Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who endure their undead life by feeding on the life of others usually in the form of blood or spiritual essence. Regardless of the victims being either dead or undead. In folkloric tales, vampires often visited friends and loved ones to either cause mischief or bring about their deaths. They were often seen wearing shrouds and described as bloated versions of their former selves. They were also either pinkish/bronzed or dark colored in looks. For this reason, modern vampires beginning in the early 19th century are often portrayed as skinny and pale.
Famous Vampire TV Series
- Forever Knight (1992)
- Kindred the Embraced (1996)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)
- Angel (1999)
- Vampire High (2001)
- Moonlight (2007)
- True Blood (2008)
- The Vampire Diaries (2009)
- The Originals (2013)
- The Strain (2014)
Timeline - History of Vampire Events
Vampires in the whole have been recorded in many cultures and also speculated by literary historian Brian Frost that the "belief in vampires and bloodsucking demons is as old as man himself," and may go back as far as "prehistoric times".
Where it Began - Origins
The term "vampire" became popular in the early 18th century after mass hysteria caused by vampire superstition started popping up in Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent. Such areas at the time were the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Vampires were known by different names at the time, such as vampir in Serbia and Bulgaria, vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in the European countries led to panic and escalated to measures where corpses were staked and people accused of vampirism.
Vampires became a thing of beauty and sophistication in modern fiction in 1819 with John Polidoris' "The Vampire." This is one of the most influential and successful stories of its time. Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula soon took over the role as the definitive in vampire literature and is regarded by most as the ultimate and must read of all vampire novels. Often used as the standard for all modern vampire fiction. Dracula drew on earlier mythologies of werewolves and similar imaginary demons and "was to voice the anxieties of an age," and the "fears of late Victorian patriarchy." Dracula also was based on Vlad the Impaler.
Some say the transformation from the human state to the Vampire state takes over from anywhere between six to nine months to complete. The virus that causes vampirism resembles a more primitive virus known as a prion. Most viruses act on a host by attacking the hosts' cells and changing the DNA and making the infected cells cause a monopoly effect. The host immune system then sees these cells with a different DNA as infections and attacks them. The virus that causes vampirism works in a more efficient and organized fashion. Instead of changing the DNA of the cells, the cells are modified to a degree in which it doesn't look too alien. This is done by introducing "mini chromosomes" called plasmids which enhance the original genetic code. The hosts' immune system then overlooks these cells. When you really think of it on a basic level, the human is the host organism and the vampirism causing virus is acting on a symbiotic relationship. Thus both organisms continue to thrive with one another.
Vampire Virus Contraction
This virus may be transmitted by bodily fluids such as blood, saliva and sometimes even in semen. If transmitted by blood to a healthy host with an efficient immune system, large amounts of the virus must be either be injected or ingested. It is highly unlikely that saliva can be the cause of infection due to the small amounts of the virus in the saliva. The virus within the saliva functions to infect a bitten area and heal the punctured skin, thus leaving no trace of the event.
Wampyrus Chiroptera can alter their physiological appearance depending on their skill and power. Some may even achieve the ultimate transformation into a giant creature which resembles that of a bat. Increased benefits of being in this state include heightened awareness, sense of smell and hearing. These creatures have their faults as well. They can not actually achieve lift off flight but they can only glide over long distances. Another downside to this change is that the Vampire loses most of its sense of sight along with their ability to determine color.
The change is also accompanied by extreme pain when the Vampire changes into the bat creature and vice-versa. The individual will often remain weak for up to a few weeks after each change. The individual must consume an enormous amount of raw materials in order to re-arrange its body. This is the only time that Vampires may consume anything other then blood. Some materials that they may consume in order to prepare for this incredible metamorphosis may be chalk (extra calcium), fish, nuts (extra protein) and fruit (sugar energy).
The Vampires hormones are another key factor in this transformation. Hormones are released from the endocrine system which triggers the nervous system, within twelve hours, to change both flesh and bone. The bone changes form by redistributing the mineral within the bone until both shape and density have been altered while the flesh just stretches or contracts over this new bone. The Vampires bones become as hollow as bird bones. The fingers stretch and flesh grows between thus becoming the wing membrane. The tree bottom ribs are then fully absorbed and broken down into the body for further distribution else where. The other ribs plus the shoulder blade becomes flatter and broader in order to support enormous muscles that are needed for the Vampire to "glide." The spinal column bends into an inverted "U" shape and the tail bone extends into an actual tail. The upper and bottom jaw stretch forward while pushing the teeth towards the front middle section. The top section of the skull flattens while moving it back; this causes the eye sockets to become disfigured. The ears then stretch and broaden to resemble that of a bat for better hearing but still lacking echo-location like real bats. The nose is disfigured due to the other distortions of the cranium.
Extra melanin is deposited into the skin to bring the skin to that dark brown or black color in order for extra stealth. All hair however remains unchanged throughout the process because hair is non living and is thus not affected by hormones.
Filmography - Vampire Movies
This first vampire film was Nosferatu (1922) directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. The movie was so close to the book (Bram Stokers Dracula) that the film makers were sued and all copies destroyed. Five copies were found later on and restored in 1994.
Another classic vampire movie is Universal's Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula.