfield, the resident of the asylum next door. Later Dr. Abraham Van Helsing and the cadre of men dedicated to destroying Dracula entered Carfax and sanitized the boxes of earth with a eucharistic wafer thus rendering them useless.
In the rewritten scrip for Universal Pictures' Dracula (1931) movie with Bela Lugosi, Carfax and the church next door were combined and called Carfax Abbey. That change seems to have been the idea of screnwriter Louis Bloomfield, who had been hired to rework the John L. Balderston version of the Hamilton Deane play, the basis of the movie's script. Carfax "Abbey" initially appeared in the preliminary "First Treatment" submitted by Bloomfield to Carl Laemmle, Jr., at Universal, on August 7, 1930. that document was then rewritten by Bloomfield and Dudley Murphy, the first screenwriter assigned to the movie. Their work was finally revised by Garrett Fort. Bloomfield and Universal parted company, and his work was not acknowledged in the final credits for the film. However, the idea of Carfax Abbey continued through both the Murphy and Fort revisions into the final movie. From the movie, it passed into the popular culture and reappeared in later movies which relied more on Universal's production than any rereading of the book.
Carfax, like Seward's asylum, was pure fiction. As Leonard Wolf noted, there was a Carfax Road and a Carfax Square in London, but neither were near Purfleet. Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu seem to have confused Carfax estate and the later idea of Carfax Abbey and searched for a possible reference to the latter in Purfleet. Based on information supplied by Alan Davidson, they accpeted the idea that Lesnes Abbey, originally founded in 1178 A.D., but on the opposite side of the Thames River from Purfleet, might have inspired Stoker's Carfax. The Abbot's House, part of the Lesnes complex later used as a manor house, still existed in the 1890s. However, if Lesnes Abbey (on the osugthe side of the Thames) was the historical reference to Carfax, then there would be no reason for Dracula (as a bat) to fly south across the Thames (as he did in chapter 23).
Carmilla is the title character in the vampire novelette by British writer Sheridan Le Fanu. "Carmilla" was originally published as a short story in a story collection entitled In a Glass Darkly in 1872. The story took place in rural Styria, where Laura the herione and narrator, lived. Her father, a retired Austrian civil servant, had been able to purchase an abandoned castle cheaply. Carmilla first apppeared in the opening scene of the story as she entered the six - year - old Laura's bed. Laura fell asleep in her arms but suddenly awakened with a sensation of two needles entering her breast. She cried out, and the person Laura described only as "the lady" slipped out of bed onto the floor and disappeared, possibly under the bed. Her nurse and the housekeeper came intot he room in response to her cries, but forund no one and no marks on her chest.
Carmilla reappeared when Laura was 19 years old. The carriage in which Camarilla was traveling had a wreck in sight of the castle. Carmilla's mother, seemingly in a hurry to reach her destination, left Carmilla at the castle to recover from Carmilla as the same person who had visited her 12 years previously, and thus the vampire was loosed again to prey on Laura. Gradually her identity was uncovered. She began to visit Laura in the form of a cat and a female phantom. Laura also noticed that she looked exactly like the 1698 portrait of Countess Mircalla Karnstein. Through her mother, Laura was a descendent of the Karnsteins.
At this point, an old friend of the family, General Spielsdorf, arrived at the castle to relate the account of his daughter's death, She had been wasting away; her condition had no known natural causes. A physician deduced she was the victim of a vampire. The skeptical general waited hidden in his daughter's room and actually caught the vampire, a young woman he knew by the name of Millarca, in the act. He tried to kill her with his sword, but she easily escaped.
As he finished his account, Carmilla entered. He recognized her as Millarca, but she escaped them before they could deal with her. They all then tracked her to the Karnstein castle some three miles away where they found her resting in her grave. Her body was lifelike, and a faint heartbeat detected. The casket floated in fresh blood. They drove a stake through her heart in reaction to which Carmilla let out a "piercing shriek." They finished their gruesome task by severing her head, burning the body, and scattering the ashes.
One cans ee in Le Fanu's tale, which would later be read by Bram Stoker, the progress of the developing vampire myth to that point. People became vampires after committing suicide or following their death if they had been bitten by a vampire during their life. The latter was the cause in Carmilla's case. Le Fanu understood the vampire to be a dead person returned, not a demonic spirit. The returned vampire had a tendency to attack family and loved ones, in this case, a descendent, and was somewhat geographically confined to the area near their grave. And while somewhat pale in complexion, the vampire was quite capable of fitting into society without undue notice. The vampire had two needle - like teeth, but these were not visible at most times. Bites generally occurred on the neck or chest.
Carmilla had nocturnal habits, but was not totally confined to the darkness. She had superhuman strength and was able to undergo a transformation into various shapes, especially those of animals. Her favorite sheap was that of a cat, rather than either a wolf or a bat. She slept in a coffin, which she could leave without disturbing any dirt covering the grave.
As would be true in Dracula, the mere bite of the vampire neither turned victims into vampires nor killed them. The vampire fed off the victim over a period of time while the victim slowly withered away. The victim thus fulfilled both the vampire's daily need for blood and its fascination for a particular person whom it chose as its victims.
As many have noted in discussing Carmilla, her fascination with Laura and the general's daughter, an attachment "resembling the passion of love," has more than passing lesbian overtones. In horror stories, in general, authors have been able to treat sexual themes in way that would not have been available to them otherwise. Early in the story, for example, Carmilla began her attack upon Laura by placing her "pretty arms" around her neck, and with her cheek touching Laura's lips, speaking soft seductive words. While earlier writers had written about the vampirelike lamiai and other female vampires who attacked their male lovers, "Carmilla" introduced the female revenant vampire to gothic literature.
One unique element of vampire lore in "Carmilla" that was not used by later writers was Le Fanu's suggestion that the vampire was limited to choosing a name that was anagramatically related to its name. Both Carmilla and Millarca were derived from Mircalla.
"Carmilla" would directly influence Stoker's presentation of teh vampirem especially his treatment of the female vampires who attack Jonathan Harker early in Dracula. The influence of "Carmilla" was even more visible in "Dracula's Guest", the deleted chapter of Dracula later published as a short story.
Through the twentieth century, "Carmilla" has had a vital existence on the motion picture screen. The story served loosely as inspiration for Vampyr, Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1931 classic, though "Dracula's Guest" provided the base for Universal's first post - Dracula movie with a female vampire, Dracula's Daughter (1936). However, with the expanded exploration of the vampire theme in the movies after World War II, "Carmilla" would be rediscovered. The first movie based directly on "Carmilla" was the 1961 French Et Mourir de Plaisir (also called Blood and Roses) directed by Roger Vadim and starring his wife, Annette Vadim. It was followed in 1962 by La Maldicion of the Karnsteins (also known as Terror in the Crypt). Then at the beginning of the 1970s, in the wake of its other successful vampire movies, Hammer Films would turn to Carmilla and her family for three movies: Lust for a Vampire (1970), The Vampire Lovers (1970)—possibly the most faithful attempt to tell the Le Fanu story and Twins of Evil (1971). The Hammer movies inspired the other attempts on the continent to bring "Carmilla" to the screen, the first being three Spanish productions. La Hija de Dracula (The Daughter of Dracula) was released in 1972. La Comtesse aux Seiens Nux (1973) was released under a variety of titles, including a 1981 highly edited version, Erotikill. La Novia Ensangretada (1974) was released in the United States as Till Death Do Us Part and The Blood Spattered Bride. Over the last 20 years, "Carmilla"- inspired movies have included The Evil of Dracula (1975) and Valerie (1991). Television adaptations were made in England in 1966, Spain in 1987, and the United States in 1989.
"Carmilla" was brought to the world comic books in 1968 by Warren Publishing Company's Creepy No. 19, one of the comic magazines which operated outside of the Comics Code that forbade the picturing of vampires in comic books. More recently, Malibu Comics released a six - part adult version of Carmilla. In 1972, the story was included on a record album, Carmilla: A Vampire Tale, released under the Vanguard label by the Etc. Company.
LX. John Carradine (1905 − 1988)
Born Richmond Reed Carradine on February 5, 1905, in New York City, John Carradine first appeared as Dracula in the 1944 movie House of Frankenstein, and frequently recreated the part throughout the rest of his career. Carradine grew up in a educated family. His mother was a surgeon and his father a lawyer who also at times worked as a poet, artist, and Associated Press correspondent in London. Carradine originally planned to become a sculptor and to that end attended the Graphic Art School in Philadelphia. However, inspired by the Shakespearean actor Robert Mitchell, he began to train for the stage.
In 1925 he set out on his own, making a living as a sketch artist. In New Orleans that year he made his stage debut in "Carmille" and hten joined a touring Shakespearean company. In 1927 he moved to Hollywood and worked as an actor, in Shakespearean plays when possible. In 1930 he appeared for the first time in a movie, Tol'able David, using the name Peter Richmond. He appeared in his first horror movie, which was also his first motion picture for Universal Pictures, in 1933's The Invisible Man. In 1935 he signed a long - term contract with 20th - century Fox and changed his stage name to John Carradine. That same year he married Ardanelle Cosner.
Through the 1930s he appeared in a nmber of notable movies including The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) and Stagecoach (1939), but is possibly most remembered for his portrayal of the drunk minister in The Grapes of Wrath (1939). In the 1940s he appeared in the "B" horror movies which had become a staple of Universal Studios' schedule. Then in 1944 he accepted the role of Dracula in House of Frankenstein, which he agreed to do if he could take his portrayal from Stoker's novel rather than the then more famous portrayal of Bela Lugosi. Carradine's performance somewhat saved the movie and its highly contrived plot and established him ass one of the most popular interpreters of the Count.
Meanwhile, Carradine had formed a drama company and laid plans for a career as a Shakespearean actor. His work was greeted with rave reviews, but his plans were blocked by his first wife (whom he had divorced in 1944), who had him thrown in jail for "alimony contempt." With his new life, Sonia Sorel, he returned to Hollywood and accepted the offer to assume his vampiric role in House of Dracula. Carradine's most famous scene was Dracula's attack upon the heroine as she played "Moonlight Sonata" on the piano. About to claim his victim, he was repulsed by the cross hanging around her neck.
Carradine returned to the Dracula role in the 1950s on the stage. He moved even further from the Lugosi presentation of Dracula, and referred directly to the text of the novel in creating his own makeup, which included white hair and a while mustache. He kept both the opera cape and the evening clothes. Memorable in his performance was a humorous line he added to the script at the end. "If I'm alive, what am I doing here? On the other hand, if I'm dead, why do I have to wee - wee?" In 1957 Carradine became possibly the first television Dracula program for NBC's live "Matinée Theatre." In 1957, following a divorce two years earlier, Carradine married Doris Rich.
From the 1960s until his death in 1988, Carradine appeared in numerous "B" films. including a variety of vampire movies. The first of the new vampire movies was Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, an unfortunate marriage of the vampire and western genres. In 1967 Carradine traveled to Mexico for Las Vampires (The Vampires), a film he learned enough Spanish to deliver the famous line he had added to the play. He followed Las Vampiros with The Blood of Dracula's Coffin (1968), the first of several movies he amde under the direction of Al Abramson. The next came almost immediately, Dracula vs. Frankenstein (also known as The Blood of Frankenstein, 1969). Through the 1970s he appeared in Vampire Men of the Lost Planet (1970), Horror of the Blood Monsters (1971), House of Dracula's Daughter (1973), Mary Mary Blood Mary (1975), Nocturna (1978), and The Vampire Hookers (1979). His final appearances in the vampire movies were in Doctor Dracula (1980) and The Monster Club (1981). In most of these movies, though by no means all, Carradine played the part of the vampire.
Carradine married Emily Cisneros in 1975, four years after the death of his third wife. He continued to make movies through the 1980s and won an award at the Sitges Film Festival in 1983 as best male actor for his work in House of Long Shadows (1983). He died November 27, 1988, in Milan, Italy, after climbing the 328 steps of the Duomo, the famous cathedral. He collapsed and was taken to the hospital where he died of heart and kidney failure.
Known for his deep, distinctive, classically trained baritone voice, Carradine appeared in an unknown number of films (some estimates go as high as 500). In spite of the negative reaction to his later portrayals of Dracula (and other vampires), he is remembered from his early films and stage work as one of the most important people to take up these roles. Except for Christopher Lee, he played Dracula more htan any other actor, and appeared in a starring role in more vampire movies than any actor before or since.
LXI. Margaret Louise Carter (1948 - )
Margaret Louise Carter, bibliographer, author, and editor, was born in Norfolk, Virginia. She had developed an interest in vampire after reading Dracula at the age of 13. In 1970, while in college, she compiled an anthology of vampire stories, Curse of the Undead. That same year she wrote the preface to a reprint of Varney the Vampyre edited by D.P Varma. Two years later she edited a second collection of short stories, Demon Lovers and Strange Seductions.
In 1975 she began the work that has to date brought her the greatest degree of fame in the vampire world. Shadow of a Shade; A Survey of Vampirism in Literature, which won The Count Dracula Society award in 1976, was the first of four books on vampire and gothic horror bibliography and literary fiction. It was followed by Specter or Delusion? The Supernatural in Gothic Fiction (1987), Dracula: The Vampire and the Critics (1988), and her monumental The Vampire in Literature: A Critical Blbliography (1989), which included a comprehensive listing of English - language vampire fiction. Each item in the bibliography was annotated with a set of codes indicating the nature of the vampire and/or vampirism to be found in the work. It appeared amidst an unprecendented growth in interest in the literary vampire. Carter has annually issued a supplement that cites all of the year's new fiction as well as any past items she missed in the original bibliography (the ninth volume appeared in January 1998). In her work she has placed all furture writers on vampires in her debt.
Carter is also a writer of vampire fiction. Her first vampire short story, "A Call in the Blood", appeared in 1987. She has continued as a productive author to the present. In 1991 she started The Vampire's Crypt, a journal featuring vampire - oriented short fiction (issue 17 appeared in Spring 1998).
Carter is also an active participant and officer in Lord Ruthven's Assembly.
LXII. Castle Dracula
The first section of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula concerns Jonathan Harker's trip to Castle Dracula and his adventures after he arrives. During the last generation, as it was discovered that Stoker's character Dracula was based, in part, upon a real person, Vlad the Impaler, the question was posed, "Could Castle Dracula be a real place?" The search for Dracula's castle began. This search took on two aspects: the search for the castle that was the home for Vlad the Impaler and the search for the castle that Bram Stoker actually used as a model for the castle described in his novel.
As described in the novel, the castle was near Borgo Pass. It was reached from Pasul Tihuts, a point near the summit of the crossing, on a road leading south along mountainous road into the high mountains where the castle was located. Harker's journey from the pass to the castle was at night, and he reached it by horse drawn coach with enough of the evening left to have dinner and his first visit with Dracula before Dawn. Upon his arrival, he notcied a large courtyard. He was dropped in front of an old large door place at an opening in a stone wall. Even in the dim light of the evening, the wall showed signs of age and weathering. In the light of day, he discovered that the castle sat on a great rock overlooking the surrounding forest which was sliced by several river gorges.
The castle was built so as to be nearly impregnable to attack. The large windows were placed above the level where arrows and other projectiles (at least those of premodern warfare) could reach. To the west was a large valley and a mountain range.
Entering the castle he saw a large winding staircase and a long corridor. At the end of the corridor, he entered a room where supper awaited him. The rooms in which Harker was to spend most of his time joined an octagonal room that stood betweent eh room in which he ate and his bedroom. his bedroom overlooked the court where he had originally stepped off the coach. The door to the room opposite his bedroom was locked, but another opened to the library, which was full of materials from England.
He explored one forbidden wing of the castle in the southwest corner at a lower level. Here he found comfortable furniture, but it lay covered in the dust of abandonment. the windows were filled with diamond - shaped panes if colored glass. Here he would encounter the three vampire brides who resided at the castle with Dracula.
Harker climbed out a window on the south wall to make his way to the window on the east side of the castle, below his bedroom, into which he had seen Dracula go. In the first room he entered, he found a pile of gold, also covered with dust. He followed a staircase downward to a tunnel, and meandering through the tunnel he came upon the chapel that had been used as a bural place. Here he discovered the boxes of earth ready to be sent to England, in one of which Dracula lay in his sleeplike state.The three women slept in the chapel. There was one large tomb, not noticed by Harker but later sanitized by Abraham Van Helsing, labeled with the single word DRACULA.
THE SEARCH FOR DRACULA: In recent decades, as the fact that the title character in Stoker's novel was based on a real person, Vlad the Imapler, a ruler in what today is Romania, the thought that there was possibly a real Castle Dracula. Given the accuracy of Stoker's novel in describing many aspects of the Transylvanian landscape, the first place to look for a real Castle Dracula would seem to be near Borgo Pass. And in fact there were two different castles near both Bistritz (also spelled Bistrita) and the Borgo Pass road. The first was built in the thirteenth - century some five kilometers north of the city at Dealu Cetatii. It fell into disuse and was in a dilapidated state by the early fifteenth - century at which time the townspeople took the stones and reused them in refortifying Bistritz proper.
