Vampire! by William Bove

VAMPIRE! The word just drips with danger, horror, terror, sensuality and the night and the word drips red. Slow, thick, and sweetly red. Candy coated dirty secret red and the red of ultimate power. Its an ultimate power we worship and revere now but in the beginning it was a power that taught us to fear the night, strangers, disease, and believe in the power of God.

Vampires were awful creatures that no one wanted to be let alone be like. As soon as the sun went down they would crawl from hidden places and come for us. Especially if we were weary and unsuspecting. The tired traveler walking by themselves down a well traveled path can be found in the morning pale and missing more than half their blood supply with heavy damage to their neck, arms, and chest. The flesh torn and ripped open the way a child nowadays would rip the paper of a gift to get to the preset inside.

These beasts were often found to live in cemeteries, crypts, mountains, caves, bogs, and abandoned places in towns and villages or of the beaten path so to speak in the woods. Every culture on the planet has a version of the vampire. Like the Romanians have the Strigoi. A creature that sleeps in graves rising to hunt the living for their blood. They are capable of powers of invisibility and animal transformation. Some can charm and enchant the mind with a look such as a glare or a deep hypnotic gaze. The Greeks have what is called the Strix. A nocturnal bird that feasts on human flesh and blood. Or the Lamia who lures men to their end with seductive skills then gorges on the flesh of blood of their victims. All vampires employ many powers in their arsenal to tempt us to danger, but all have the same end. Our life, our blood, and our essence is what they are after every time.

Vampires were also used as tools to make people respect the laws of god and man more. Commit sins against man’s law and you will rise a vampire after your death. Beating one’s wife or family members. Committing murder against a neighbor or even coveting a neighbor’s wife. A fall down drunk was another offense that would lead to vampirism. Failing to keep holy a Sabbath day such as attending mass on Sunday or not being a good Christian. Consorting with the devil and taking part in orgies in the woods with people, beasts, and demons. These things all lead to the strong chance that one would rise a vampire after their death and attack the living.

Often the victim of the vampire would be those nearest and dearest to it when in life. Family and friends were often the first people a vampire would go after. So you would have this hulking mass of icy flesh laying on you that stunk of the newly overturned earth of the grave. Growling and clawing at you to expose your neck to it could tear into your flesh and drink your blood.

Diseases that became epidemics wiping out a fair number of people were also blamed on the vampire. Diseases such as the black plagues of Europe and the tuberculosis scares of  the 17 and 1800s in America also blamed the vampire before we really knew what was going on.

After myth and the new sciences took over the vampire took shelter in literature and stage performances. Then the silver screen. As the world changed from myth to science the vampire waiting and grew in vast amounts of power through fiction. Still as time wore on the vampire myth and sightings of the beast never stop. Reports still exist today from all over the world. However now we do have real vampires that do exist. Those who choose to live by the night and dress in a manner that shows their live for horror, terror, and romanticism. Some of them are vampire lifestylers as the term goes and some are the genuine article.

In a nutshell they possess a heightened set of gifts of human awareness and connection with others through emotion and energy. Also they live for a strongly pronounced dark side to their nature and character and many drink blood while others will simply draw in energy from someone to themselves.

For centuries now the vampire has had a known element or elements of magnetism and attraction to it. Even if that attraction is total fear. There is something inside of fear that is very potent to us. It keeps our curiosity perked, our senses always heightened and at the ready. The beast fertilizes our imaginations and we are made whole by the thing.

The vampire says yes to our dark side and to power. Power that  you never have to feel sorry for, beauty and age that are unending. The means to allow no one to get in your way and to allow no one to push you around. It answers our questions about the afterlife and the grave. What happens to us when we die and what is death?

It helps to explore the night and the moon. To accept the elemental that we were all taught had an inherint danger to it. Specifically blood and the night and shadow. We are drawn in by these things and we teach ourselves to love them because the mystique they carry and the secrets they hold will always draw the better sides of us to the surface for just one more…..taste.

 

William Bove