The public's thirst for vampires seems as endless as vampires' thirst
for blood. Modern writers of vampire fiction, including Stephenie Meyer,
Anne Rice, Stephen King and countless others, have a rich vein of
vampire lore to draw from. But where did the vampires come from?
The vampires most people are familiar with (such as Dracula) are revenants — human corpses that are said to return from the grave to harm the living; these vampires have Slavic origins only a few hundred years old. But other, older, versions of the vampire were not thought to be human at all but instead supernatural, possibly demonic, entities that did not take human form.
Matthew Beresford, author of "From Demons to Dracula: The Creation of the Modern Vampire Myth" notes that "There are clear foundations for the vampire in the ancient world, and it is impossible to prove when the myth first arose. There are suggestions that the vampire was born out of sorcery in ancient Egypt, a demon summoned into this world from some other." There are many variations of vampires from around the world. There are Asian vampires, such as the Chinese jianshi, evil spirits that attack people and drain their life energy; the blood-drinking Wrathful Deities that appear in the "Tibetan Book of the Dead," and many others.
Interest and belief in revenants surged in the Middle Ages in Europe. Though in most modern stories the classic way to become a vampire is to be bitten by one
The belief in vampires stems from superstition and mistaken assumptions about post-mortem decay. The first recorded accounts of vampires follow a consistent pattern: Some unexplained misfortune would befall a person, family, or town — perhaps a drought dried up crops, or an infectious disease struck. Before science could explain weather patterns and germ theory, any bad event for which there was not an obvious cause might be blamed on a vampire. Vampires were one easy answer to the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people.
How do you protect your self from vampires?? Well In some traditions the best way to stop a vampire is to carry a small bag of salt with you. If you are being chased, you need only to spill the salt on the ground behind you, at which point the vampire is obligated to stop and count each and every grain before continuing the pursuit. If you don't have salt handy, some say that any small granules will do, including birdseed or sand. Others say that there's an unwritten rule of vampire etiquette that they cannot enter a home unless formally invited in.
Centuries ago, it was not uncommon for suspected vampires to be staked in their graves. The idea was to physically pin the vampire to the earth, and the chest was chosen because it's the trunk of the body, not because of any particular symbolic connection to the heart. Other traditional methods of preventing vampires included burying (or re-burying) the bodies face-down and decapitation, which often included stuffing the severed head's mouth with garlic or bricks.
These are some of the myth we have researched so far. If you think you know more about vampires or you have seen one please write to us and tell your own story exclusive here in Msongo.