Definition of a Vampire:
1. A preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse, that is said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night.
2. According to Eastern European folklore, a corpse, animated by an undeparted soul or demon, that periodically leaves the grave and disturbs the living, until it is exhumed and impaled or burned.
OR alternatively a person who has made a pact with the devil, selling his soul to him in exchange for nearly eternal life as long as the person sucks the blood from other people (and often kill them).
In esense, you could say a vampire is a corpse that is not really dead although it retains more its human qualities than a lich or a zombie would. Basically you could also say that a vampire is a corps that has been reanimated. It arises at night to drink the blood of the living to replenish itself. The word itself originated as the Slavic word obyri or obiri, which evolved into the Bulgarian vampire. Another word for vampire, nosferatu, comes from the Greek nosophoros, plague-carrier.
picture (above) manga illustration of a vampire
Commonly it is said that Vapires can not stand the light, the original believe is that they would die if they stepped out into the sun light. However the length of time it takes to kill them is unspecified, but the educated assumption is that it is seconds. The exception, of course, would be the original Vampire which would be stronger than regular pure breed vampires. Theories have been put forward as well as stories, on weather the original vampire is fully or partially immune to light. None of them fully conclusive.
Vampires are said to have pale skin, not have a reflection in mirrors, and grow fangs. Doctors believe there may be a medical explanation for the proliferation of vampire stories in Eastern Europe. Porphyria (also known as phorphyic hemophelia), a hereditary blood disease, was once widespread among the aristocracy. Patients were sensitive to light, developed brownish teeth, and had skin lesions. They were often told to drink blood from other people to replenish their own.
Rabies also causes vampire-like symptoms, insomnia, delirium, and strange behavior. A rabies epidemic occurred in Transylvania around the time of Dracula, the world's most notorious vampire.
In Romanian, they are called, Vampir. During the process of becoming a vampire, the people the vampire was closest to in life will get horrible nightmare's of the creature's return.
Vald (The Impaler)
(Vlad - The Impaler)
The story of Dracula:
Dracula's real name was Vlad (the Impaler), he was called a vampire because of his cruel torturing methods. This includes, impaling citizens as he ate in front of them. He also held a rich feast, and all that came to it, he made them build a castle for him. Records prove that he was indeed a king of Romania and that he died, by an opposing army's hands. The enemies of Romania at the time (unsure who). The emperor of the enemy country ordered his army to bring Vlad's head to him, as proof he was dead. And they did so.
Dracul means Dragon/Demon
Dracula means Son of the Dragon/Demon.
Vlad Tepes III also known as Vlad Draculea, Kazikli Voyvoidawas a ruler of Wallachia for the following terms- 1448, 1456-1462, 1476. he was born November 8th 1431 in Sighisoara, Transylvania and died at the hands of the Ottoman in December 1476 at Wallachia.
On Easter 1459 he arrested all the boyar families as an act of revenge for the killing of his father. He impaled the older ones on stakes while forcing the others to march from the capitol to the town of Poenari, some 50 miles away. He then ordered the survivors to build a fortress on the ruins of an older outpost which overlooked the Arges river.
Vlad became quite known for his cruelty and brutal techniques of punishment; people were often skinned, boiled, decapitated, blinded, strangled, hanged, burned, roasted, hacked, nailed, buried alive, stabbed and so on. He also liked to cut off noses, ears, sexual organs and limbs. But his all time favourite form of torture was impalement on stakes, hence the surname of Tepes-meaning the Impaler in Romanian. The Turks even called him "Kaziglu Bey" - Impaler Prince.
His philosophy on honesty and order was known throughout the land. Almost any crime be it lying and stealing to killing could be punishable by impalement. This law was so effective that he placed a gold cup in the square, anybody could use this cup to drink from the well but the cup must remain in the square. The cup was never stolen or removed during Vlads whole reign.
some parts taken from:
Benjamin H. Leblanc
M.Sc. Student, Sociology of Religion
University of Montreal, Canada.
Origin of Myths:
Although, there have been many superstitions and beliefs about the origin of such theories, the Slavic vampire myths interpenetrate all the others. One such example of these pagan beliefs is believing in the soul after death.
Much vampire folklore originated in Hungary and the Slavic areas of Eastern Europe and Western Russia.
In Slavic culture, they believed that a vampire was a person who abducted a decomposing dead body and sought to feed on the blood for their own survival.
In many other cultures they believe(d) that a vampire was the resoult of making a deal with the devil or, much more commonly, a demon. Vampire - Mythical Creatures Guide
Vampire legends have existed all around the world. Granted, in different forms and shapes and ways, but it can be expected that Different vampires from different regions differed in their appearances.
For example, vampires from Bulgaria had only one nostril; whereas, those from Transylvania were pale and were said to have long fingernails. In Chinese Culture, it was believed that if a cat or dog jumped over a dead body, the body would turn into an undead. In Russian folklore, vampires were witches who once rebelled against the church, when they were alive. In Egyptian mythology, Goddess Sekhmet was said to be blood thirsty, which could be a possible relationship to vampirism.
However it was the The Persian Civilization who was the first to have had stories of blood-drinking creatures as far as records can tell. In folkloric tales, undead vampires often visited loved ones and caused mischief or deaths in the neighbourhoods they inhabited when they were alive. They wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of ruddy or dark countenance, markedly different from today's gaunt, pale vampire which dates from the early Nineteenth Century.
Although vampiric sorts of entities have been recorded in many cultures, the term vampire was not popularised until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe, although local variants were also known by different names, such as Vampir in Serbia, vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. The Apotamkin is considered to be the Native Americans version of a vampire.
In European folklore, a vampire is a corpse that rises from the grave and sucks blood from the living. According to some accounts, the dead become vampires because demons or evil spirits enter their bodies.
Vampires are also said to be dead werewolves, witches, criminals, suicides, and heretics: persons whose's beliefs are contrary to church doctrine.
In some legends, the victims of vampire attacks also turn into vampires themselves.
The principal characteristic of the vampire is that when buried it does not decay like a normal corpse. Instead, it leaves the grave at night to search for victims. According to tradition, a vampire remains active as long as it can obtain blood.
Legends of bloodsucking creatures are found in many cultures throughout history.
The vampires, along with Dragons and wearwolves, are also a popular literary subject, hence why there are numerous descriptions of the origin, nature, powers, etc. of vampires.
What seems to be universal about vampire myths is their connection with the fear of death and their desire for immortality.
Myths on the signs of Vampirism in a dead body: Vampire - Mythical Creatures Guide
* Holes in the ground above the grave
* Corpse with one or more of the following:
1. Wide open eyes
2. Ruddy complexion
3. No decomposition
* Nails and hair grown out
* Bite marks apparent on the neck
* Shroud (burial cloth) partially or entirely devoured
* Blood in the veins
* Coffin containing blood
* Apparently well fed body
* Flexible limbs (since dead people are often stiff due to lack of blood circulation)
40 Interesting Facts About … …