With the Halloween season upon us, it reminds me how much I love paranormal lore and legends. I’m one of the few who loves real haunted houses and would dig into the history of ghosts. Vampires have always been curious creatures to me. The lore has been taken in many directions in movies and tv shows so I decided to take a look at the history of one of the most famous paranormal lore.
It seems that vampires were nothing new when Bram Stroker wrote Count Dracula in 1897. The folklore of vampires apparently started around the late 17th century in Europe. Most of these folklores were created because people at the time did not understand the science of decomposition of the human body. People freaked out when corpses changed and they, therefore, called them vampires. Blood around the face was just the corpses blood that came through the mouth and nose. The corpse ‘talking’ was just gas coming out from the decomposition. In modern times, each of these ‘symptoms’ would be explained by science.
People close to the deceased who became ill or died were also viewed as being visited by the vampire. Back in those times, no one understood germs and vaccines were not around. Chances were if your neighbor caught the plague you would too.
There was even an epidemic of vampires in Europe. People swore that the corpses were becoming vampires. Because of the mass hysteria, people would stake the dead to the coffins or embed sickles inside their coffin around their throats. Everyone became terrified of becoming one of them. I can clearly see how during that time people made up ‘facts’ on how to repel vampires. Some of these even made it into the Count Dracula legend like using garlic, rosaries, and holy water to repel them.
It’s fascinating to read about how our ancestors explained things that they did not understand. It’s even more fun to take these folklores and weave new stories around them. 🙂