Castle Bistrita was built in the 1440s by John Hunyadi (d. 1456, a contemporary of Vlad the Impaler. Hunyadi was the "governor" of Hunagary whose territory covered much of Transylvania. The two, whose lands adjoined each other, were in frequent competition and on occasion were allied. Hunyadi died in the siege of Belgrade, though the Christian forces won the battle and turned back the Turkish attempt to take the city. While it may be that Vlad the Impaler resided at Castle Bistrita for a brief period during the last years of Hunyadi's life, it could in no sense be called Castle Dracula. Today no remains of Castle Bistrita exist. It was destroyed at the end of the fifteenth - century by the largely German population of the area in an act of defiance against their former Hungarian rulers.
Hunyadi had a second and more important castle located at Hundoara some 100 miles southwest of Borgo Pass. This impressive thirteenth - century structure still exists and has been restored and opened to the public. Vlad Dracul was believed to have visited this castle on at least one occasion during his early years, In 1452, while loosely allied with Hunyadi, Dracula was greeted somewhat as a friend. A decade later, however, he returned as a prisoner of Hunyadi's son Matthias Corvinus and began 12 years of imprisonment at Pest and Visegrad, Despite Vlad's presence at the castle at Hundoara, it was not Castle Dracula.
Dracula was actually the prince (ruler) of Wallachia. His territory was south of Transylvania, immediately on the other side of the Carpathian Mountains. In the mountains, overlooking the Dambocita River, near the town of Campulung, and protecting Borgo Pass (the road through the Bucegi Mountains), is Castle Bran.
It was originally built in the thirteenth - century by the knights of the Teutonic Order having been expelled, the castle was taken over by the German merchants of Brasov who used it as their defense post and customs station. Brasov was located in the Transalpine area, which included the Carpathian Mountains and that area immediately to the north and south of the mountains. Though the Transalpine area was officially part of Hunagrian territory, the Prince of Wallachia served as a military overseer of the area in return for certain Transylvania duchies. Most of the time, neither Hungary nor Wallachia actually controlled the castle, which was in the hands of the very independent German merchants.
Castle Bran has often been touted, especially by the Romanian tourist authorities, as the real Castle Dracula. During its years under the controm of the German leadership in Brasov, it is possible that Vlad Dracula visited it on occasion in the early 1450s. He was officially the Voivode of the Transalpine area. Historians Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally noted that it possessed the atmosphere that Stoker was attempting to evoke in his descriptions of Castle Dracula. "The analogies between Stoker's mythical Castle Dracula and the real Castle Bran are simply too close to be coincidental. It had an inner courtyard and a secret undergound passageway. A steep winding staircase could take a resident to a secret escape route deep inside the mountain. Though Florescu and McNally may have somewhat overstated their case, Dracula may have drawn, in part, from his knowledge of Castle Bran when he built his own mountain retreat.
THE REAL CASTLE DRACULA: The only castle that might be considered the actual Castle Dracula (remembering that no castle other than the one in Stoker's imagination ever had that name) was the castle built and inhabited by Vlad the Impaler during his years as Prince of Wallachia. This castle overooks the River Arges near the town of Poenari, in the foothills of the Transylvanian Alps. It is located approximately 20 miles north of Curtea de Arges, the original capital of Wallachia, and for many years the center of the Romanian Orthodox Church. When Vlad assumed the throne in 1456, there were two fortresses about a mile from each other on opposite sides of the river. Castle Poenari, the castle on the left side of the river, seems to have been built on the site of an even older fortress on the Arges River when this land was the center of the country called Dacia. Abandoned, it was rebuilt in the thirteenth - century by Romanians attempting to block the incursions by Hungarian and/or Teutonic soldiers from the north. In 1455 it was in disrepair from recent battles with various invading armies, but was still habitable.
On the right side of the river was the Castle of the Arges. It was built a century before Vlad's time, although some historians have argued that it was even earlier a Teutonic outpost tied to the castle at Fagaras, just across the mountains to the north. McNally and Florescu have argued that it was not Teutonic, but built by the early Wallachian rulers and modeled on Byzantine patterns.
At the end of the fourteenth century, Tartars invaded the area. The remnant of the Wallachian forces (and many of the country's elite) eventually took refuge in the Castle of the Arges, The Tartars lay seize to the castle and finding almost no opposition soon captured it. However, its inhabitants escaped through the secret passageway under the castle. As a consolation prize, the Tartars largely destroyed the castle.
Of the two castles that Dracula found, the Castle of Arges was in the more strategic position, possibly the major reason for his choice to rebuild it instead of settling at Poenari. It was located on a precipice overlooking the River Arges at the point where the valley of the Arges narrows and the foothills of the Carpathians turn into mountains.
The rebuilding process has become one of the more famous stories of Vlad, one of the earlier incidents confirming his nickname, "The Impaler". He had discovered that the boyars, the elite families of Wallachia, had been responsible for the death of his father and the torture and murder of his older brother. He decided to gain his revenge and get his castle built at the same time. During the Easter celebration following his taking up residence in his capital at Tirgoviste, he arrested all of the boyars (men, women, and children). Still dressed in their finest Easter clothes, they were forced to march to Poenari and rebuild the castle. The material from Poenari was carried across the river to construct the new residence overlooking the Arges. The Boyars were forced to work until the clothes fell off their backs…and then had to continue naked.
Vlad's castle was quite small when compared to either Castle Bran or Hundoara. It was only some 100 feet. It rested on a precipice that looked out over the River Arges. To the north were the mountains dividing Transylvania and Wallachia, and to the south a commanding view of the countryside. There were three towers and walls thick enough to resist Turkish cannon fire. It seems to have been made to house about 200 people. According to legend, a secret staircase led into the mountain to a tunnel, which in turn, led to a grotto that opened on the bank of the river below the castle, though no evidence of the secret passage has been uncovered.
The Turks attacked and captured the castle in 1462. Vlad escaped north through the mountains, but his castle was severely damaged by the invaders. It was used by some of his successors as a mountain retreat. However, it was gradually abandoned and left to the ravages of time and weather. Built originally as a defensive position, it was too far outside the commercial routes that dominated the life of the region.
As late as 1912 the towers of the castle still stood. However, on January 13, 1913, an earthquake hit the area. It toppled the main tower into the river. A second earthquake in 1940 further damaged the castle. Then in the 1970s the Romanian government, responding to increased tourist interest in locations associated with Dracula, carried out a partial reconstruction and built a walkway up the mountainside to the castle's entrance. Today the mountain upon which Castle Dracula rests can be reached by car about an hour's drive north of the city of Pitesti.The walk up the mountain to the entrance takes approximately 45 minutes.
THE PROBLEM OF DRACULA'S CASTLE: The search for Dracula's Castle highlighted the problem of reconciling Stoker's fictional Dracula with historical reality, a problem created by readers' excursions into Stoker's fictional world and made possible by Stoker's attampts to create as realistic a setting as possible. His book was set in Transylvania. Vlad the Impaler was a prince of Wallachia. While born in Transylvania, he resided all of his adult life in Wallachia, except for a period of imprisonment in Hungary. The geography of the novel and of Vlad's life are impossible to to reconcile, a fact clearly demonstrated in Francis Ford Coppola's movie Bram Stoker's Dracula and its almost comical attempts to place Dracula at the Castle on the Arges and near Borgo Pass at the same time
There was no actual structure ever called Castle Dracula, only a small castle built by Vlad the Impaler. Though Vlad the Impaler's small castle had its place of importance in Romanian history, it was not known by Stoker and did not serve as a model for his Castle Dracula. It is probably that no castle in Eastern Europe served as the model for Castle Dracula, and the search must be directed closer to home. Thus some suggested that a castle at Cruden Bay, Scotland, where Stoker stayed while writing Dracula, was the model. However, from Stoker's manuscripts it is now known that the section of the novel on the castle was written before he traveled to Cruden Bay and that section of the book remained essentially unchanged through publication. It would appear that Stoker's castle was a matter of pure imagination, a castle constructed from images of the romantic castles of European fairy tales and folklore.
LXIII. Alonso "Lon" Chaney (1893 – 1930)
Alonso "Lon" Chaney, the actor known for his numerous extraordinary characterizations in over 100 silent movies during the first decades of the twentieth century, was the first actor to play a vampire in an Americal feature - length movie. He was born on April 1, 1893. Both of Chaney's parents were deaf, and during most of his early life his mother was bedridden. Chaney developed his skill as a silent movie actor by communicating to his mother through mimicry and gesture every day. He was still a boy when in 1901 he began his acting career on the stage. He played a variety of roles and became fascinated with makeup and its interaction with characterization.
Chaney's first film role was in 1913 in Poor Jake's Demise. Then Universal Pictures signed him to an exclusive contract (for $5.00 a day), and through the rest of the decade he assumed roles in over 100 films. He was first promoted as a star in 1919 when he played a fake cripple in The Miracle Man. He went on to his greatest successes as Quasimoto in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and in the title role of The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
Chaney worked on occasion with director Tod Browning. Their first collaboration was in 1921 in Outside the Law. Browning's alcoholism prevented their steady association. It was Chaney's second encounter with alcoholism; earlier he had divorced his wife and taken custody of their son because of her addiction to the bottle. In 1925 Chaney signed a long - term contract with MGM. Soon afterward he again teamed with Browning to do The Unholy Three. He would return to Universal only once, for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
In 1927 Browning and Chaney teamed for the last time in London After Midnight. Chaney played a double part as a vampire and a police inspector from Scotland Yard. As the police sleuth, Chaney initiated a scheme to uncover a murder. He assumed the role of a vampire in order to force the real murderer to reveal himself. Once that occurred, Chaney took off the elaborate makeup and revealed himself as the inspector.
Although London After Midnight turned out to be his only vampire role, this was almost not the case. In 1930 he made the transition to sound in a new version of The Unholy Three, directed by Jack Conway. Meanwhile Browning had moved back to Universal, which had finally attained the film rights to Dracula. The studio announced the reunion of Browning and Chaney for the film. Unfortunately, Chaney had developed cancer, and before he could even be signed for the part he died on August 26, 1930. In 1957 his life was brought to the screen in Man of a Thousand Faces with James Cagney in the title role.
LXIV. Chaos! Comics
Chaos! Comics originated from the fertile imagination of writer/publisher Brian Pulido. He launched his career with Evil Ernie, published by Eternity Comics (an imprint of Malibu Comics). Although a relatively successful title, Malibu dropped Evil Ernie. Left in the lurch, and lacking any publishing experience, in November 1992 Pulido founded Chaos! Comics along with illustrator Steven Hughes and wife Francisca Pulido. The new Evil Ernie: The Resurrection, appeared in June of the following year.
Chaos! Comics quickly gained a reputation among the independent comic publishers for the quality of its publication. Pulido attempted to bring together quality horror fiction writing and state - of - the - art artwork and reproduction, with high - quality packaging. He followed Evil Ernie with a series of equally appealing characters, each of whom soon after their appearance became the subject of their own comic book title, beginning with Lady Death, and then the two new vampire creatures, Purgatori and Chastity.
Issue No. 1 of Lady Death debuted in 1994 within months of the appearance of two other prominent new series featuring female characters, Shi and Vengeance of Vampirella. The three titles together launched a new phenomenon, the "Bad Girl" comic, now commanding an impressive share of the comic book market. Bad Girls were females who possessed all of the femininity for which any young male could hope while holding their own against forces that would challenge any superhero. Lady Death went on to become the top - selling female graphic art character in America. Chaos! was nominated by Diamond Comic Distribution as New Publisher of the Year in 1994 and won the Comic Buyers Guide Award for Customer Service in 1996. It secured its place in the comic world with its many innovation including the "commemorative" editions, the velvet cover, the leather cover, the "coffin" - shaped cover, the canvas cover, glow - in - the - dark chromium trading cards, and clear chromium cards.
Chaos! entered the vampire realm with the introduction of Purgatori, the demonic vampire, who made her first appearance in the March 1995 issue of Lady Death. According to her myth, Purgatori originated in ancient Egypt as a young slave named Sakkara. One day, the queen of Egypt, a lesbian, adopted her as a favorite in her harem. However. at the same time the queen was contemplative marriage with the ruler of a neighboring land who possessed the army she needed to stifle the unrest in her own land. The future bridegroom demanded that the queen kill all of her lovers. Only Sakkara managed to survive the slaughter.
She escaped and found her way to a vampire whom she had been told would give her immortality. She shared blood with Kath, the vampire, who sensed the blood of fallen angels flowing in her. He knew that she owuld be unique as a vampire creature, and she in face emerged as the vampire creature Purgatori. A purely supernatural being, she had reddish skin, two horns, prominent fangs, and a set of batlike wings.
Enraged at her betrayal by the queen, she appeared at the queen's wedding and wreaked havoc on the wedding party, in the process turning several of the distinguished guests into vampires. The new vampires would become her mortal enemies. At a later date, she summoned Lucifer and asked him to take her. As he drew her near her, she brazenly struck her fangs in him and tasted his blood. Outraged at her impudent behavior, he banished her to Necropolis (the city of the dead) where hse sought Lady Death with whom to share some blood. Lady Death wanted nothing to do with Purgatori's scheme and banished the upstart to earth in the present to wander as a lowly bloodsucker.
Purgatori would soon be joined by young Chastity Marks in 1966 who would make her mark facing off against Evil Ernie. Chastity, a teenager who became a vampire in London while working as a roadie for a punk rock band, would go on to became Ernie's enemy in his post - apocalyptic world.
LXV. Characteristics of Vampires
Throughout history, vampires have been known by their defining characteristics. Vampires were known to be dead humans who returned from the grave and attacked and sucked the blood of the living as a means of sustaining themselves. The idea of the vampire came to the attention of both the scholarly community and the public in the West because of reports of such creatures in Eastern Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The vampire was seen as a prominent character in the folklore of people from Greece and Turkey in the south to Germany and Russia in the north. The descriptions of vampires in these countries set the image of vampires for the debates about their existence in the eighteenth century. The description of the vampire from Greece and among the southern Slavs became the basis of the development of the literary vampire of the nineteenth century. Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula (1897), drew heavily upon earlier vampire stories and the accounts of vampires in Transylvania and Romania.
By the end of the nineteenth - century and through the twentieth century, using a definition aof the vampire drawn from European folklore and mythology, ethnographers and anthropologists began to recognize the existence of analogous beings in the folklore and mythology of other cultures around the world. While these entities from Asian, African, and other cultures rarely conformed entirely to the Eastern European vampire, they shared significant characteristics and could rightly be termed vampires or at least vampirelike entities.
THE MODERN VAMPIRE: The vampire has become an easily recognizable character in Western popular culture. As defined by recent novels and motion pictures and as pictured in comic books and on greeting cards, vampires have several key attributes. Vampires are like "normal" human beings in most respects and are thus able to live more or less confortably in modern society. They are different, however, in that they possess a pair of fangs, tend to dress in formal wear with an opera cape, have a pale complexion, sleep in coffins, are associated with bats, and only come out at night. Their fangs are used to bite people on the neck and suck blood, the substance from which they are nourished. Fangs have become the single most recognizable feature of a male or female vampire, immediately identifying the vampire character to a motion picture audience and signaling immediate danger to the prospective victim.
In addition, vampires are basically creatures of the night, and during the day they enter a coma - like vampire sleep. They have red eyes and are cold to the touch. They may not be able to enter a room until invited. In addition, vampires possess some unusual "supernatural" attributes. They have great strength, they can fly (or at leas levitate), they possess a level of hypnotic power (thus forcing the compliance of victims or causing the forgetfulness of the vampire's presence), they have acute night vision, and they can undergo a transformation into a variety of animals (usually a bat or possibly a wolf). Vampires avoid garlic, sunlight, sacred symbols such as the cross (the crucifix) and holy water, and they may need to sleep on their native soil. They may be killed by a wooden stake thrust in their heart, or by fire.
While the stereotype has been challenged in recent decades, a disproportionate number of vampires were drawnfrom European nobility. They were suave and cultured and readily welcomed into almost any social context. The most recognizable vampire is, of course, Dracula. He was preceded by Lord Ruthven and Countess Carmilla Karnstein. More recently Barnabas Collins of an aristocratic American family and the Lestat de Lioncourt born of the French lesser nobility have reinforced popular images of the vampire.
