We have prepared a special four part series for 37 Minutes entitled “Creatures of the Dark.” We will examine some of the myths and legends of some of the most popular “horror” type creatures.
This material comes from a talk that was prepared a couple of years ago. The point is to acquaint science fiction and fantasy writers about some of the history of these creatures. The series will be in four parts, starting today, going through Halloween and ending, appropriately enough on the “Day of the Dead.”
“But this is a science fiction site!” One may object. True. In the golden age of UHF television, however, the old science fiction movies were oft shelved during October. This is when the old Dracula, Frankenstein, and Wolfman movies would be shown. After the Day of the Dead, we will return to our regular scheduled dissertations on string theory.
The series will focus on the following topics; Week 1 – Vampires; Week 2 – Werewolves; Week 3 – Zombies, and Week 4 – Lesser Known Creatures, such as draugrs and liches.
So, on with the series!
This week: Vampires!
The vampire is perhaps one of the most feared creatures of the night. They appear to be normal. Often detecting the evil within is not possible until, of course, too late!
Where do vampires come from?
The legends surrounding vampires go back to creation itself. Hebrew legends often talk about Lilith as consorting with Adam. In fact, some histories (oral at that time) named Lilith as the devourer of the “Children of Eve.”
Lilith, legends say, was created as a mate for Adam, but not necessarily by God. It was thought that Lucifer was angry that man was created having all the attributes of God, even a physical body, which angels in general did not possess. As a result, and to start the ultimate rebellion against God, Lucifer “made” the creation known as Lilith.
Unfortunately, for Lilith, she was not“alive” as we know it. Her life force or spirituality was demonically driven. She could only survive by feeding off living things, not necessarily human.
When the great fall happened, Lilith was one of the beings expelled from Paradise. Interestingly, it seems most students of vampires studies (vampirologists?) have her taking up residence in the area of two cities know as Sodom and Gomorrah.
Those who have actually read the bible account of the destruction of these cities will note that it seemed that angelic (including demons-which after all are rebellious angels) beings were breeding with men. It could be this demonic/human relationship was essentially vampirism.
When the twin cities were destroyed, Lilith was able to get out of town. Rumor has it she made her way to India and changed her name to Kali. When looking at pictures or statuary of Kali, it is easy to believe that she is, indeed, a vampire.
Much of this research on vampires was done to find contradictory evidence in light of the “Twilight” series by Stephanie Meyer. In finding older articles, it seems vampires could be exposed to sunlight. Being exposed to daylight made the vampire appear as the natural semi-decomposed being that it is, reminiscent from the scene in the “Dracula” movie with Gary Oldham. Vampires also would not cast a shadow in daylight.
The notion that daylight caused vampires to dissolve is a more recent belief, probably by the time of the writing of Dracula, by Bram Stoker. It seems Stoker had a lot of influence overall perception of vampires in general. It was the “Stoker” vampire that dominated Hollywood well into the 1970’s.
One actor particularly, Christopher Lee, cut his teeth (pardon!) on playing Dracula in many of the 50’s and 60’s movie. Just a quick little question, has anyone seen Christopher Lee in the daylight? Just wondering aloud.
Vampires belong to the class of nighttime creatures known as “Draugrs.” More information will be forthcoming on Draugrs in part Four. Draugrs generally are not thinking creatures and wander around aimlessly seeking to avenge their death. After accomplishing what they need to do, they will willingly go to their eternal rest.
The vampire, however, is all about continuing on forever, if possible.
The vampire is also a solitary creature. Unlike the vampires in Interview With a Vampire, by Anne Rice, vampires are not in community. Vampires are fiercely protective of their environment and value secrecy above all.
With that said, most vampires would not attack society girls, such as Lucy in Dracula. The more likely victims would be those dispossessed by society whose deaths, unfortunately, would not bear further examination.
NEXT WEEK – We will examine Werewolves. As a way of testing one’s werewolf knowledge, we have a little question, which we will answer in next week’s article. The first five readers that get the correct answer will win one of our e-book from our extensive collection. You may answer by responding as a comment (although others will be able to see) or emailing directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The question: Most Christian churches are equipped with what to stop the development of werewolves?