I love autumn and anything spooky, hence when I woke up to the rain this morning It immediately made me excited for everything autumnal, including Halloween. I am a fan of the slightly cheesy vampire books and films, I’m not even ashamed about it! As a History undergrad I wanted to gain more information on the origin of Vampires and folklore, I presumed there presence would be great in the 17th c but I was surprised by a lot of the details involved in the history of vampires.
- The Origin Of Vampires Can Be Traced To Greek Mythology.
In the story of a young Italian man named Ambrogio and love of his life, Selena. The story includes many features of mainstream vampire tales such as passion, blood-sucking and extreme sun sensitivity.
According to the myth, Ambrogio fell in love with Selena after visiting the legendary Oracle in the temple of Apollo, the sun god. He asked her to marry him, but little did he know the jealous Apollo wanted her for his own. Apollo cursed Ambrogio by causing his skin to burn whenever it was exposed to sunlight.
In desperation, Ambrogio turned to Hades, the god of the underworld, and then Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, for help. After stealing Artemis’s silver bow to fulfil a deal made with Hades, Artemis cursed Ambrogio so silver would burn his skin. She later took pity on him, though, and gave him super strength, immortality, and fangs to kill beasts to use their blood to write love poems to Selena.
Eventually, the mortal Selena escaped Apollo’s grasp and reunited with the immortal Ambrogio. Artemis told Ambrogio he could make Selena immortal by drinking her blood which would kill her body but make her spirit live on. Their combined blood could then turn anyone who drank it into a vampire.
2. The Main Superstition Around Vampires Climaxed In The 17th Century Eastern Europe.
The 17th century is notorious for being the height of superstition and fears of vampires is no exception. The accounts about vampires were written by officials such as priest and medical professional. Accounts such as one from 1732, involved numerous unsolved deaths (17) in a village.
3. The Belief In Vampires Centred Around The Graveyard.
After an unexplained death, graves would sometimes be checked by professionals. There are accounts of bodies still containing running blood or new flesh, indicating the return of life.
4. Vampire Precautions Were Used.
Following on from the point above, the graveyard and burial of the dead involved safeguarding against vampires. For example, it is thought the grave stone was a way too keep the body in its grave. Coffins were often secured with pins and nails, limbs were severed and sometimes heads were cut off and placed behind the body, in the event of the body returning to life, this way it wouldn’t be able to locate itself. Plus tilted gravestones suggested the body had access in and outside the grave.
5. The Immortality Of Vampires Originates From The Bible.
In Christianity, blood is life and death is the loss of blood. Hence, Vampires suck blood to regain life and immortality.
This was sort of for my interest but I hope you too enjoyed these facts. Do you have any facts about Vampires?
Eleanor Elizabeth xx