Vampirism: Striking at the heart of fear and desire

In this post, the author puts vampires into two separate categories, mythical and ‘real’ vampires. Since the 1922 film, Nosferatu, vampires have been seen as a comical ghoulish monster with a Eastern European accent. Children and adults alike often times light-heartedly dress up as the mythical creature for Halloween. The author of this article attempts to separate the knowledge of vampires that she grew up with, with the realistic vampire that many 14th and 15th century Europeans were terrified of. She examines artifacts of the past and find many instances where people were killed with a stake through their heart and massive decapitations of individuals.  This relates to anthropology because she does not let the vampires that she grew up on deter her for getting to know the truth about the real life vampires that so many Europeans had a true fear of. By looking at this information, the author can gain a better understanding of the mindset of medieval Europeans and the common fears they had. This informations lets present day people know that the fear of the afterlife coming back was a grand one. We can see traces of this in modern society as well. Reading this article, one can see beyond vampires being a thing to make fun of on October 31st and realize that there was a point in history where it was a legitimate fear.