In my previous blog, I discussed the fascination of humans with otherworldly creatures in the present (specifically, aliens). This time I will be talking about an older human fear and fascinate that still continues to present day. This is the belief in vampires. In her article, “Vampirisim”, Katy Meyers Emery evaluates vampire culture and the real problem that it posed for people in the past.
Evidence of vampirism can be found all throughout the archeology of ancient Europe. This evidence is most often found in grave sites dating around the 15th century (this was also the century in which Vlad the Impaler, a famous “vampire” lived and committed his acts of torture). Countless bodies have been found with wooden stakes driven through their hearts as well as multiple stab wounds to the heart, these were commonly used practices to keep the vampires from rising from the grave. The most recent archeological discovery of vampires was found in Poland, where 17 bodies were found decapitated with no grave markings whatsoever. The heads of the bodies were placed in their hands or between their knees. It has been speculated that the decapitation of these bodies was used as a means to keep them from rising as vampires, although it has not yet been determined whether this was the cause of death or a post-mortem alteration to the body.
Over the centuries, human’s views of vampires have changed drastically as a result of cultural change. During earlier periods, vampires and many other mystical creatures were viewed as very real and something worth taking precautionary measures against. Now, as depicted through popular movies and tv shows, vampires are viewed as sexy and desirable because we know they are not something that we really need to worry about.