The History of Vampires
Where Did Vampires Come From?
Do Vampires Exist?
Facts about Vampires
An Official Report on Vampires
Berwick Upon Tweed Vampire (Scotland)
Incubus and Succubus
The Legend of the Alnwick Castle Vampire
Le Vampire by R de Moraine 1864
How and what to feed a Vampire
How to Kill a Vampire
Spell to Become a Vampire
Asian Vampire Legends
Eastern Europe Vampire
Northern European Vampires
Until recently, we didn't know a lot about the history of vampires.
Despite being one of the oldest and most prevalent creatures of world mythology, the origin of vampires has remained unknown for thousands of years. It wasn't until the Scriptures of Delphi were found that we were given a glimpse into the early vampire history.
Only a vampire can create another vampire, so logic tells us that the history of vampires begins with a single vampire who created the others. Much like the chicken-and-the-egg argument, we had little insight into how the first vampire came about until recently. Logically, if there was no vampire to make the first vampire, how was the first vampire made?
The answer lies in the Scriptures of Delphi, specifically in the collection of writings known as "The Vampire Bible".
The first vampire started out as not a vampire at all, but as a human man named Ambrogio. He was an Italian-born adventurer who fate brought to Delphi, in Greece. You can read the full story here, but in a nutshell a series of blessings and curses transformed this young man into history's first vampire.
Specifically, it began with the sun god Apollo (Greek mythology), who in a fit of rage cursed Ambrogio so that his skin would burn should it ever touch sunlight again. Ambrogio's bad luck followed when he ended up gambling away his soul to Hades (Greek mythology), the god of the underworld. The next curse came via Apollo's sister Artemis (Greek mythology), the goddess of the moon and hunting, who made it so that Ambrogio's skin would burn if he touched silver.
The blessings came soon after when Artemis, taking pity on the poor young man, gave him the gift of immortality. He would carry his curses - his skin burning by sunlight or silver, but he would live forever in his current form. Not only that, but Artemis also gave him the speed and strength to become a hunter whose skills were second only to her own.
Blood-sucking (which, by the way, is called "hematophagy" in case you were curious) is also included in this "blessing". In the vampire origin story, Ambrogio hunts swans and uses their blood as ink to write love poems to his lady Selene. While this may be considered a little creepy by our standards, it wasn't all that unusual in ancient Greece to make do with what you hunted.
The First Vampire Clan
Ambrogio later moved back to Italy, now as a full-fledged vampire. Legend traces him to the city of Florence (Firenze), where he creates the first Vampire Clan.
We don't know a whole lot about this clan, other than they were most likely willing volunteers - humans who wanted power and immortality, and were willing to trade their souls for it. It was believed that the curse would continue for any vampire where their souls would remain in the Underworld (aka Hades aka Hell), where they could return to claim them, but then could never leave.
From what we know of the history of vampires, the clan grew in size and strength, until infighting created something of a "civil war" within the clan, and many vampires left to form their own clans.
What happened to Ambrogio and those who stayed with him is largely unknown, though many believe that he still resides somewhere in Florence.
The Vampire Origin Story
Ambrogio was a young adventurer. Born and raised in Italy, he had always longed to travel to Greece to have his fortune told by the Oracle of Delphi. When he was an adult, he got on a boat and sailed to the western edge of Greece, near Astakos. He traveled east until he eventually reached the city of Delphi.
Delphi was home to a great temple of Apollo the sun god. It was also the home of the Pythia, better known as the Oracles. The Pythia would sit in a chamber within the temple and speak of prophecies, inspired by Apollo, to those who came to seek the Oracle's wisdom.
When Ambrogio finally arrived at the temple, he went to speak to the Pythia. The Pythia, whose words were often cryptic, said only a few words: "The curse. The moon. The blood will run."
He couldn't sleep that night. He stayed awake outside of the temple, pondering the meaning of the Pythia's words. As the sun rose in the morning he realized that he had not slept. As he walked back toward the town he saw a beautiful woman dressed in white robes walking to the temple. He ran over to her and introduced himself.
Her name was Selene, and she was a maiden of the temple. Her sister was the Oracle, and so Selene tended to the temple and took care of her sister while in her entranced state.
For the next few days every morning Ambrogio met Selene at dawn before she entered the temple. They soon fell in love.
On his last day in Greece, Ambrogio asked Selene to marry him and return with him to Italy. She agreed. He said he would make the preparations then meet her at dawn the next morning at their meeting spot outside the temple.
Apollo, the sun god, had been watching. He himself had taken a liking to the beautiful Selene and was enraged that Ambrogio would come to his temple and take one of his maidens away. At sunset that night, Apollo appeared to Ambrogio and cursed him so that from that day forth a mere touch of Apollo's sunlight would burn Ambrogio's skin.
Ambrogio was distraught. He was set to leave with Selene in the morning, but he would not be able to meet her at sunrise as he promised because of the curse. Having nowhere else to turn, he ran to a cave that led to Hades for protection. Hades, god of the underworld, listened to his tale and made him a deal - if he could steal the silver bow of Artemis and bring it back, Hades would grant him and Selene protection in the underworld. The deal specified that Hades would give Ambrogio a magical wooden bow and 11 arrows to hunt with. He was to offer his hunting trophies to Artemis in order to gain her favor and steal her silver bow. As collateral, Ambrogio had to leave his soul in Hades until he returned with the bow. Should he return without the silver bow, he would have to live in Hades forever, never to return to Selene. Having no other choice, Ambrogio agreed.
He had no way to contact Selene. He had parchments, but no writing implement, so he took his bow and arrow and killed a swan. Using its feather as a pen, and its blood as the ink, he wrote her a note explaining that he could not meet with her but would find a way for them to be together. He left the note in their meeting place and ran off to find a place to hide from the sunlight.
Naturally, Selene was devastated when she found the note, but she kept working at the temple as she did not want to anger Apollo any further. The next morning, Selene went back to the meeting place, but once again Ambrogio was not there. She saw another piece of parchment with writing in blood on it. It was a love poem from Ambrogio.
