The vampire sprang into popularity with the 1897 publications of Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. The popular imagination was captured by this suave and deadly count, and Dracula eventually became the star of many movies. Reportedly Sherlock Holmes is the only fictional character who has starred in a larger number of movies than Dracula. Since the late twentieth century the vampire has been evolving. In Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, the movie and TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the spin-off Angel, vampires became more sympathetic characters. There were many evil ones, but a few could reclaim their souls and be almost human again. In Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series, vampires have gone public after the invention of artificial blood made them harmless to humans.This evolution of vampires tells us that there is something about them that touches us, one way or the others. They give us a delicious shiver of fright or gain our sympathy as anti-heroes. This paper will look at the history of the vampire story and how our picture of vampires evolved through time
[...] The Romanians, some of whom saw him as a defender of their rights, had a more favorable view. The stories about him that spread to other areas, such as Germany and Russia were horrifying, and he was presented as a demonic figure. He was Vlad III, a fifteenth-century Prince of Wallachia, an area of southern Romania. Vlad ruled during difficult times in his land, and he appears to have dealt with the situation ruthlessly. He first came to the throne in 1448, when he was only 17. [...]
[...] After that people in the area began to die suspiciously. Not everyone believed in vampires during the budding age of science, of course. People argued that premature burial accounted for the condition of some corpses, and that some of the characteristics attributed to vampires were symptoms of people suffering from rabies. All this reason was not sufficient to convince people, particularly in rural areas. Eventually The Austrian Empress Maria Theresa attempted to put an end to the desecration of graves. [...]
[...] Reader's Digest Association, The Reader's Digest Book of Strange Stories, Amazing Facts: Stories That Are Bizarre, Unusual, Odd, Astonishing, Incredible but True. London: Reader's Digest Tenthani, Raphael. “‘Vampires' Strike Malawi Villages.” BBC News. Retrieved on June from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2602461.stm Raymond T. McNalley and Radu Florescu, In Search of Dracula (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1994). Robert Graves, The Greek Myths (London: Penguin, 1955). Reader's Digest Association, The Reader's Digest Book of Strange Stories, Amazing Facts: Stories That Are Bizarre, Unusual, Odd, Astonishing, Incredible but True (London: Reader's Digest, 1988). [...]
[...] Some of the traits associated with modern vampires were characteristics of Stokers Dracula, such as protruding fangs used to bite the victim. The story Nosferatu, by Murnau, in 1922 added the idea that vampires cannot appear in daylight. More traits were added as part of the staging of these stories, particularly the Dracula stories. Nineteenth-century stage plays about Dracula added a cloak with a high collar, supposedly to assist in the stagecraft of an onstage disappearance. Vampire literature and film also added the idea that vampires are immortal, which never appeared in the original folklore. [...]
[...] After her physician, Gerard van Swieten concluded that there were no vampires; she made open graves and desecrating bodies illegal. In the twenty-first-century reports of vampires continue, in spite of claims that vampires are fictional characters only. In 2002 the BBC reported that villagers in the African country of Malawi stoned a person to death and injured four others because of allegations that the man was a vampire and the others were colluding with him. Some 30 years before London newspapers had reported rumors that vampires lived in the Highgate Cemetery, and in 2005 there were reports that vampires had bitten people in Brimingham. Modern scientists, like their eighteenth-century counterparts, continue to theorize that part of the Eastern European legend about vampires is based on accounts of people who were suffering from the disease of rabies. [...]
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