FOLKLORIC VAMPIRES: The vampire was not always so described. Folkloric vampires appeared in numerous forms as demonic creatures. The Malaysian penanggalan, for example, was pictured as a severed head with entrails dangling down. The Indian goddess Kali had a hideous form and was often shown dancing on corpses with fangs protruding from her bloodied lips. However, most commonly the vampire appeared as the corpse of a person recently deceased. It could be recognized by its dress in burial clothes and but could be identified by someone whohad known them in life and understood that they were deceased and should not be walking around the town. As often as not, the vampire would never be seen, but its presence would be detected by the effects of its action, usually the wasting away and dying of people from unknown causes or the unusual and unexpected deaths of livestock.
Vampires, if seen, generally appeared to the people closest to them. In some cases, especially among the Gypsies and southern Slavs, they would return to engage in sexual relations with a former spouse or lover; in most other cases, they would launch a personal attack on family members, friends, or local livestock. Often the vampire would assume a new existence, something that approached normal life. In Malaysia, for example, the langsuyar assumed the role of a wife and could bear and raise children. She would usually be detected by some chance event during the course of her life. In Eastern Europe, primarily male vampires were reported to have ventured far from home, where they were not known, and continued their life as before their death, even to the point of marrying and fathering children.
The vampire of folklore had some supernatural attributes above and beyond the mobility one generally does not expect of the dead. It could change form and appear as a host of different animals, from the wolf to the moth. Interestingly, the bat was rarely reported as a vampiric form. Some people reported vampires with flying ability, especially in Oriental cultures, but flying or levitation was not prominent among Eastern European vampires.
The original vampires, those described in the folklore and mythology of the world's people, exist as an evil entity within a complex understanding of the world by a particular ehtnic group. Thus they would assume characteristics drawn from that group's culture and fitting that group's particular need. Given the variety of vampirelike creatures, both demons and revenants, reported from cultures around the world, almost any characteristic report of a vampire would be true of one or more such entities.
THE LITERARY VAMPIRE: At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the vampire became the focus of attention of a set of writers, primarily in France and England. In their hands, the folkloric vampire, almost exclusively in its Eastern and Southern European form, was transformed into a gothic villian. While retaining many of the characteristics from the reports of vampires which had filtered into Western Europe in the previous century, writers were quite selective in their choice of acceptable attributes. In the process of creating a literary character, they also added attributes which had no correlate in the folklore literature. Lord Ruthven, the character of the original vampire story written by John Polidori, was of noble birth.
LXVI. Suzy McKee Charnas (1939 – )
Suzy McKee Charnas, author of The Vampire Tapestry, was born in New York City and attended Bernard College, where she received her master's degree, in 1961 and 1965 respectively. Following college she spent two years in Nigeria with the Peace Corps, and after graduate school served as a junior high school teacher. She became of full - time writer in 1969. Her first novel, Walk to the End of the World, appeared in 1974. It was part of a projected trilogy that took over a decade to complete (during which time other novels were published). While the second volume of this futuristic feminist epic, Motherlines appeared relatively quickly (1978), the last volume, The Furies, was not completed until the mid - 1990s. The series is about the anger of women and the justice of the reward they receive when men are vanquished.
During the course of her writing, Charnas first probed the vampire in her 1980 volume, The Vampire Tapestry. The novel, generally judged one of the better vampire novels of the century, tells the story of the vampire, described as a separate species who has lived at the edge of human society for millenia, and of one particular vampire, Edward Weyland, who appeared in the 1970s as a college professor of anthropology whose life is centered around a dream laboratory. His job not only gives him an excuse to be nocturnal, but also supplies him with the necessary supply of food. His problems begin with the discovery of what he is by a young female employee of the college. Besides being reprinted a number of times, excerpts of the text were adapted as a play and produced in San Francisco in 1980.
Charnas returned to the vampire theme in the 1990s with The Ruby Tear written under her pseudonym Rebecca Brand. The story concerns the ongoing battle between a vampire, Baron von Cragga, and the Griffin family, whose current male representative Nicolas Griffin has written a play describing the tear - shaped jewel he he owns. Von Cragga wants the jewel and the play becomes the catalyst for his final efforts to recover it.
LXVII. Ronald Henry Glynn Chetwynd - Hayes (1919 - )
Ronald Henry Glynn Chetwynd - Hayes, horror story writer and anthologist, was born in Middlesex, England, the son of Rose May Cooper and Henry Chetwynd - Hayes. He grew up in England and following his service in the British Army during World War II began a career in sales. His first novel, The Man from the Bomb, appeared in 1959. During the 1970s he emerged as a popular writer and anthologist of horror stories. His first vampire story, "Great Grandad Walks Again," appeared in 1973 in Cold Terror, a collection of his short stories.
Through the 1970s he edited more than 20 volumes of horror, ghost, and monster stories, as well as several collectons of his own works; he was equally productive through the 1980s. Most notable among his titles was The Monster Club (1975), later made into a 1980 movie starring John Carradine and Vincent Price (who played the author). In 1980 he authored a vampire novel, The Partaker, and later edited two anothologies of vampire stories, Dracula's Children (1987) and The House of Dracula (1988). In 1988 Chetwynd - Hayes received the Bram Stoker Award for his achievements from the Horror Writers of America.
LXVIII. Vampires in China
When Western scholars began to gather the folklore of China in the ninteenth century, they very quickly encountered tales of the chiang - shih (also spelled kiang shi), the Chinese vampire. Belief in vampires partially derived from a Chinese belief in two souls. Each person had a superior or rational soul and an inferior or irrational soul. The former had the form of the body and upon separation could appear as its exact double. The superior sould could leave the sleeping body and wander about the countryside. For a short period it could possess the body of another and speak through it. If accidents befell the wandering soul, it would have negative repercussions on the body. On occasion the superior soul appeared in an animal form.
The inferior soul, called the p'ai, or p'o, was the soul that inhabited the body of a fetus during pregnancy and often lingered in the body of a deceased person, leading to its unnatural preservation. when the p'ai left, the body disintegrated. The p'ai, if strong, preserved and inhabited the body for a long period and could use the body for its own ends. The body animated by the p'ai was called a chiang - shih or vampire. The chiang - shih appeared normal and was not recognized as a vampire until some action gave it away. However, at other times it took on a hideous aspect and assumed a green phosphorescent glow. In this form the chiang - shih developed serrated teeth and long talons.
THE ORIGIN AND DESTRUCTION OF THE CHIANG - SHIH: The chiang - shih seems to have originated as a mean of explaining problems associated with death. The chiang - shih arose following a violent death due to suicide, hanging, drowning, or smothering. It could also appear in a person who had died suddenly, or as a result of improper burial procedures. The dead were thought to become angry and restless if their burial was postponed for a long time after their death. Also animals, especially cats, were kept away from the unburied corpse, to prevent them from jumping over it, lest they become vampires themselves.
The chiang - shih lacked some of the powers of the Slavic vampire. It could not, for example, dematerialize, hence it was unable to rise from the grave, being inhibited both by coffins and the soil. Thus their transformation had to take place prior to burial, and added incentive to a quick burial of the dead. The Chinese vampires were nocturnal creatures and limited in their activity to the night hours. The chiang - shih had trouble crossing running water.
The chiang - shihs were very strong and vicious. Reports detailed their attacks upon living people, where they ripped off the head or limbs of their victims. This homicidal viciousness was their most often reported trait. They usually had to surprise their victims because they had no particular powers to lure or entrance them. Besides their homicidal nature, the chiang - shih might also demonstrate a strong sexual drive that led it to attack and rape women. Over a period of time, the vampires gained strength and began to transform to a mobile state. They would forsake the coffin habitat, master the art of flying, and develop a covering of long white hair. They might also change into wolves.
In general, the vampire began its existence as an unburied corpse. however, on occasion there were reports of unburied body segments, especially the head, being reanimated and having an existence as a vampire. Also, reports have survived of the ever - present Chinese dragon appearing as a vampire.
People knew of several means of protection from a vampire. Garlic, an almost universal medicinal herb, kept vampires away. Salt was believed to have a corrosive effect on the vampire's skin. Vampires were offended by loud noises, and thunder would occasionally kill one. Brooms were handy weapons with which a brave soul could literally sweep the vampire back to its resting spot. Iron filings, rice, and red peas created barriers to the entry of the vampire and would often be placed around a vacant coffin to keep a vampire from taking it as a resting place.
It the vampire reached its tansformative stage as the flying hairy creature, only thunder or a bullet could bring it down. In the end, the ultimate solution was cremation, the purifying fire being something of a universal tool of humankind.