Before morning for 44 days Ambrogio slew a swan and used its blood to write Selene a love poem. After draining the blood and taking a single feather he offered the body of the swan as a tribute to Artemis, the goddess of hunting and the moon, and also sister to Apollo. He hoped that even if he could not steal her bow, she would be honored by the tribute and would be able to convince her brother Apollo to remove the curse.
On the 45th night, Ambrogio had only one arrow left. He shot it at a swan and missed, the arrow sailing into the distance. He had neither the blood to write Selene's poem nor the swan to sacrifice to Artemis. He fell to the ground and wept.
Seeing how good of a hunter and how dedicated of a follower Ambrogio had been, Artemis came down to him. He begged Artemis to let him borrow her bow and an arrow so he could kill one last bird and leave one final note to Selene.
Artemis took pity on him and agreed to let him borrow her silver bow and an arrow. He took the bow, and in desperation, ran to the cave that led to Hades. Artemis realized what was happening and cast her own curse on Ambrogio. The curse caused all silver burn his skin. Ambrogio dropped the silver bow and fell to the ground in pain.
Artemis was furious at his deceit, but he begged her for forgiveness. He explained the deal he was forced to make with Hades, his curse by Apollo, and his love for Selene. He apologized profusely and swore that he had no other choice.
Artemis took pity on him again and decided to give him one last chance. She offered to make him a great hunter, almost as great as she was, with the speed and strength of a god and fangs with which to drain the blood of the beasts to write his poems. In exchange for this immortality, he would have to agree to a deal. He and Selene would have to escape Apollo's temple and worship only Artemis forever. The catch was that Artemis was a virgin goddess, and all of her followers had to remain chaste and unmarried, so Ambrogio was never allowed to touch Selene again. They could never kiss, never touch, never have children.
Ambrogio agreed. At least this way he and Selene could be together. He killed another swan and left Selene a note telling her to meet him on a ship at the docks. Before dawn the next morning, she saw the note and ran away before Apollo could notice.
When Selene arrived at the dock she found Ambrogio's ship and met him down in the hull. There was a wooden coffin with a note on it, telling her to order the ship's captain to set sail, and to open the coffin only after the sun had set. She did as the note said, and after sunset she opened the coffin to find Ambrogio alive and well.
The couple sailed to Ephesus, where they lived in a cave during the day and worshiped Artemis at her grand temple every night. They lived happily together for many years, never touching, never kissing, never having children.
After a number of years, Ambrogio's immortality allowed him to stay young, but Selene continued to age as a mortal. She finally fell ill and was on her deathbed. Ambrogio was distraught, knowing that he would not join Selene in the afterlife because his soul still resided in Hades. At night, he went into the woods and found a white swan swimming alone in a small lake. He killed the swan and offered it to Artemis, begging for her to make Selene immortal so they could stay together forever.
Artemis appeared to him. Thankful for his years of dedication and worship, she made him one last deal. Artemis told Ambrogio that he could touch Selene just once - to drink her blood. Doing so would kill her mortal body, but from then on, her blood mixed with his could create eternal life for any who drink of it. If he did this, Artemis would see to it that they stayed together forever.
Ambrogio wanted to refuse, but after telling Selene what happened, Selene begged him to do it. After much convincing, he bit her neck and took her blood into his body. As he set her limp body down, Selene began to radiate with light, and raise up to the sky. Ambrogio watched as Selene's glowing spirit lifted to meet Artemis at the moon. When she arrived, the moon lit up with a brilliant light.
Selene became the goddess of moonlight, and every night she would reach down with her rays of light to the earth and finally touch her beloved Ambrogio as well as all of their children - the newly created vampires who carried the blood of Ambrogio and Selene, together.
The first evidence of their existence is in the Bible! Thousands of years ago, men that lived on the current Palestinian territory were being attacked by the mythical Lilith – the cursed daughter of Adam’s first wife. Her “relative” Ekimmus was born in Assyria, in the Semitic country in the ancient Mesopotamia.
They drank human blood, could possess their victims, and could be defeated only with a wooden weapon. Other vampires from the Hebrew mythology were called Estrie, and they could transform into any form, including human. From the Semitic legends.
In the Islamic culture, people were whispering for centuries about Alghouls – monsters that were attacking wanderers in the wilderness, robbing and devouring them. They were also often appearing at the cemeteries. Described most often as women or animals, they would be probably simply called “grave robbers” in the other cultures. According to the Arabic mythology, they arose from rebellious angels who fell in flames from the sky. Some of them fell into the water and turned into crocodiles, while those that fell on the land became Ghouls.
Vampires actively participated in the development of Christianity. Greek Callicantzaros were wandering through the world during the Christmas season, and the most vulnerable to vampiric abilities were children born between December 24th and January 6th. Although it is hard to believe, in Greece there was a great social reluctance to those people. Besides Callicantzaros, there existed Empuses and Lamias, dangerous female witches that have been burned at the stakes. They were probably only the equivalent of the soldiers, attacking villages in the middle of the night. They could be killed with any weapon.
Do Vampires Exist?
Evidence supporting the existence of vampires has always existed in our society, since the creation of these creatures. They have simply been well-hidden from the public as have many things (aliens/UFOs and werewolves)
One obvious piece of evidence would be the fact that there are descriptions of vampires from an array of existing and pre-existing cultures across the world.
Drawings and written descriptions of human-like creatures that would draw blood from their victims, with uncanny strength, speed, elongated fangs, varying skin pigmentation, aversion to sunlight and allergic to garlic. The underlying, rudimentary characteristics as described above all correlate and remain consistent amongst different cultures. There are descriptions of vampires extending across the globe from places such as Africa to India to China.
The mere word conjures up images of handsome, or strikingly beautiful creatures, such as is depicted in the hit films like the ‘Twilight’ collection and TV series ‘True Blood’.
One of the most famous vampires of all time is, of course, Count Dracula. The brain child of Bram Stoker who based his immortal monster on the blood thirsty ruler know as Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad Dracul-a, which when translated means "son of the dragon", a nicknamed that was well earned, for the count was a blood thirsty and ruthless ruler.
He was also known as Vlad the Impaler due to his habit of impaling people on very sharp stakes and letting them suffer until they died a horrible and extremely painful death. The legends of vampires were around long before Stoker wrote his book.
