Saturday, July 06, 2013

VAMPIRES

Ghosts are one thing, but there are the 'undead' entities known for suckling blood from  unfortunate victims in lieu of food to stay alive and forever doomed to stay out of the sun and roam only at night or they would burst to flames and have the power of transforming into bats.


I think the myth of  vampires evolved from vampire bats' habit of sucking the blood of their prey(mostly mammals but sometimes humans too), their devilish, ugly appearances and the fact that they hunt only when it is fully dark. Like cats, vampire bats are viewed with superstition and some how or the other, vampires found their way into myths and folklore. One early mythical theory was that vampires were corpses possessed or resurrected by an evil spirit. The main myth these days is that a person becomes a vampire after being bitten by one and as they do no not really belong to the earth or the afterlife; they have no souls, they cannot die yet they have eternal life (which disables them from aging any further) and the only that could sustain them is human blood; hence the state of being 'undead'. The only way one is shielded from a vampire, the saying goes, is if a vampire is exposed to garlic, fire or a crucifix.
African and European countries were full of such myths and superstitions and then in 1897, Irish author Bram Stoker began the modern vampire fiction with his most notable work, Dracula; about a Transylvania noble who turned out to be a vampire seeking world domination and over the years many movie adaptations of this story followed and new vampire characters created.
 My first sight of a vampire on television was Count Dracula  portrayed by British actor Christopher Lee (below; at the time I hadn't heard of Bela Lugosi). I was about 7 years old and more squeamish about horror movies than I am now. What I saw at first was CL in a formal suit and cape and slicked back hair, next thing I knew I was screaming at the sight of  his red eyes
and fangs as he sucked blood from his victim's neck. Several years passed before I summoned up courage to watch it in full and buy the actual book!

 Thanks to vampire shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, The Vampire Diaries,True Blood; films like Twilight and Fright Night, vampires are pretty much popular in the media today. But is the old superstition there- are they real and hiding in the shadows and do the people who watch such believe they do exist or they are just merely being entertained?
No body wants to die but death is inevitable to all. But would a person terrified of death prefer to have eternal life by taking blood of others  as its soul energy sources  if actually being offered the option- hypothetically speaking ? I sincerely doubt it; for a person to roam the earth for hundreds of years lurking in the shadows and preying on the innocent for blood to live, that sort of eternal life can be nothing but described as a curse and living in damnation.

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