THE CHIANG - SHIH IN LITERATURE: The chiang - shih was the subject of numerous stories and folktales. In the seventeenth century, the vampire became the subject for one of China's most famous short story writers, P'u Sung - ling, author of the 16 - volume Liao Choi. His story "The Resuscitated Corpse," for example, concerned four merchants who stopped at an inn. They were housed for the night in the barn, where, as it happened, the body of the innkeeper's daughter - in - law lay awaiting burial. One of the four could not sleep and stayed up reading. The corpse, now bearing fangs, approached the three sleeping men and bit each one. The other man watched frozen in flight. He finally came to his senses and, grabbing his clothes, fled with the vampire hot on his trail. As she caught up to him, he stood under a willow tree. She charged with great speed and ferocity, but at the last second the man dodged, and she hit the tree with full force, her long, fingernails imbedded in the tree. The man fainted from fright and exhaustion. The next day the innkeeper's staff found the three dead merchants and the body of his daughter - in - law lying in her place but covered with blood. She was as fresh as the day she died, as she still had her p'ai, her inferior soul. The innkeeper confessed that she had died six months earlier, but he was waiting for an astrologically auspicious day for her burial.
MODERN VAMPIRES IN CHINA: The Chinese vampire was given a new lease on life by the post − World War II development of the film industry in Hong Kong and to a lesser extent in Taiwan. During the 1950s and 1960s, two Hong Kong – based firms, Catay – Keris and the Shaw Brothers, began making vampire films in Malaysia using Malaysian themes, but were rather late in developing Chinese vampire movies. Among the first Chinese vampire movies was Xi Xuefu (Vampire Woman) produced by Zhong Lian in 1962. Like many first ventures into vampirism, it was ultimately a case of mistaken attribution. The story concerned a woman who, after she was found sucking the blood out of her baby, was accused of vampirism and executed by burning. Later it was discovered that the baby had been poisoned, and she was only trying to save it.
The vampire theme in Chinese movies was really launched a decade later with the first of the vampire - martial arts movies, Vmpire Kung - Fu (1972). Then two years later a combined Shaw Brothers - Hammer Films production, variously titled The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires and The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula, became one of the great disasters in horror film history. The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Peter Cushing, transferred the Dracula story to China where Abraham Van Helsing was called to protect a village from a band of vampires who had learned martial arts skills. The film was so bad that its American distributor refused to handle it.
In the 1980s, the Hong Kong filmmakers rediscovered the vampire horror genre. Among the best known movies was the Mr. Vampire comedy series begun in 1985 by Golden Harvest and Paragon Films. Drawing on several aspects of Chinese folklore, the films featured what have come to be known as the hopping vampires—loose - robed vampires that hopped to move around. The first film was so popular it spawned four sequels, a television series in Japan, and a rival production, Kung - fu Vampire Buster (1985). A second very successful movie was Haunted Cop Shop (1984) concerning vampires who took over a meat - packing plant and were opposed by a Monster Police Squad. A sequel appeared in 1986. Other notable Hong Kong films included: Pao Dan Fei Che (The Trail, 1983), Curse of the Wicked Wife (1984), Blue Lamp in a Winter Night (1985), Dragon Against Vampire (1985), The Close Encounter of the Vampire (1985), Love Me Vampire (1986), Vampire's Breakfast (1986), Vampires Breakfast (1986), Vampires Live Again (1987), Toothless Vampire (1987), Hello Dracula (1986), Vampires Strike Back (1988), Spooky Family (1989), Crazy Safari (1990), First Vampire in China (1990), Spooky Family II (1991), and Robo Vampire (1993). As might be perceived by the titles, many of these movies were comedies. Taiwanese films of the same era included The Vampire Shows His Teeth I, II, and III (1984−86), New Mr. Vampire (1985), Elusive Song of the Vampire (1987), and Spirit vs. Zombi (1989).
With the hopping or jumpign vampires, a different mythology about dealing with vampires evolved. They could be subdued with magical talismans. Holding one's breath would temporarily stop them. Eating sticky rice was an antidote to a new popular image of the vampire in the Orient much as the Dracula movies created one in the West.
LXIX. Christianity and Vampires
The belief in vampires preceded the introduction of Christianity into southern and eastern Europe. It seems to have originated independently as a response to unexplained phenomena common to most cultures. Ancient Greek writings tell of the lamiai, the mormolykai, and other vampirelike creatures. Independent accounts of vampires emerged and spread among the Slavic people and were passed to their non - Slavic neighbors. Possibly the Gypsies brought some belief in vampires from India that contributed to the development of the myth. As Christianity spread through the lands of the Mediterranean Basin and then northward across Europe, it encountered these vampires beliefs that had already arisen among the many Pagan peoples. However, vampirism was never high on the Christian agenda and was thus rarely mentioned. Its continued presence was indicated by occasional documents such as an eleventh - century law promulgated by Charlemagne as emperor of the new Holy Roman Empire. The law condemned anyone who promoted the belief in the witch/vampire (specifically in its form as a strix), and who on account of that belief caused a person though to be a vmpire to be attacked and killed.
By the end of the first Christian millenium, the Christian Church was still organizationally united and in agreement upon the basic Christian affirmation (as contained in the Nicene Creed) but had already begun to differentiaite itself into its primarily Greek (Eastern Orthodox) and Latin (Roman Catholic) branches. The Church formally broke in the year 1054 with each side excommunicating the other.
During the second Christian millenium, the two churches completed their conquests through the remaining parts of Europe, especially eastern Europe. Meanwhile, quite apart from the major doctrinal issues which had separated them in the eleventh century, the theology in the two churches began to develop numerous lesser differences. These would become important especially in those areas where the boundaries of the two churches met and wars brought people of one church under the control of political leaders of the other. Such a situation arose, for example, in the twelfth - century when the predominantly Roman Catholic Hungarians conquered Transylvania, then populated by Romanians, the majority of whom were Eastern Orthodox. Slavic but Roman Catholic Poland was bounded on the east by Orthodox Russian states. In the Balkans, Roman Catholic Croatia existed beside predominantly Orthodox Serbia.
One divergence between the two churches frequently noted in the vampire literature was their different understanding of the noncoruptibility of dead bodies. In the East, if the soft tissue of a body did not decay quickly once placed in the ground, it was generally considered a sign of evil. That the body refused to disintegrate meant that the earth would, for some reason, not receive it. A noncorrupting body became a candidate for vampirism. In the West, quite the opposite was true. The body of a dead saint often did not experience corruption like that of an ordinary body. Not only did it not decay, but it frequently emitted a pleasant odor. It did not stink of putrefaction. These differing understandings of incorruptibility explain in large part the demise of belief in vampires in the Catholic West, and the parallel survival of belief in Orthodox lands, even though the Greek Church officially tried to suppress the belief.
VAMPIRES AND SATAN: Admittedly, vampires were not a priority issue on the agenda of Christian theologians and thinkers of either church. However, by 1645 when Leo Allatius (1586 −1669) wrote the first book to treat the subject of vampires systematically, it was obvious that much thought, especially at the parish level, had been devoted to the subject. The vampire had been part of the efforts of the church to eliminate Paganism by treating it as a false religion. The deities of the Pagans were considered unreal, nonexistent. In like measure, the demons of Pagan lore was unreal.
Through the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, as the Inquisition became a force in the Roman Catholic Church, a noticeable change took place in theological prespectives. A shift occurred in viewing Paganism (or witchcraft). It was no longer considered merely a product of the unenlightened imagination, it was the work of the devil. Witchcraft was transformed in the popular mind into Santanism. The change of opinion on Satanism also provided a opening for a reconsideration of, for example, the incubus/succubus and the vampire as also somehow the work of the devil. By the time Allatius wrote his treatise on the vampire, this changing climate had overtaken the church. Allatius was Greek, but he was also a Roman Catholic rather than an Orthodox believer. He possessed a broad knowledge of both churches. In his De Greacorum bodie quirundam opinationibus, the vampire toward which he primarily turned his attention was the vrykolakas, the Greek vampire.
Allatius noted that among the Eastern Orthodox Greeks a noncanon, that is, an ordinance of uncertain authorship and date, was operative in the sixteenth century. It defined a vrykolakas as a dead man who remained whole and incorrupt, who did not follow the normal pattern of disintegration which usually occurred very quickly in a time before embalming. Occasionally, such a vrykolakas, was found, and it was believed to be the work of the devil. When a person discovered a vrykolakas, the local priest was to be summoned. The priest chanted an invocation to the Mother of God and again repeated the services of the dead. The earlier noncanon, however, originated in the period when the church was attacking the belief in vampires as superstition and was designed to reverse some centuries - old beliefs about vampires It ascribed incidents involving vrykolakas to someone seeing a dead person, usually at night, frequently in dreams. Such dreams were the work of the devil. The devil had not caused the dead to rise and attack its victims, but deluded the individual with a false dream.