From very early times there have been reports and tales of vampires, or vampyr, which means, when roughly translated, "blood drinker". In nature there are all kinds of vampires. Mosquitoes, tick, fleas, bedbugs, and a species of bat that drinks blood, named most aptly the vampire bat.
So what about the legend of vampires? Do they exist? There are some well documented accounts that indicate they do.
There was the case of Arnold Paole. It was reported that Arnold was bitten by a vampire while he was serving as a soldier in his country's army. When he returned home from service he became a farmer. One day while cutting hay Paole had an accident which killed him. A few days later, people started dying from loss of blood. The people started saying there was a vampire in their midst.
There were several eye-witness reports that said they had seen Arnold walking around after his death. His eye were glassy and his teeth had grown long and sharp. The locals went to dig up Paole's body, and when they unearthed the corpse, there was no decay and there was fresh blood on the lips and a bloom of colour in the cheeks. Arnold looked as fresh as the day he had died. The locals pounded a stake through the vampire's heart and heard the vampire screech in agony. Then they cut off the head and burned the body. The strange deaths suddenly stopped.
There are literally thousands of vampire legends throughout history. Nearly every single culture on the face of the earth has some kind of myth about un-dead, blood-sucking creatures that relate back to vampire mythology.
Naturally, the legends are not all consistent with one another, though there are many common threads throughout the various cultural myths. In order to take a more analytical view at vampire, we must do a little scientific-style hypothesizing.
With vampires, it seems there are more questions than there are answers, so before we delve into the Question and Answer section, I'll hook you up with some basic facts first:
Do Vampires Really Exist?
People are constantly asking - "do vampires really exist?" It seems that no matter how much evidence there is to suggest they either do or don't, most people are not satisfied without a conclusive answer. I suppose it's human nature to want to know definitively, but without hard scientific evidence in hand, how do we determine if vampires really exist or not? While we may not have an airtight case to prove that vampires are real, there is evidence to suggest that this may indeed be the case.
It's the classic problem with myths and legends in general, but especially with cryptids and legendary monsters - we can't prove that they are real, but we also can't prove that they are not. There are plenty of examples from the past where scientists believed a creature to be extinct only to find it alive and well in a remote part of the world. The legendary sea monster the Kraken was thought to have been pure fantasy until giant squids matching the Kraken's description were finally discovered.
If we had hard evidence, we wouldn't even be asking the question. It would like be asking "do lions exist?" If we could prove it, there would be no question. At the same time, just because we can't prove it doesn't mean it isn't true. Plenty of people believe in a God that rules from a place called Heaven even though they don't have any hard proof of his or her existence either. So why not believe in vampires?
So, do vampires really exist?
There's no way to be sure. There have been reports from around the world over thousands of years of creatures like these. If vampires don't exist, then how do you explain all of these sightings and encounters? A hoax is one thing, but the same hoax being played over and over again for thousands of years across independent cultures is entirely different. We have reason to believe they might exist because of these reports, but we have reason to be sceptical because we don't have the proof we so badly desire
Keep in mind too that if you were to encounter a vampire, you probably would not live to tell about it. Not only are vampires insatiably hungry for human blood, but they live by a code that requires their existence to remain secret - only making detection that much more difficult.
The only way to answer this question is to give the only honest answer anyone can. Do vampires really exist? Maybe they do, maybe they don't.
If they do exist, we really don't want to run into one. Therefore, we must choose to be cautious about any actions and activities, and limit our exposure to any of these kinds of beings to a purely inquisitive one.
A new report that was conducted by paranormal expert Lionel Fanthorpe has found that Yorkshire, England is a hotspot for vampire activity. According to the report, eleven cases have been reported in Yorkshire during the past century.
A total of 211 cases were reported across Britain during the last century, many of which involved police investigations. As far as Transylvania, during the same period only eight vampire sightings were reported.
For centuries, people have been fascinated by everything that is strange, dangerous and inhuman: that is why all the stories about vampires enjoy such great popularity. You may remember the classic Nosferatu or Dracula, drinking blood of innocent virgins, while younger the younger generation are convinced that vampires have souls, they can love, and they do not burn in the sun, they would rather… shine.
Although we are not sure how they really looked like, where they lived and if they had some of the human feelings, we know that they appeared in the literature or in the mythology in almost every known culture throughout the whole world.
It is interesting that a prototype of the vampire does not have fangs but a “sting” under the tongue. They did not just drink blood, but they were also tempting and seducing women. They could even take a revenge on their former relatives.
The belief in the existence of vampires was so strong that the Slavs used so-called anti-vampire burial. Most of those rituals recommended that the dead body should be bonded, beheaded and the heart should be stabbed with a poplar dowel. Bricks, iron, silver, various herbs, as well as garlic and onions were often placed in the coffins, before the burial to prevent the vampires from re-surfacing.
Fanthorpe combed through more than 11,000 paranormal reports dating back to 1914 to compile his data.
There have been 1615 'paranormal activity' cases have been reported in Yorkshire over the last 100 years and 11,204 reports were filed, 206 of them referring to 'vampire encounters'. In the whole of Britain.
This account of a haunting is considered to be one of the earliest possible accounts of a vampire in Britain. It was written by William Parvus, also known as William of Newburgh (or Newbury) (Born 1136 – Died 1198), an Augustinian Canon who wrote several accounts of haunting/potential vampire cases.
‘At the mouth of the river Tweed, and in the jurisdiction of the king of Scotland, there stands a noble city which is called Berwick. In this town a certain man, very wealthy, but as it afterwards appeared a great rogue, having been buried, after his death sallied forth (by the contrivance, as it is believed, of Satan) out of his grave by night, and was borne hither and thither, pursued by a pack of dogs with loud barking’s; thus striking great terror into the neighbours, and returning to his tomb before daylight. After this had continued for several days, and no one dared to be found out of doors after dusk - for each dreaded an encounter with this deadly monster - the higher and middle classes of the people held a necessary investigation into what was requisite to he done; the more simple among them fearing, in the event of negligence, to be soundly beaten by this prodigy of the grave; but the wiser shrewdly concluding that were a remedy further delayed, the atmosphere, infected and corrupted by the constant whirling’s through it of the pestiferous corpse, would engender disease and death to a great extent; the necessity of providing against which was shown by frequent examples in similar cases. They, therefore, procured ten young men renowned for boldness, who were to dig up the horrible carcass, and, having cut it limb from limb, reduce it into food and fuel for the flames. When this was done, the commotion ceased.
