The History of Vampires

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The vampire is one of the oldest mythological creatures in the world. It has been around for thousands of years and is found in nearly every culture. There are many different kinds, the red-eyed corpses from China, the Greek Lamia- a woman with the lower body of a winged serpent, the Penanggalang in Malaysia- a woman with a detachable head, etc. The most commonly known, however, is the Romanian vampire, it is used often in pop culture, from movies, to television, to literature. The myth of the Romanian vampire became popular after the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, After which it evolved to symbolise many things such as sexuality, eternal damnation, eternal love, and the human longing for immortality. The Romanian vampire is…show more content…
Another way someone would be identified as a vampire is if they lived an unusual life. People who practiced witchcraft, committed suicide, or were excommunicated by the church were certain to come back as vampires after death. If none of these signs were apparent during their life, a person could be identified as a vampire after death. If the corpse was buried face down or was jumped over by a cat, there was a chance that person would come back from the dead. Another indication from the grave would be if there was a small hole near the gravestone. It was believed that a vampire could enter and exit through a small hole near the headstone. This might be because of the fact that vampires were believed to be able to dissipate into a mist, or fog, and travel in that form, making it easy to slip through the hole near their headstone.
Also in J. Gordon Melton’s book The Vampire Book: Encyclopedia of the Undead, it was said that since people lived in such fear of these vampires, there were many precautions taken. For one, garlic would be placed in the mouth of the suspected corpse or millet seeds would be put in their coffin. This was because it was believed that the vampire would be postponed from coming out of the grave because it would need to take the time of eating it before leaving the coffin. Sometimes a distaff would be driven into the ground over their grave in the hopes that if the vampire were to try and escape,
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