answersLogoWhite

0

Why are vampires a myth?

Updated: 3/22/2024
User Avatar

Coagula

Lvl 1
14y ago

Best Answer

New research suggests that the vampire folklore originated from human beings that suffered a genetic disease, late in the Middle Ages. Dr David H. Dolphin, a scientist, had been researching the myth of vampires for a long while when he stumbled upon this interesting fact.

In his paper, Dr Dolphin had advanced the theory that vampires are actually normal people, who suffered from one class of incurable hereditary diseases known commonally as porphyrias, of which there are at least 8 (of what, the original author only knows). Porphyrias is a slight malfunction in the bodies chemicals and sufferers become afflicted with the same symptoms as the fabled "vampires". Their bodies usually became grotesquely disfigured, and they had extreme sensitivity to any forms of natural/unnatural light (even the exposure to sunlight left patients' bodies with sores and scars).

Sometimes, the patients' fingers would fall off and resemble that of animal claws. Lips and gums would stretch so that the teeth would become more pronouced, of course giving resemblance to a vampire bat.

Dr Dolphin concluded that because of this, victims would only venture out at night and also may grow their hair long as it acted as protection against the deadly night. He argued that porphyria victims in the past instictively sought the haeme their bodies lacked by biting and sucking the blood of others.

In this day and age, people suffering from this disease can simply inject themselves daily, weekly, or whenever necessary.

Looking back on this information, we can draw the conclusion that the superstitions of our predecessors in the 'Dark Ages' could create such uproar from a genetic dysfunction. Victims suffering the disease were usually located in concentrated parts of Europe and the world, thus bringing the fabled myths and legends from Transylvania.

Many theories for the origins of vampire beliefs have been offered as an explanation for the superstition, and sometimes mass hysteria, caused by vampires. Everything ranging from premature burial to the early ignorance of the body's decomposition cycle after death has been cited as the cause for the belief in vampires.

Although many cultures possess revenant superstitions comparable to the Eastern European vampire, the Slavic vampire is the revenant superstition that pervades popular culture's concept of vampire. The roots of vampire belief in Slavic culture are based to a large extent in the spiritual beliefs and practices of pre-Christianized Slavic peoples and their understanding of life after death. Despite a lack of pre-Christian Slavic writings describing the details of the "Old Religion", many pagan spiritual beliefs and rituals have been sustained by Slavic peoples even after their lands were Christianized. Examples of such beliefs and practices include ancestor worship, household spirits, and beliefs about the soul after death. The origins of vampire beliefs can in Slavic regions can be traced to the complex structure of Slavic spiritualism.

Demons and spirits served important functions in pre-industrial Slavic societies and were considered to be very interactive in the lives and domains of humans. Some spirits were benevolent and could be helpful in human tasks, others were harmful and often destructive. Examples of such spirits are Domovoi, Rusalka, Vila, Kikimora, Poludnitsa, and Vodyanoy. These spirits were also considered to be derived from ancestors or certain deceased humans. Such spirits could appear at will in various forms including that of different animals or human form. Some of these spirits could also participate in malevolent activity to harm humans, such as drowning humans, obstructing the harvest, or sucking the blood of livestock and sometimes humans. Hence, the Slavs were obliged to appease these spirits to prevent the spirits from their potential for erratic and destructive behavior.[108]

Common Slavic belief indicates a stark distinction between soul and body. The soul is not considered to be perishable. The Slavs believed that upon death the soul would go out of the body and wander about its neighborhood and workplace for 40 days before moving on to an eternal afterlife.[108] Because of this, it was considered necessary to leave a window or door open in the house for the soul to pass through at its leisure. During this time the soul was believed to have the capability of re-entering the corpse of the deceased. Much like the spirits mentioned earlier, the passing soul could either bless or wreak havoc on its family and neighbors during its 40 days of passing. Upon an individual's death, much stress was placed on proper burial rites to ensure the soul's purity and peace as it separated from the body. The death of an unbaptized child, a violent or an untimely death, or the death of a grievous sinner (such as a sorcerer or murderer) were all grounds for a soul to become unclean after death. A soul could also be made unclean if its body were not given a proper burial. Alternatively, a body not given a proper burial could be susceptible to possession by other unclean souls and spirits. An unclean soul was so fearful to the Slavs because of its potential for vengeance.[109]

From these deeply implicated beliefs pertaining to death and the soul derives the invention of the Slavic concept of vampir. A vampire is the manifestation of an unclean spirit possessing a decomposing body. This undead creature is considered to be vengeful and jealous towards the living and needing the blood of the living to sustain its body's existence.[110] Although this concept of vampire exists in slightly deviating forms throughout Slavic countries and some of their non-Slavic neighbors, it is possible to trace the development of vampire belief to Slavic spiritualism pre-existing Christianity in Slavic regions.