Moreover, it is stated that the monster, while it was being borne about (as it is said) by Satan, had told certain persons whom it had by chance encountered, that as long as it remained unburned the people should have no peace. Being burnt, tranquillity appeared to be restored to them; but a pestilence, which arose in consequence, carried off the greater portion of them: for never did it so furiously rage elsewhere, though it was at that time general throughout all the borders of England, as shall be more fully explained in its proper place.’
The European Incubuses looked like very attractive men, coming in the night they were forcing women to the sexual intercourse. Their female version were Succubuses. Despite vampires appeared only in dreams, those people who had had “debauched dreams” were considered as possessed by the devil in medieval Europe. Former Europeans also knew the Navias – the souls of the dead, that came to our world in the form of birds, butterflies or insects, and as they were sucking blood they could spread illnesses.
Many believed that it possible that they caused the heaviest disease in Europe – the Plague?
In the Balkans reigned Dhampir, called in Bulgarian – Vampirdzhija, which could be born from a vampire-human relationship. According to the legend, if a Gypsy man, who after the death of his wife still desires her, spends a night with her dead body, their child will become a Dhampir. These beings particularly liked to kill their close relatives, which was probably a good explanation for why the Gypsy families took revenge so often. That is why many locals have been claiming that they were vampires and simply did not control themselves. The last “official” attack of a Dhampir was recorded in Yugoslavia in 1959.
The thousand-year old Alnwick Castle. Seat of the legendary Percy family – the original Kings in the North – and now the home of Duke of Northumberland.
Although its modern fame lies more with Black Adder, Harry Potter and the famous Alnwick Gardens, it also has a more unexpected connection. Alnwick Castle is purported to have spawned its own vampire.
William of Newburgh – author of the first vampire diaries?
The strange tale of the hunchback vampire that stalked the grounds of the castle bringing terror and disease in its wake was most famously recorded by a medieval chronicler named William de Newburgh. Newburgh wrote his Historia rerum Anglicarum in the late twelfth century primarily as a work of ‘serious’ history. He was quite proud of his research, and not above a little professional bitchiness -particularly about the work of fellow medieval historian – Geoffrey of Monmouth, dreadful fellow!. Nevertheless, de Newburgh was adept at adding a bit of local colour and even a supernatural twist to spice up his narrative.
Introducing the subject of revenants and vampire-like creatures, he manages to sound both archly aloof to the whole idea, whilst simultaneously seeming to claim that the eye-witness evidence supported the veracity of such claims.
“It would not be easy to believe that the corpses of the dead should sally (I know not by what agency) from their graves, and should wander about to the terror or destruction of the living, and again return to the tomb, which of its own accord spontaneously opened to receive them, did not frequent examples, occurring in our own times, suffice to establish this fact, to the truth of which there is abundant testimony”
Despite de Newburgh’s implication that he used apparently reliable testimony there is little evidence of the Alnwick vampire other than local legends.
An early version of the tale says that the creature was the revenant of ‘the Lord of the Estate’ who lived underground and only came out to wreak mayhem and violence on the local peasantry. His reign of terror was finally stopped when the locals, no doubt wielding pitchforks, dug him up and burned his festering corpse.
William de Newburgh elaborated on the tale and added a few more vampire-like attributes.
Varney the vampire
In de Newburgh’s version the vampire is demoted, and the lord of the estate becomes instead a mere retainer of the lord (perhaps de Newburgh did not want to annoy the powerful de Vescy family who owned Alnwick at that time); the creature is seen prowling the estate Post Mortem looking for trouble. The energetic corpse took to paying less than welcome house calls, bringing sickness and plague in his wake. The villagers barricaded themselves in to their homes once night fell.
Then on Palm Sunday, the priest, seized with a Van Helsing-like zeal, enrolled a pitchfork wielding mob (every village should have one) and successfully uncovered the lair of the unruly cadaver. Upon striking the putrescent body with a spade, blood gushed out, seeming to prove that the rogue rotter had been feasting on the blood of the living. Staked with a spade and burned at the margins of the village (cross roads maybe?), the curse was lifted, the plague ended and everyone lived happily ever after.
A lively medieval corpse
The Alnwick vampire was said to be a dead body, leaving its grave at night and bringing a sickness in its wake. The corpse, when it was discovered, was found to be corpulent and brimming with blood. So, under the terms of Wright’s definition, the Alnwick Vampire seems to fit the classic usually Eastern European profile for a vampire. Afterall, people in the past were less likely to understand the post mortem changes that afflict a corpse and might view the natural decomposition process and its occasional mockery of corpulent, rosy cheeked health as something far more sinister and unholy.
Alnwick Castle by JM Turner c1829
Another event, also, not unlike this, but more pernicious in its effects, happened at the castle which is called Anantis, as I have heard from an aged monk who lived in honour and authority in those parts, and who related this event as having occurred in his own presence. A certain man of evil conduct flying, through fear of his enemies or the law, out of the province of York, to the lord of the before-named castle, took up his abode there, and having cast upon a service befitting his humour, laboured hard to increase rather than correct his own evil propensities. He married a wife, to his own ruin indeed, as it afterwards appeared; for, hearing certain rumours respecting her, he was vexed with the spirit of Jealousy. Anxious to ascertain the truth of these reports, he pretended to be going on a journey from which he would not return for some days; but coming back in the evening, he was privily introduced into his bedroom by a maid-servant, who was in the secret, and lay hidden on a beam overhanging, his wife’s chamber, that he might prove with his own eyes if anything were done to the dishonour of his marriage-bed. Thereupon beholding his wife in the act of fornication with a young man of the neighbourhood, and in his indignation forgetful of his purpose, he fell, and was dashed heavily to the ground, near where they were lying.
