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Present Day Vampires
Submitted by: Nancy L. Young-Houser
At one time in history, vampires and the name Dracula were definitely not considered as something romantic and wonderfully extraordinary, as in present-day books by notable authors Anne Rice—The Complete Vampire Chronicles –and Stephanie Meyer with her Breaking Dawn, Twilight, New Moon, or Eclipse, where the a teenage vampire love story is involved with an overwhelming struggle between satisfying one's desires while defying a battle of instincts. Early vampires were considered the first wave of horror movie villains with redemption playing a major role in vampire horror, graphically preying upon unsuspecting victims to support the existence on Earth demonstrated in early black and white pictures.
Not only are "buffy vampire" type books becoming a number one best seller, but so also are vampire costumes or a vampire masquerade with pretty graphic psychic vampire horror themes, a lot different from the gentle Walt Disney themes we wore as children or we purchase for our own children or grandchildren today—much to the dismay of many. Times have changed drastically throughout history, with what is becoming popular in modern times almost speaking as if another language or coming from the fascinating world of vampires.
Not always an acceptable part of history, an archaeological finding believed to be of an ancient vampire-slaying ritual near Venice, Rome, involved the finding of a skull with a brick wedged in the jaw between the teeth. Found in 2006 on the island of Lazzaretto Nuovo amongst several corpses buried in a mass grave, the result of a Venice 1576 epidemic of plague. Even though scientists and religious scholars believe there is no factual evidence of vampires, this shows evidence from the past that a strong belief in vampires existed in people during this era.
This unusual burying involved a combination of medieval ignorance regarding the spreading of diseases and the legend of a mythical bloodsucking creature referred to as vampires—combined with the beliefs of what happened to such creatures after their death. With the lack any scientific proof at the time, these historical believers of vampires thought that the "undead" were shroud-eaters who fed on cloth while casting a spell spreading the plague to increase their numbers. This was due to the number of plague victims who were buried on top of decomposing and decaying bodies, with bacteria attacking the shroud around the faces which looked as if the so-called vampires were "eating the shrouds" covered with blood.
The wonderful and uniquely written blog Queer and Loathing in America offers us a completely different look of vampires inside its description of "The Lair" and its 26-minute episodes, quoted by the author as an awful supernatural gay series from HERE TV. Consisting of not even campy badness, The Lair is said to consist of vampire drama and a now a werewolf, involving the acts of controlling people's minds and killing people—such as Laura the "campy reporter" supposedly mind-controlled into killing her abusive boyfriend by one of the vampires. Definitely a show not for everyone, it shows how far the beliefs in vampires have changed over the years, accepted by people of all ages and groups.
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Nancy L. Young-Houser is a professional writer and illustrator, in addition to providing a home for dogs on all levels of need with her best friend, Sandra Marquiss. Her writings include controversial subjects as part of the soapbox she has carried around since childhood, never leaving home without it. Part of this soapbox is her website WayCoolDogs.com filled with lots of four-legged information!