Paul Barber in his book Vampires, Burial and Death has described that belief in vampires resulted from people of pre-industrial societies attempting to explain the natural, but to them inexplicable, process of death and decomposition.[111]

People sometimes suspected vampirism when a cadaver did not look as they thought a normal corpse should when disinterred. However, rates of decomposition vary depending on temperature and soil composition, and many of the signs are little known. This has led vampire hunters to mistakenly conclude that a dead body had not decomposed at all, or, ironically, to interpret signs of decomposition as signs of continued life.[112] Corpses swell as gases from decomposition accumulate in the torso and the increased pressure forces blood to ooze from the nose and mouth. This causes the body to look "plump," "well-fed," and "ruddy"-changes that are all the more striking if the person was pale or thin in life. In the Arnold Paole case, an old woman's exhumed corpse was judged by her neighbours to look more plump and healthy than she had ever looked in life.[113] The exuding blood gave the impression that the corpse had recently been engaging in vampiric activity.[41] Darkening of the skin is also caused by decomposition.[114] The staking of a swollen, decomposing body could cause the body to bleed and force the accumulated gases to escape the body. This could produce a groan-like sound when the gases moved past the vocal cords, or a sound reminiscent of flatulence when they passed through the anus. The official reporting on the Peter Plogojowitz case speaks of "other wild signs which I pass by out of high respect".[115]

After death, the skin and gums lose fluids and contract, exposing the roots of the hair, nails, and teeth, even teeth that were concealed in the jaw. This can produce the illusion that the hair, nails, and teeth have grown. At a certain stage, the nails fall off and the skin peels away, as reported in the Plogojowitz case-the dermis and nail beds emerging underneath were interpreted as "new skin" and "new nails".[115]

It has also been hypothesized that vampire legends were influenced by individuals being buried alive because of shortcomings in then-current medical knowledge. In some cases in which people reported sounds emanating from a specific coffin, it was later dug up and fingernail marks were discovered on the inside from the victim trying to escape. In other cases the person would hit their heads, noses or faces and it would appear that they had been "feeding."[116] A problem with this theory is the question of how people presumably buried alive managed to stay alive for any extended period without food, water or fresh air. An alternate explanation for noise is the bubbling of escaping gases from natural decomposition of bodies.[117] Another likely cause of disordered tombs is grave robbing.[118]

Folkloric vampirism has been associated with clusters of deaths from unidentifiable or mysterious illnesses, usually within the same family or the same small community.[84] The epidemic allusion is obvious in the classical cases of Peter Plogojowitz and Arnold Paole, and even more so in the case of Mercy Brown and in the vampire beliefs of New England generally, where a specific disease, tuberculosis, was associated with outbreaks of vampirism. As with the pneumonic form of Bubonic Plague, it was associated with breakdown of lung tissue which would cause blood to appear at the lips.[119]

In 1985 biochemist David Dolphin proposed a link between the rare blood disorder porphyria and vampire folklore. Noting that the condition is treated by intravenous haem, he suggested that the consumption of large amounts of blood may result in haem being transported somehow across the stomach wall and into the bloodstream. Thus vampires were merely sufferers of porphyria seeking to replace haem and alleviate their symptoms.[120] The theory has been rebuffed medically as suggestions that porphyria sufferers crave the haem in human blood, or that the consumption of blood might ease the symptoms of porphyria, are based on a misunderstanding of the disease. Furthermore, Dolphin was noted to have confused fictional (bloodsucking) vampires with those of folklore, many of whom were not noted to drink blood.[121] Similarly, a parallel is made between sensitivity to sunlight by sufferers, yet this was associated with fictional and not folkloric vampires. In any case, Dolphin did not go on to publish his work more widely.[122] Despite being dismissed by experts, the link gained media attention[123] and entered popular modern folklore.[124]

Rabies has been linked with vampire folklore. Dr Juan Gómez-Alonso, a neurologist at Xeral Hospital in Vigo, Spain, examined this possibility in a report in Neurology. The susceptibility to garlic and light could be due to hypersensitivity, which is a symptom of rabies. The disease can also affect portions of the brain that could lead to disturbance of normal sleep patterns (thus becoming nocturnal) and hypersexuality. Legend once said a man was not rabid if he could look at his own reflection (an allusion to the legend that vampires have no reflection). Wolves and bats, which are often associated with vampires, can be carriers of rabies. The disease can also lead to a drive to bite others and to a bloody frothing at the mouth.[125][126]