The adulterer himself leaped up and escaped; but the wife, cunningly dissembling the fact, busied herself in gently raising her fallen husband from the earth. As soon as he had partially recovered, he upbraided her with her adultery, and threatened punishment; but she answering, “Explain yourself, my lord,” said she; “you are speaking unbecomingly which must be imputed not to you, but to the sickness with which you are troubled.” Being much shaken by the fall, and his whole body stupefied, he was attacked with a disease, insomuch that the man whom I have mentioned as having related these facts to me visiting him in the pious discharge of his duties, admonished him to make confession of his sins, and receive the Christian Eucharist in proper form: but as he was occupied in thinking about what had happened to him, and what his wife had said, put off the wholesome advice until the morrow — that morrow which in this world he was fated never to behold! — for the next night, destitute of Christian grace, and a prey to his well-earned misfortunes, he shared the deep slumber of death. A Christian burial, indeed, he received, though unworthy of it; but it did not much benefit him: for issuing, by the handiwork of Satan, from his grave at night-time, and pursued by a pack of dogs with horrible barking’s, he wandered through the courts and around the houses while all men made fast their doors, and did not dare to go abroad on any errand whatever from the beginning of the night until the sunrise, for fear of meeting and being beaten black and blue by this vagrant monster. But those precautions were of no avail ; for the atmosphere, poisoned by the vagaries of this foul carcass, filled every house with disease and death by its pestiferous breath.
Already did the town, which but a short time ago was populous, appear almost deserted; while those of its inhabitants who had escaped destruction migrated to other parts of the country, lest they too should die. The man from whose mouth I heard these things, sorrowing over this desolation of his parish, applied himself to summon a meeting of wise and religious men on that sacred day which is called Palm Sunday, in order that they might impart healthful counsel in so great a dilemma, and refresh the spirits of the miserable remnant of the people with consolation, however imperfect. Having delivered a discourse to the inhabitants, after the solemn ceremonies of the holy day had been properly performed, he invited his clerical guests, together with the other persons of honor who were present, to his table. While they were thus banqueting, two young men (brothers), who had lost their father by this plague, mutually encouraging one another, said, “This monster has already destroyed our father, and will speedily destroy us also, unless we take steps to prevent it. Let us, therefore, do some bold action which will at once ensure our own safety and revenge our father’s death. There is no one to hinder us; for in the priest’s house a feast is in progress, and the whole town is as silent as if deserted. Let us dig up this baneful pest, and burn it with fire.”
Thereupon snatching up a spade of but indifferent sharpness of edge, and hastening to the cemetery, they began to dig; and whilst they were thinking that they would have to dig to a greater depth, they suddenly, before much of the earth had been removed, laid bare the corpse, swollen to an enormous corpulence, with its countenance beyond measure turgid and suffused with blood; while the napkin in which it had been wrapped appeared nearly torn to pieces. The young men, however, spurred on by wrath, feared not, and inflicted a wound upon the senseless carcass, out of which incontinently flowed such a stream of blood, that it might have been taken for a leech filled with the blood of many persons.
Then, dragging it beyond the village, they speedily constructed a funeral pile; and upon one of them saying that the pestilential body would not burn unless its heart were torn out, the other laid open its side by repeated blows of the blunted spade, and, thrusting in his hand, dragged out the accursed heart. This being torn piecemeal, and the body now consigned to the flames, it was announced to the guests what was going on, who, running thither, enabled themselves to testify henceforth to the circumstances. When that infernal hell-hound had thus been destroyed, the pestilence which was rife among the people ceased, as if the air, which had been corrupted by the contagious motions of the dreadful corpse, were already purified by the fire which had consumed it. These facts having been thus expounded, let us return to the regular thread of history.
Picture of Overgrown tomb by Lenora
"When we looked at the map, there were a great many sightings in Yorkshire, more than the rest of the country. Just as human beings have different hearing abilities - some hear higher sounds than others, and some sounds are inaudible to some people. Just like some can see in clearer detail than others.
Some can see colours well and others are colour blind. We have variations in hearing and also, perhaps, seeing. So maybe areas where paranormal sightings are reported, people there can perceive what other people can't.
So in Yorkshire, for example, perhaps there is a higher proportion of people with physic perception."
– Rev Lionel Fanthorpe speaking to ITV News Tyne Tees
The Fall & Rise of George Hodgeson - The Dent Vampire
In 1621 Galileo invented the telescope, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth and George Hodgeson was born in Dent dale.
In 1715 George was buried in the corner of Dent Churchyard, that should have been the end of the story but, surprisingly, George began making regular appearances in and around Dent. The Dales are full of eccentric characters but this was undoubtedly more eccentric than usual.
Stories began to circulate about George’s previously blameless life. A “friend” recalled that George enjoyed a daily glass of sheep’s blood as a tonic. A neighbouring farmer put about the story, shamelessly lifted from an old witch legend, that he had seen a black hare one day. Raising his gun he had shot and wounded the creature, followed its bloody trail to George’s door where, surprise, surprise, he had looked through the window to see George tending a shotgun wound.
There was a lengthy town meeting and a decision was taken to exhume George and then take whatever action was deemed appropriate. Accordingly the sexton and his spade were summoned to the churchyard and, after some effort; George’s coffin was brought to the surface.
The interiors of used coffins are rarely attractive and George’s was no exception. His skin was pink and healthy, his hair and nails had grown somewhat but he was undoubtedly dead – though not sufficiently dead for the citizens of Dent.
A new grave was dug at the church door, a stone laid and a brass stake driven through the corpse. The top of the stake is clearly visible. As a result of this treatment George has ceased to reappear, so far!.
Picture of Victorian vampire-slaying kit up for auction in Yorkshire
The box contains a prayer book and vampire-slaying equipment
The 19th Century box contains a crucifix, pistol, wooden stakes and mallet, as well as glass bottles containing holy water, holy earth and garlic paste.
It box was left to a Yorkshire woman in her uncle's will.
Oonagh Drage of Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, said she had not seen anything like it before.
Ms Drage said the kit was probably made in the late 1800s and was possibly inspired by the popularity of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.