Allatius himself promoted the belief that was gaining dominance in the West through the sixteenth - century: Vampires were real and were themselves the work of the devil. Just as the Inquisition in the previous century had championed the idea that witchcraft, was real and that witches actually communed with the devil, so vampires were actually walking around the towns and villages of Europe. They were not the dead returned, they were bodies reanimated by the devil and his minions. Allatius even quoted the witchfinders bible, the Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch's Hammer), which noted the three conditions necessary for witchcraft to exist: the devil, a witch, and the permission of God. In like measure, Allatius asserted that for vampires to exist all that was needed was the devil, a dead body, and the permission of God.
The tying of vampirism to the devil by Allatius and his colleagues brought Satan into the vampire equation.Vampirism became another form of Satanism and the vampire vampire the instrument of the devil. Also, his victims were tainted by evil. Like the demons, vampire were alienated from the things of God. They could not exist in the realms of the sacred and would flee from the effective symbols of the true God, such as the crucifix, or from holy things, such as holy water and the eucharistic wafer, which both Orthodox and Roman Catholics believed to be the very body of Christ. In like measure, the offices of the church through the priest were an effective means of stopping the vampire. In the Eastern Orthodox church, the people always invited th priest to participate in their antivampire efforts. In its attempt to counter the superstitious beliefs in vampires, the Orthodox church ordered its priests not to participate in such activities, even threatening excommunication.
THE EIGHTEENTH - CENTURY VAMPIRE DEBATES: During the seventeenth century, reports, not just of vampires, but of vampire epidemics, began to filter out of eastern Europe, especially Prussia and Poland. These incidents involved cases in which bodies were exhumed and mutilated. The mutilation of the bodies of people buried as Christians and presumably awaiting the resurrection was of utmost and serious concenr to Christian intellectuals and church leaders in western Europe. The majority of these reports came from Roman Catholic - dominated lands, the most important from that area of Serbia which had been taken over by Austria in the wake of a fading Ottoman Empire. The cases of Peter Plogojowitz and Arnold Paul launched a heated debate in the German (both Lutheran and Catholic) universities. In the midst of this debate, Cardinal Schtrattembach, the Roman Catholic bishop of Olmütz, Germany, turned to Rome for some advice on how to handle the vampire reports. The pope, in turn, called upon the learned archbishop to Trani, Italy, Giuseppe Davanzati, who spent five years studying the problem before writing his Dissertazione sopra I Vampiri, finally published in 1744.
Davanzati was swayed by the more skeptical arguments which had emerged as the consensus in the German debates. He advised the pope that the vampire reports were originating in human fantasies. While these fantasies might possibly be of diabolical origin, pastoral attention should be directed to the person reporting the vampire. The bodies of the suspected vampires should be left undisturbed. The church followed Davanzati's wisdom.
Meanwhile, as Davanzati was pursuing his research, so was Dom Augustin Calmet. Calmet, known throughout France as a Bible scholar, published his Dissertations sur les Apparitions des Anges des Démons et des Espits, et sur les revenants, et Vampires de Hingrie, de Boheme, de Moravie, et de Silésie two years after Davanzati. Calment played devil's advocate to his fellow churchman. He described in some detail the reports of the eastern European vampires and called upon theologians and his scholarly colleagues to give them some serious study. He explored various possibilities concerning the accounts and left open the medieval position that the bodies of suspected vampire were animated by the devil and/or evil spirits. His colleagues in the church did not receive his report favorably. Even members of the Benedictine order, of which he was a member, chided him for giving credence to what amounted to nothing more than children's horror stories. In the third edition of his book, he finally did away with the devilish option and concluded that vampires did not exist. However, by this time his earlier editions had spread far and wide., and became the basis for translations. Few noted the final position he had reached. Though his colleagues dismissed him, he found broad popular support, and his book went through several printings in France and was translated and published in Germany and England.
The sign of the future came in 1755 and 1756 when in two actions Empress Maria Theresa took the authority of handling the vampire cases out of the hand of parish priests and local authorities and placed in the hands of the Austrian government officials. The clear intent of the law was to stop the disturbance of the graves. During the decades following Maria Theresa's action, the spokespersons of what would become known as the Enlightenment would take over the final stages of the debate and essentially end it with their consensus opinion that vampires were unreal. After a generation in which the likes of Diderot and Voltaire expressed their opinion of vampires, scholars have not found it necessary to refute a belief in the vampire. Calmet became an intellectual relic, though he provided a number of interesting stories from which a popular literary vampire could be created.
DRACULA AND THE CHURCH: Interestingly enough, the first vampire stories—from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "The Bride of Corinth: to Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla"—were largely secular works. Religious artifacts and religious characters were almost completely absent. At the end of "Carmilla," as Laura's father began his quest to locate and destroy Carmilla, he suggested to Laura that they call upon the local priest. The priest performed certain solemn, but unnamed, rituals which allowed the troubled Laura to sleep in peace. However he did not accompany the men to finally kill Carmilla, though two medical men were present to oversee the act. It was left to Bram Stoker and his novel Dracula to reintroduce Christianity into the vampire's life. In the very first chapter, as Jonathan Harker made his way to Castle Dracula, a woman took off a rosary, with an attached crucifix, and gave it to him. In spite of his anti - Roman Catholic background, Harker put the rosary around his neck and wore it. Later, an enraged Dracula lunged for Harker's neck but quickly withdrew when he toucht the rosary. Abraham Van Helsing, the pious vampire hunter from Holland, explained that the crucifix was one of several sacred objects whose presence deprived the vampire of its power.
Besides the crucifix, Van Helsing used the eucharist wafer, the bread consecrated as the body of Christ in the church's communion service (in this case the Roman Catholic mass). He placed the wafers around the openings of the tomb of Lucy Westenra and sanitized (destroyed the effectiveness of) the boxes of native soil Dracula brought from his homeland. Most importantly, the wafer burned its imprint into the forehead of the tainted Mina Murray after her encounter with Dracula.
In subsequent productions of Dracula, the eucharistic wafer largely dropped from the picture. It was used on occasion to sanitize the earth, but only in Bram Stoker's Dracula did the scene of Mina's being branded by the wafer become a part of a dramatic presentation. Instead, it was the crucifix the became the religious symbol most frequently used to cause the vampire to lose its strength or to harm the vampire.
THE VAMPIRE AN THE CHURCH SINCE STOKER: Through the twentieth century, the crucifix became a standard part of the vampire hunter's kit. Frequently he would flash it just in time to save himself. On many occasions, heroines were saved from a vampire about to pounce upon them by a shining cross hanging around their neck. At the same time, especially since midcentury, the vampire novel began to show signs of secularization. Some vampires came from outer space or arose as victims of a disease. Such vampires, lacking any negative supernatural origins, were unaffected by the holy objects.
As the century progressed, vampire writers challenged the role of Christianity in the culture. Some expressed their doubts as to its claims to exclusive truth concerning God and the world. Writer Anne Rice, for example, very early in her life became a skeptic of Roman Catholicism, in which she was raised. Her vampires, reflecting on her nonbelief, were unaffected by Christian symbols. They walked in churches with impunity and handled crucifixes with no negative reaction. In like measure, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's hero, St. Germain, and other good guy vampires, were not Satanic; quite the opposite, they were moral agents. The vampires in Yarbro's books had no negative reaction to Christian objects or places.
Vampires in science fiction were raised in an alien culture that had never heard of Christianity. They were among the first group of vampires that had no reaction to Christian sacred symbols. The vampires of The Hunger by Whitley Strieber and thos in Elaine Bergstrom's novels, were unaffected by the cross because they were aliens. Bergstrom's vampires, the Austra family, made their living working in cathedrals repairing stained glass. Other writers affected by the religiously pluralistic culture in the West questioned the value of Christian symbols for people raised in or adhering to another faith. For example, they asked if Jewish symbols served as protection from Jewish vampires. In Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me but Your Teeth Are in My Neck (1967), one of the more humorous moments came from a Jewish vampire attacking a young girl who tried to protect herself with a cross.
