Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day XCII - Vampire

Cadaverous fiend,
Ubiquitous bloodsucker,
Unholy icon.

Probably the most popular of all mythical monsters in the present day, everyone knows of (and either loves or fears) vampires. Most often configured as 'living dead' beings that feed off the blood of humans, Vampirism is usually the result of improper burial or an unholy death which consequently links the creature to religious superstition, disease and decay. Vampires may be able to shapeshift, are often imagined as being fanged and cadaverous figures who keep to the dark; in the whole mass of divergent mythologies, protective methods include religious paraphernalia, garlic, holy water and mirrors. Every region and culture has their own vampire-type entity operating as a bloodsucking horror though the archetype has been mainly drawn from European traditions - particularly Slavic - with the rest fleshed out by literature (especially Bram Stoker's Dracula) and classic horror flicks. Ultimately, the Vampire is many different things to many different people and, thus, is probably the finest folklore figure in that it serves as an embodiment of all death and fear according to the individual's own psychological profile. Whatever the tradition and whatever your idealised Vampire is (mine is Murnau's Nosferatu) make sure you don't invite one in and ensure that you appreciate the awesome monsters well out of biting distance.