"It's probably a novelty thing. It's playing to people's superstitions."
As well as the weaponry, the box holds a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from 1851 and a handwritten extract from the Bible which quotes Luke 19:27.
It reads: "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."
Though the topic of vampire feeding seems pretty straightforward, there are always a few questions when it comes to the specifics. Hopefully this article will give you a clearer idea of how exactly vampire feeding works.
As most people know, vampires drink blood. The blood of live humans is always preferred, but animal blood will also do the trick. Any warm-blooded mammal can supply the necessary blood for survival, and in extreme situations cold-blooded creatures like snakes and other reptiles may suffice, though their blood is less effective.
Many vampire myths insinuate that a vampire's heart does not beat. This is not true. Just like humans, vampire hearts beat in order to move the blood through the body. This is why staking a vampire through the heart is an effective way of killing it.
Unlike humans, vampires do not eat food for sustenance. In our bodies, food is digested and transformed into energy. Since vampires do not have active digestive systems, blood is ingested and absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
Fresh blood is necessary for vampire survival. It is blood that allows them to regenerate both any wounds they may acquire and to sustain living flesh. Since vampires are essentially dead, their bodies naturally decay. Fresh blood moving through the body allows their flesh to stay alive.
Most vampires only need to feed a couple of times a week in order to maintain health, but a wounded vampire will need to feed more often as blood is required for the healing process.
As a vampire ages, it requires less blood to maintain normal functionality. The reason behind this is not entirely clear, but likely has to do with the fact that a vampire's gifts and special abilities intensify over time as well. Thus, the older a vampire gets, the stronger its power becomes, and the less mortal its body is.
So you want to know how to kill a vampire? Hopefully this is you being pro-active just in case you run into a vampire one day that needs killing.
Otherwise this likely means that there is a vampire outside of your door and this is your last ditch attempt to survive and/or keep your soul. If this is the case, you're probably screwed, but I'll try to help you out anyway.
There are only five known ways to kill a vampire and all of those methods are listed below.
How to Kill a Vampire with Sunlight
By far the easiest way to kill a vampire is via direct sunlight. Even before the first vampire became a vampire, he was cursed to forever have to hide from the sun. Any skin of a vampire that comes in contact with direct sunlight will be severely burned.
There is a certain vampire book series popular with today's youth that insists that vampires can, in fact, be in direct sunlight. Rather than burn, their skin supposedly sparkles. While I don't want to burst anyone's dreamy fantasies, this is simply not true. Vampires burn in sunlight. Always have, always will.
I say that sunlight is the easiest way to kill a vampire because all you have to do is get them in direct sunlight for about 10 seconds or so. Actually getting one into direct sunlight is not so easy. This is where being smart helps. If you can somehow trick or trap a vampire in a place where they will eventually be exposed to direct sunlight, you're golden. The problem with this plan is that vampires are very fast, very strong, and generally very smart. They aren't going to simply let you stick them in a place where they don't want to be and stay there.
The nice part about sunlight is that it shows up daily. If you can survive through the night and make it somewhere where you can see the sun, you're probably safe. The problem is this usually means you have to be outside prior to the sun rising, which pretty much just makes you a prime target for a hungry vampire. Still, if you can wait out the night until morning, find the brightest path to safety and move quickly.
How to Kill a Vampire with a Wooden Stake
Still a classic, the wooden stake remains one of the best tools to use for vampire killing. Really, all a wooden stake is a piece of wood with one edge sharp enough to pierce human flesh. Or inhuman flesh in this case.
If you think of monsters in terms of sports, vampires are those great offensive players who can always score, but are pretty crappy defenders. Sure, their speed and strength give them a big advantage, but the truth about vampires is they are too used to overpowering their opponent with their offensive capabilities that very few have spent much time learning to defend themselves.
Knowing this, the key to killing a vampire using a wooden stake is to strike first. Yes, that means playing offense against the offensive powerhouse, but in this game of life and death, you only need to score once.
Okay, enough with the sports analogy, but the lesson remains the same: a vampire will let its guard down fairly easily. You should attack quickly and without hesitation. A vampire can heal from most injuries, but a wooden stake through the heart is not one of them. Though they heal quickly, their skin and bones are just as fragile as any humans, so the key to killing them is to make it so they can't heal.
How to Kill a Vampire with Silver
Again, the curse of silver begins before the first vampire became a vampire, when the goddess Artemis (Greek mythology) cursed the first vampire so that his skin burned when it touched silver.
Using silver is a bit like a blend between sunlight and a wooden stake. It doesn't work as well as either of those two options, but it has advantages of its own. First of all, unlike sunlight, silver is highly portable. You can carry an item of solid silver (make sure it's real, solid silver please) with you easily. Secondly, it won't kill a vampire to stab it in the heart with silver (as it would using a wooden stake), but it will slow down the healing process, which can be very helpful.
In order to actually kill a vampire using silver, you'd probably need a lot of it. Silver is more helpful as a slowing or trapping agent. Vampires, despite their strength, cannot break a chain of silver, even if they tried. If you could somehow manage to handcuff a vampire to a tree, say, using silver handcuffs, all you would have to do is wait until the sun rose the next day and you would have yourself a fried vampire. Of course, how you would actually manage to accomplish this task is another story.
How to Kill a Vampire with Fire
At first, fire seems like an easy fix to your vampire problems, but there is a problem. Yes, it will burn vampires, just like it burns humans, but unlike sunlight and silver, it's only through natural means that a vampire will burn by fire. What I mean is, the reason sunlight and silver burn a vampire and cause its healing process to slow dramatically is because vampires are inherently cursed by these two elements. While fire can burn just as well as sunlight or silver, it does nothing to slow the healing process of the vampire, because vampires are not cursed with a weakness to fire.
If you're going to use fire to kill a vampire, you're going to need to have a big fire and have the vampire stuck in it for a long time. Probably, say, an hour to be safe, though about a half hour will usually do the trick. This is because the vampire heals as it burns. The hotter the fire, the faster it burns, but you're still basically trying to beat the speed of the vampire's healing process. Should the vampire be mostly burnt but then escape the fire, it can still survive.
