Throughout history our society has had an obsession with the idea of vampires and the dark myths that surround them. Through movies, literature, television and even old folk legends vampires have captured a lot of attention within popular media. Whether there is truth to the myths or not is really besides the question. Part of the fascination with vampires is the intriguing aspects of the unknown.
With that being said, one of the questions that comes to mind is what exactly are vampires and how did they become so popular? The actual term "vampire" derives from a number of different places including Greek mythology and Slavic folklore. One of the most common origins of the word is related to the Greek word nosophoros, which roughly translates to "plague carrier."
So, now we know the origins of the word itself, but when did vampires truly become legends in their own right? All across the world vampires are discussed, acknowledged, and used as integral parts of modern and traditional story telling. While all cultures seem to portray vampires in a different light, there is one underlying feature that remains the same. Vampires are a creature considered to be "undead" that rises to drink and consume the blood of other living things. For centuries millions of people have told, re-enacted, and swooned over the legends of vampires. There really seems to be no end in sight.
While many vampire myths vary depending on who you talk to, there are some features that seem to be quite universal. Firstly, as mentioned before, vampires feast on the blood of living things. A few other common characteristics are the belief that vampires can take the form of bats and wolves. They can fly. They sleep inside dark coffins at night.
Aside from all the legends, myths, and stories relating to vampires throughout history, there are also quite a few superstitions that are practiced when it comes to protecting yourself from the dangers that vampires can convey. One of the most powerful tools one can use for protection is a crucifix. The Christian aspect of this superstition is quite obvious as it is thought that vampires are undead and thus related to the devil himself. There are also stories of how spreading garlic around your home or scattering seeds outside could ward off the evil that is possessed within vampires. While these superstitions are quite evident throughout literature and vampire folklore, you many also be surprised at how many people truly employ these tactics on a daily basis.
In truth, there are an infinite amount of opinions, beliefs, and ideas when it comes to the discussion of vampires. Is there really just one factual answer to any corresponding answer? In actuality there isn't. This is exactly where the intrigue comes into play with vampires. Do we really want to know the truth? Or is it simply more exciting to wonder and let our mind wander? Imagining what could be out there makes vampire literature and movies simply that much more exciting.