In his 1931 treatise On the Nightmare, Welsh psychoanalyst Ernest Jones noted that vampires are symbolic of several unconscious drives and defence mechanisms. Love, guilt, and hate are emotions that fuel the idea of the return of the dead to the grave. Desiring a reunion with loved ones, mourners may project the idea that the recently dead must in return yearn the same. From this arises the belief that folkloric vampires and revenants visit relatives, particularly their spouses, first.[127] However in cases where there was unconscious guilt associated with the relationship, the wish for reunion may be subverted by anxiety. This may lead to repression, which Freud had linked with the development of morbid dread.[128] Jones surmised in this case the original wish of a (sexual) reunion may be drastically changed: desire is replaced by fear; love is replaced by sadism, and the object or loved one is replaced by an unknown entity. The sexual aspect may or may not be present.[129] Some modern critics have proposed a simpler theory: people identify with immortal vampires because by so doing they overcome, or at least temporarily escape from, their fear of dying.[130]

The innate sexuality of bloodsucking can be seen in its intrinsic connection with cannibalism and folkloric one with incubus-like behaviour. Many legends report various beings draining other fluids from victims, an unconscious association with semen being obvious. Finally Jones notes that when more normal aspects of sexuality are repressed, regressed forms may be expressed, in particular sadism; he felt that oral sadism is integral in vampiric behaviour.[131]

The reinvention of the vampire myth in the modern era is not without political overtones.[132] The aristocratic Count Dracula, alone in his castle apart from a few demented retainers, appearing only at night to feed on his peasantry, is symbolic of the parasitic Ancien regime. Werner Herzog, in his Nosferatu the Vampyre, gives this political interpretation an extra ironic twist when his young estate agent hero becomes the next vampire; in this way the capitalist bourgeois becomes the next parasitic class.[133]

A number of murderers have performed seemingly vampiric rituals upon their victims. Serial killers Peter Kürten and Richard Trenton Chase were both called "vampires" in the tabloids after they were discovered drinking the blood of the people they murdered. Similarly, in 1932, an unsolved murder case in Stockholm, Sweden was nicknamed the "Vampire murder", because of the circumstances of the victim's death.[134] The late 16th-century Hungarian countess and mass murderer Elizabeth Báthory became particularly infamous in later centuries' works, which depicted her bathing in her victims' blood in order to retain beauty or youth.[135]

Vampire lifestyle is a term for a contemporary subculture of people, largely within the Goth subculture, who consume the blood of others as a pastime; drawing from the rich recent history of popular culture related to cult symbolism, horror films, the fiction of Anne Rice, and the styles of Victorian England.[136] Active vampirism within the vampire subculture includes both blood-related vampirism, commonly referred to as sanguine vampirism, and psychic vampirism, or supposed feeding from pranic energy.[137]

Main article: Vampire bat

A vampire bat in Peru

Although many cultures have stories about them, vampire bats have only recently become an integral part of the traditional vampire lore. Indeed, vampire bats were only integrated into vampire folklore when they were discovered on the South American mainland in the 16th century.[138] Although there are no vampire bats in Europe, bats and owls have long been associated with the supernatural and omens, although mainly because of their nocturnal habits,[138][139] and in modern English heraldic tradition, a bat means "Awareness of the powers of darkness and chaos".[140]

The three species of actual vampire bats are all endemic to Latin America, and there is no evidence to suggest that they had any Old World relatives within human memory. It is therefore impossible that the folkloric vampire represents a distorted presentation or memory of the vampire bat. The bats were named after the folkloric vampire rather than vice versa; the Oxford English Dictionary records their folkloric use in English from 1734 and the zoological not until 1774. Although the vampire bat's bite is usually not harmful to a person, the bat has been known to actively feed on humans and large prey such as cattle and often leave the trademark, two-prong bite mark on its victim's skin.[138]

The literary Dracula transforms into a bat several times in the novel, and vampire bats themselves are mentioned twice in it. The 1927 stage production of Dracula followed the novel in having Dracula turn into a bat, as did the film, where Bela Lugosi would transform into a bat.[138] The bat transformation scene would again be used by Lon Chaney Jr. in 1943's Son of Dracula.[141]

User Avatar

Wiki User

14y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar

AnswerBot

2mo ago

Vampires are considered a myth because there is no scientific evidence to support their existence. They are a product of folklore and fiction, with stories of blood-drinking creatures dating back centuries. The characteristics and abilities commonly attributed to vampires, such as immortality and transforming into bats, are not biologically plausible.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

14y ago

They are considered myth because there is no absolute proof, as in mermaids as well. Many report experiences with myths, and many believe in myths, so it cannot be classified as fictional.