This is another situation where tying a vampire down with silver to immobilize it would be very handy, if you could manage it.
How to Kill a Vampire by Tearing Its Head Off
If you're like me, you've probably never tried to literally tear anyone's head off, except perhaps in some sort of video game. And that doesn't count. Tearing a vampire's head off is not as easy as it might sound. Though their bones and flesh is as fragile as ours, they have strong neck muscles which make it a difficult task to achieve.
If you're really intent on removing a vampire's head, there are two good ways to do it. The first option is to use a silver knife and cut off the head. This will still likely be a bit of a chore, but the silver will stop the healing process and slowly wear down the muscles strength, so with enough patience and time, this will work. The second option is to have another vampire tear the head off of your vampire of choice. Vampires are built strong enough to tear each other’s heads off fairly easily, though it's highly looked down upon for a vampire to kill another vampire, so convincing one to do this for you is not going to be easy.
In most cases, you would still want to burn the head and the body separately to prevent the vampire from healing.
How to Kill a Vampire using Vampire Disease
The final method on our list of how to kill a vampire might be a bit of a misnomer. This perhaps would fit better in a section called "How Vampires Can Die" rather than "How To Kill A Vampire", but I'm including it in this section anyway.
The term "Vampire Disease" is tricky because it can refer to two different conditions.
Most of the time, when someone talks about "Vampire Disease", they are referring to Porphyric Hemophilia, which is the disease that, when introduced to the human bloodstream, will eventually turn that human into a vampire. Porphyric Hemophilia is caused by a bacteria carried in all vampires, which can be transferred to a human via blood or saliva.
The other "Vampire Disease" refers to the condition known as "Sangue Debolezza", which translates to "blood weakness" in Italian. No one really knows what it is or how it is spread, but it's the only known disease that can kill a vampire. Sangue Debolezza is extremely rare and its origin is unknown, so the chances of somehow being able to inflict this disease on a vampire would be extremely difficult. However, seeing as there are only a handful of ways a vampire can die, I figured I would include it.
How To Kill a Vampire – Synopsis
Wrapping it up, I hope you feel confident by now that you would be successful in killing a vampire, if need be. When considering how to kill a vampire, feel free to blend any of the above suggestions together. They all work if done right. And if done wrong, well, chances are you'll be dead. Good luck!
Unless you want to become a vampire, or die, there is good reason to be resistant to a vampire bite. Even if a vampire bites you and leaves you alive, you would still be at high risk for squiring Porphyric Hemophilia (Vampire Disease). If left untreated, this disease will cause a human body to weaken and deteriorate.
If the disease is allowed to settle into the organs of the body, the only options left are to either die or become a vampire.
When using the term "vampire disease", it's important to distinguish between the two different definitions of the term:
Porphyric Hemophilia is a bacterial disease that humans can become infected by. An infection that is not cured will lead to vampirism.
Sangue Debolezza is a potentially deadly, rare disease that only vampires can catch.
Porphyric Hemophilia is a condition caused by a bacterial strain carried in the blood and saliva of every vampire. A human who comes in contact with the blood or saliva of a vampire can easily become exposed to these bacteria.
Once exposed, an infected human only has about 72 hours to begin antibiotic treatments before the bacterium becomes incurable.
In essence, this "vampire disease" spreads through the human's body, changing the chemistry of the blood and skin. The first symptoms of infection may include photosensitivity or photodermatitis (sensitivity to light of the eyes or skin). Muscle weakness or seizures can occur, as well as inconsistencies in the nervous system, such as a slow or rapid heartbeat.
Eventually the bacteria behind this disease settles into the body and lives there, creating a perfect environment for it to exist in. At this point, the human body has been completely transformed with the curses, but not the benefits of vampirism. In order to gain immortality, strength, and speed, one must still drink the blood of a vampire.
The term "Sangue Debolezza" comes from Italian, literally translating to "blood weakness". The origins of this rare vampire disease remain unknown, but we do know that it only affects vampires.
The symptoms of Sangue Debolezza include severe exhaustion and chronic headaches, followed by nausea, which eventually leads to starvation in many cases.
It is a difficult disease to learn about because only vampires can acquire it, and they rarely subject themselves to medical examination. According to most sources, it is a very rare condition, but it is the only known disease that can kill a vampire.
Note: The following information containing a spell to become a vampire may have dangerous after-effects. It would be wise to not read this article out loud unless you intend for these effects to occur.
Those who are familiar with the story of the origin of vampires will recognize the importance of the moonlight goddess Selene in vampire history. She is considered the mother of all vampires, though technically she lived and died a virgin. It was her blood mixed with her husband Ambrogio's that gave him the power to create new life through his bite. Though her "children" never got to know her during her lifetime, they are regularly in touch with her in the form of the moonlight she shines down upon them each night.
It is no surprise then that Selene maintains a position of great reverence among all vampires. It is forbidden to speak ill of her, as she is considered both mother and guardian angel among all vampires.
I am often asked if there is any kind of magic spell to become a vampire. While I'll be the first to say that anything is possible, I have not in my work found any actual magic spell, nor anything that indicates that one exists. Vampires seem to be made strictly from one another, and you would need a "living" vampire's blood or saliva in order to become one.
That said, there may be something that, though not technically a spell, might have the same effect. There are several poems in the Vampire Bible that are dedicated to Selene, the vampire mother. It is a tradition to honour Selene with poems just as her true love Ambrogio did while she was still alive. Ambrogio's vampire love poems are the inspiration for this tradition, though many of the later poems are more about gratitude and worship than love.
One such poem in particular is particularly interesting because it appears to be a prayer to Selene asking for her specific assistance in becoming a vampire. It's not exactly a "spell", but it is a request to the vampire mother to send one of her "children" to the reader of the poem in order to be turned into a vampire. This makes much more sense than a magic spell and could possibly be one of the only ways to attract vampires to one's self.
The poem itself is in Latin, with a translation into English following. If anyone were going to use this as a sort of spell to become a vampire, it would be best to read aloud the Latin version I would think. Use at your own risk.
