Vampires

Vampires : are mythical creatures who try to avoid their own deaths and demise by literally sucking out the blood of their victims.  The fear of vampires has been around for a very long time.  Indeed there are a number of countries such as:  Bulgaria, Russia, the Orient, Babylon and Greece that have been cited as being the origins of the vampire lore.  Although there is much anecdotal evidence for the existence of vampires, as yet there appears to be no physical evidence of their being.

Bram Stoker's Novel Dracula which was based around a 15th century warrior called Vlad the Impaler has served over the years to popularise this mythical creature.  With the help of Stoker's book, and film makers alike, a number of variations have been added to the vampire theme.  Vampires were no longer the mythical creatures who survived by simply sucking their victims blood, they had evolved into strange creatures that required all manner of methods to repel or kill them.

Some Hollywood films suggested that vampires could be dispatched in one of the following ways:  
- pierce the vampire's heart with a stake 
- expose it to sunlight
- fill the vampire's corpse with garlic 
- bury the corpse at a four-way crossroads 
- sever the head and cremate the remains 
- form a cross with the arms over the chest 
- entwine thorny vines over the corpse to ensure it cannot walk again. 

The symbol of the Christian cross was also supposed to help to repel vampires although it would not kill them.

Today the chupacabra is one of the more well known and popular blood suckers of our time.

According to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1913 Edition vampires are defined as follows:

Vam"pire (?), n. [F. vampire (cf. It. vampiro, G. & D. vampir), fr. Servian vampir.] [Written also vampyre.]

1. A blood-sucking ghost; a soul of a dead person superstitiously believed to come from the grave and wander about by night sucking the blood of persons asleep, thus causing their death. This superstition is now prevalent in parts of Eastern Europe, and was especially current in Hungary about the year 1730.

2. One who lives by preying on others; an extortioner; a bloodsucker.

3. (Zo�l.) Either one of two or more species of South American blood-sucking bats belonging to the genera Desmodus and Diphylla. These bats are destitute of molar teeth, but have strong, sharp cutting incisors with which they make punctured wounds from which they suck the blood of horses, cattle, and other animals, as well as man, chiefly during sleep. They have a caecal appendage to the stomach, in which the blood with which they gorge themselves is stored.

4. (Zo�l.) Any one of several species of harmless tropical American bats of the genus Vampyrus, especially V. spectrum. These bats feed upon insects and fruit, but were formerly erroneously supposed to suck the blood of man and animals. Called also false vampire. Vampire bat (Zo�l.), a vampire, 3. {-- illustr. Head of False Vampire. (Vampyrus spectrum) --}


Vlad the Impaler

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