-----

Vampires aren't a myth. They have faded into stories since the 1700s.

Vampires exist, like normal everyday people do. They just aren't as stupidly fierce as the stories believe.

D*** it!!! Vampire are not real...c'mon... (Ummm... I repaired this answer and I think what this person was trying to say is that vampires are mythological creatures because they don't exist and that is the definition of a mythological creature... Blazing_Star :p)

Vampires are not real do to the fact that people can not die have no heart beat ,drink blood with all kinds of germs in it have no circulation and walk around ,People who have helped make vampires real lived back in the 14,15 ,16 and 1700s,People like Elizabeth Bathrey who would capture young girls drain all the blood out of them then bath in there blood because she believed it kept her young looking,Then she would toss the bodies outside of her castle gates or down the road ,when the local villagers would see the bodies they believed it was the work of vampires,The beliefs in vampires was also helped because people did not know about comas and other conditions that would make them think someone was dead and really were not.they also did not wait three days like we do now ,we have a (WAKE) NOW ,so people would get buried alive alot,Some would die some would claw their way out then when people saw them of course they believed they were the walking dead ,vampires,Zombies and such,but to think that someone is going to die from a bite die come back to life bite someone else and turn them into a vampire is pretty strange.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

13y ago

The Oldest known Vampire myth comes from mesopotamia around 4000bce. The Ekimmu, though not directly refered to as a vampire they were considdered risen demonic corpses that preyed on the psychic energy of the living

Around the same time in mesopotamia the legend of the Uruku or Utukku arises. They are actually refered to as "Vampire that attacks man" in an old cuneiform text

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

12y ago

Well, nobody knows if they are real but Dracular was real. He killed people and sucked there blood. So I'm guessing the myths came from there. It might not be a myth though, they could be real.

50% real 50% Myth.

Another response:

The sort of human vampire seen on Twilight and other TV and movie productions are not real. These stories build on the romantic creature created by Bram Stoker in his novel Dracula.

However there are vampires in other animal species, such as bats and any number of insects. While these creatures drink blood, there is nothing supernatural about them.

Myths about supernatural vampires rising from graves to suck the blood of the living come from a number of sources. One probable source probably stems from the little known fact that hair and fingernails can continue to grow for a period of time after death. It is quite likely that when coffins were broken open, and people saw such changes in corpses, in their Horror they fantasized about "the undead," and myths such as Nosferatu developed.

Then there are mad noblemen (and women) who were never in short supply through history. Stories about wicked queens or duchesses who prolong their youth by bathing in the blood of children abound wherever impoverished peasants resent the wealth of the nobility. in the 1400s, Vlad the Impaler apparently welcomed wild tales about himself, and adopted the name "Dracul" meaning "dragon." He may have been monstrously cruel and perverse, but he was neither supernatural nor immortal.

Vampire mythology changes and develops as successive novels and film series gain popularity. The current vampires in Twilight bear little resemblance to the 1922 Nosferatu. But they are certainly more fun.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

14y ago

I've heard a theory from Pete Hautman's book, Sweetblood, that vampire myths originated from dying diabetic people a long time ago. The book is a young adult fiction book, if you want to read it.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

12y ago

Vampires myths go back at least to the Greeks, but our concept of the vampire really began with Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and his short story "Carmilla." From there Bram Stoker was influenced by Le Fanu and then created his Dracula. After Dracula, many more authors started to create their own ideas branching off of the Dracula story.

This answer is:
User Avatar

User Avatar

Wiki User

12y ago

Overwhelming evidence in fable, most people are still superstitious in some way.

This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: Why are vampires a myth?
Write your answer...
Submit
Still have questions?
magnify glass
imp
Related questions

Are vampires real or are they a myth?

Myth


Are vampires real or just a myth?

Myth


What is myth of vampires?

the myth is that they live in coffins, It Is True.


Are there true vampires are they just fake?

Vampires are creatures of myth and legend.


Are there vampires in translyvania?

This is a myth, there are NO vampires in transylvania or anywhere else on earth!!!!


Can humans be vampires?

No. They are from myth and movies.


Is it possibles for vampires to exist?

No, they are a myth


Do vampires exsite or did they?

No its a myth i think


Do vampires really exisd?

no there just a myth


What is the myth about vampires?

there not real there just legends


Is there existence of vampires?

No. They come from myth and legend.


How do people turn into vampires?

They have to get bitten by one!If you want to be a vampire i suggest you get to searchin! LOLZPeople can't turn into vampires since they are only myth.