Ode To The Vampire Mother
Throughout the realm of shadows there resides, in many forms and numerous names, those creatures who lurk in darkness. A variety of mysterious creatures, similar to the Vampire, exist in the myths and legends of every culture around the world. While the names and attributes of the beings vary, their motivation is quite the same; they live to feed off of the living.
Picture of Lilith
In early Hebraic writings, Lilith took the form of a winged demon with the body of a woman with owl-like talons for feet. She was reported to be the first wife of Adam (before Eve was created). Lilith was formed of the same earth from which Adam was created, therefore she considered herself his equal. That being the case, Lilith refused to be submissive. She was subsequently banished from God’s presence to the demon realm. Lilith’s offspring were damned to become demons with Lilith taking the title of “Mother of Demons.”
The "demonized" Lilith gave rise to other variations of her story. Her transformation from militant woman to demon mother provided her with many new attributes. Like Lamatsu, Lilith, would steal infants and small children from their beds to devour them. Another variation is her depiction as a Succubus. Lilith would seduce unwary men in order to steal their semen. The men would not survive this encounter. In later versions of this incarnation, Lilith reportedly drank the blood of her victims. She would use the semen to conceive her demon offspring. Her sanguinary talents eventually provided her with another title
In more contemporary interpretations of Lilith's story, she is considered to be the earliest account of the Vampire. When Lilith was banished all of her children were destroyed by God. Lilith's answered this violent act by vowing to feed off of the children of Adam, namely, human beings.
Her title as, “Mother of Demons” has been exchanged for the title, “Mother of Vampires.” Her importance to Vampire myths and legends is, then, quite apparent. Without Lilith and her numerous incarnations there might very well be no Vampires.
The cultures of Japan, China, and India are very different than western cultures. They have produced vampire legends unlike anything in Hollywood movies. While a few things remain the same, such as blood drinking, they couldn't be more different and still be vampires.
China - Chiang Shih (also known as Kiang-shi, Chiang-shi Ch'iang-shih, Ch'ing-shih, Kuang-shii, Giang shi and Xianh-shi)
A vampire created when a recently deceased corpse is possessed by a Demon, usually after suicide or a violent death without a proper burial. Unlike western vampires it is covered with white or green hair over its entire body. The Chiang Shih has long claws, teeth and glowing red eyes. Breathing it's breath can be lethal. If given time to mature it could learn to fly and change into a wolf. It is repelled by garlic, salt and barriers of rice. It can be killed by thunder or a bullet.
Possibly created if a child was forced to eat human brains the Rakshasa stalk their human prey to drink their blood. They can appear in many forms from a beautiful human to lure victims to a half animal form such as a iger or leopard. Rakshasas would hide in trees and spy on travellers to find victims. Said to cause sickness in those who trespass in their territory and to have magical powers.
Philippines – Aswang
During the day this vampire can live normally and appears to be a beautiful woman. But at night it is compelled to seek victims and is led by the songs of night birds. It attacks its victims with a long tubular tongue and drinks their blood. It prefers to attack children. After feeding it appears pregnant and flies home and breast feeds it's children with the blood.
Japan – Gaki
Blood drinking corpses similar to traditional western vampires. Pale skinned, cold, with hollowed features in their real form they can assume many different shapes. They can not only transform into animals but also impersonate living people perfectly. Some of the oldest and most powerful are even said to be able to stalk their prey invisibly.
Myths and Folklore
Not only did Eastern Europe receive silk from the trade caravans of China, Tibet, and India, but it also received the myths of the vampire. As the caravan made its way to the Mediterranean, they heard tales of vampires as being red-eyed monsters with green or pink hair, an upper body of a woman and the lower of a winged serpent, or a vampire fox . These myths spread out along the Black Sea coast to Greece, the Balkans, and the Carpathian mountains that included Hungary and Transylvania. Even though the people have believed many things about vampires, one thing has remained constant and that is the drinking of blood, returning from death, preying on humans at night, etc.
Picture Myths and Folklore
Who are vampires?
Anyone who was different was considered a vampire – illegitimate offspring of illegitimate children, suicides, murderers, an unburied body which had sun or moonlight fall upon it, a nun stepping over an unburied body, seventh son of a seventh son, a pregnant woman who had been looked at (especially after her sixth month) by a vampire had a great risk of her child becoming a vampire, etc.
How do you find a vampire? There are a few signs such as: holes in the ground above the grave, nails and hair grown out, coffin containing blood, etc.
How can you tell if a grave contains a vampire? Have a virgin boy ride naked and bareback on a virgin stallion through the graveyard until the horse steps on a grave and goes no further. That marks a vampire’s grave.
In the 1730s in Serbia, vampires were a real concern and a hot topic of conversation. During this time, a string of murders and farm animal deaths were attributed to vampires. Thinking that many of the dead were vampires, a number of corpses were exhumed and found to be in remarkable condition with their veins still holding liquid blood or rosy-cheeks with blood trickling from their mouths. One theory of science is that this is a rare form of a genetic disease called “porphyria,” a disorder affecting synthesis of hemoglobin. Another theory is that the coldness and dampness of the ground caused the corpses to stay preserved.
Even today people of Eastern Europe believe that vampires exist. During January 2004, Toma Petre of Romania passed away. After his passing, several family members had difficulty with illnesses and the only conclusion was that Toma was draining their strength. The family felt the only thing they could do was dig him up and remove his heart. After that, they burnt it, mixed it with water, and the family drank the mixture.
The villagers of Marotinu deSus believe this was the right thing to do, but the family has run into trouble with the local police. This incident is being investigated and the police expect to file charges later. It is unlawful for the family to disturb the peace of the dead and to re-kill the corpse. Penalty could be a three-year jail term
Leahaun-shee: possible adaptation of Lamia. An Irish fairy mistress, not actually a vampire but engaging in vampiric activities. She used her incredible beauty to lure men to her side and then used her charms to place them under her spell. The victim would then waste away as she slowly drained away his life’s essence through exhaustive lovemaking.
Dearg-Due: A dreaded creature of Ireland whose name means blood sucker An ancient vampire who dates back to Celtic times, it is still feared. The only way to curb its predations is to pile stones on the grave of any who might be suspected of housing such a beast.