The relation to the sacred symbol in general and Christianity in particular will continue to be a problem for vampire novelists, especially those working in the Christian West. The vampire is a supernatural gothic entity whose popular myth dictated its aversion for the crucifix. The literary vampire derives its popularity from the participation of its readers in a world of fantasy and supernatural power. At the same time, an increasing number of novelists do not have a Christian heritage and thus possess no understanding or appreciation of any power derived from Christian symbols. For the forseeable future, new vampire fiction will be written out of the pull and tug between these traditional and contemporary perspectives.
The chupacabras(literally "goat sucker") is a vampire - like creature that began a reign of terror in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Central America in the mid - 1990s. Most accounts picture the creature as what might be described as a cross between a bat and a kangaroo. It has hairy arms, glowing red eyes, and bright - colored spine - like appendages that run over the body from the head to the end of the back. Scales, claws, and bat - shaped wings are also common attributes.
The primary victims of the chupacabras have been animals, specifically chickens and other farm animals, including horses, dogs, and cats, and most importantly goats. In the anecdotal stories that have spread throughout Latin America, the creature has been described in ways as to associate it with the vampire. It leaves two puncture wounds on the neck of its victims, it hunts at night, it has batlike wings, it sucks blood, and defies the laws of the physical universe. A crucifix holds it at bay.
The quick spread of the chupacabra stories in the press and the popular acceptance of the stories among the public has led various authorities to speak against the reality of the creature. Some veterinarians and other authorities called upon to autopsy the bodies of the victims have commented that they have found no special loss of blood, and report the wounds are consistent with the attack of wild dogs or other predatory animals. Norine Dresser, the primary American scholar who has studied the accounts, has judged the chupacabras as a contemporary legend; that is, a popularly told tale that mixes credible details with preposterous elements (the very elements which make them both newsworthy and entertaining). The stories of the chupacabras arose quickly, a sign of the political and economic anxieties that have effected the whole Caribbean basin.
LXXI. Vampire Clans
Vampire clans are essential to understanding the vampires who inhabit the world of Vampire: The Masquerade, the popular role - playing game created by Mark Rein - Hagen for White Wolf Game Studio in 1991. Vampires are by nature individualists, loners. However, according to the myth of the game, the challenges of survival have forced the development of social units upon the vampires from the city to the international levels. Integral to the organized aspect of vampire life at every level are the clans. Also, with very few exceptions, the vampire character assumed by the player is a member of a clan and that identification carries with it a set of characteristics that are imposed upon the individual character created by the player as his or her persona.
The clans are the product of the bloodlines derived from the third generation of the vampire community. According the vampire myth, vampires originated with Caine, the biblical character who slew his brother Abel and was cursed with immortal life and the blood thirst. In time, Caine created three vampires who constituted the second generation, and they in turn created 13 vampires who constituted the third generation. After the fall of the city where the vampire community had resided, the third generation scattered and began to create a progeny, the fourth generation. This newer progeny, however, rose up and slew their elders (only a few of the third generation survived) and went on to build a second city (Babylon?)
After many centuries, the fourth generation fell victim to a popular uprising by the mortals, and their city was destroyed. They scattered around the world and create the fifth generation (a generation being defined by the number of people between the individual vampire and Caine). Today all of the vampires of the third through fifth generations have removed themselves into seclusion. The individual vampires that compose the vampire society of today are of the sixth to twelfth (or even thirteenth) generation. Over the centuries these vampires developed a loyalty to those of the Kindred with whom they shared an ancestry. Those of the same bloodline also shared characteristics seemingly passed in the blood and eventually found it in their self - interest to identify themselves as members of a particular vampire family or clan. The importance of clan ties rose in times of social stress.
Such a time of stress arose in the fifteenth - century as the Inquisition turned its witch - hunting skills on the vampire community. The Inquisition forced not only a new unity among the clan but closer connections across clans lines. For their own protection, many of these vampires organized themselves into what is termed the Camarilla. The Camarilla involved a coming together of the leadership of seven prominent clans. For the protection of vampires as a whole, the Camarilla established a set of minimal rules by which vampires were expected to live and through its conclave set up structures to enforce those rules. The Camarilla, and other structures at the local level, provide a structure in which vampires can work through their conflicts without disturbing the masquerade under which they live.
Each vampire is the creation of a blood line which can, more or less, be traced back to one of the vampires of the third generation. Each blood line can be distinguished by its distinctive and in some cases physical differences, but more importantly by variations in personality makeup. There are seven major clans that constitute the Camarilla. They are:
The Brujah, the youthful rebels of the vampire world who adopt roles on the fringes of society, which today includes punks, bikers, and neo - Nazis.
The Gangrel, the rootless wanderers, forever moving about and surviving by their wits.
The Malkavian, somewhat insane, with tendency to destructive and nihilistic behavior.
The Nosferatu, least human of the vampires, recreated in the image of Count Orlock of the 1922 film Nosferatu
The Toreador, impassioned lovers of beauty and fashion, and all the eccentricities of a temperamental artist.
The Tremere, the best organized, of the vampires, manipulative, intellegent, and aggressive.
The Ventrue, the aristocratic elites, possessed of rare good taste and sophistication. (The Ventrue are most frequently found at the top of the Camarilla).
Besides these seven most prominent vampire clans there are others including the Ravnos, the Assamite, the Setite and the Giovanni as well as the now defunct Cappadocian clan. There are also the Caitiff, or clanless, vampires,usually the result of having been abandoned by the ones who amde them vampires. The only group truly large enough and powerful enough to challenge the Camarilla is the Sabbat, an organization that holds sway in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Like the Camarilla, it is a multi - clan organization, but is dominated by two different clans, the Lasomba and the Tzimisce. Members of the Sabbat approach much closer to the image of the horrific vampire held by mortals. The Camarilla is constantly challenged by the generation gaps, its younger members, the Anarchs, who have no respect for their elders and periodically have risen in revolt.
Playing Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, the card game based on it, revolves around the political intrigues between the various clans, the number of which continue to increase. The clan structure from The Masquerade was explored in a short - lived television show, Kindred: The Embraced, in 1995.
In both novels and motion pictures, vampires sleep in coffins, and as they move from place to place, they transport their coffins with them. The association of vampires and coffins began with the simple fact that vampires were dead, and dead people, by the time of the development of the literary vampire in the nineteenth century, were buried in coffins. It should be noted that much vampire lore originated in an era prior to the use of coffins. Until recent centuries, the use of coffins was limited to those wealthy enough to afford them. The dead were commonly wrapped in a burial shroud and placed in a relatively shallow grave. In times of epidemics, the dead might be buried quite hastily and in very shallow graves. Such bodies were subject to predator damage, seemingly the source of northern European beliefs that vampires first devour their own extremities. To keep predators away from bodies buried without a coffin, a flat rock could be placed over part or all of the body. The problems of burial were further complicated by winter weather and frozen ground that would delay burials for weeks or months until the spring thaw, and by various beliefs in astrology that suggested that some moments were better than others for an auspicious burial.
The practice of putting a stake into a vampire's body may have originated as a means of fixing the vampire to the ground without a coffin, rather than attacking the vampire itself. Since keeping the corpse in the ground was one purpose of staking someone, the stake did not have to go through the heart. It could just as appropriately go through the stomach or the back. Also the material from which the stake was made was not as important as its functionality. Thus stakes were made of various kinds of wood or iron.
At the time of the great vampire epidemics in eastern Europe in the early eighteenth century, it was the common practice to bury the dead in coffins. Anti - vampire measures consisted of various actions to keep the vampire, usually designated as a recently deceased member of the community, confined to the coffin. The coffin would be opened and the body staked. In some areas the clothes would be attached to the sides of the coffin in order to hold the body in place. The appendages would be nailed to the sides of the coffin so that the vampire could not eat them. The coffin could then be returned to the grave.
Early literary vampires did not have coffins. Geraldine (from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Christabel"), Lord Ruthven, and Varney the Vampyre had no casket home. Carmilla brought no coffin with her, though she was eventually found resting in her crypt at the old chapel. Otherwise, these vampires seemed perfectly confortable to rest wherever they happened to be.
In Bram Stoker's Dracula, the vampire did not rest in a coffin, but he did need to rest on his native soil. Thus he transported large crates (not coffins) of soil with him to England, and the desecration of the soil with sacred objects led to his return to his native land. At the end of the novel, Abraham Van Helsing entered Castle Dracula to destroy the three vampire brides who resided at the castle. He found them in their tombs and destroyed them. He also found a large ornate ornate tomb with the word DRACULA written on it. There he laid bits of a eucharistic wafer, thus destroying it as a resting place for a vampire.