Exploring the Myths of Vampires

Many of the myths associated with the vampire have come from the Dark Ages when individuals were not as well versed in the ways of science. In the past, religion and superstition were all in the same when it came to explaining the things that occurred in their world. Somewhere between Christian beliefs and grand imaginations, quite a few misconceptions concerning the vampire have emerged. A few are discussed in this article.

Across the Internet, I have found a few myths regarding vampires that include favorite associations with the creature of the night, including using garlic to repel a vampire and the use of crosses for protection.

·    Vampires in Coffins: Gravediggers and onlookers who have seen vampire-like creatures coming out of coffins and crypts probably contributed to the widespread belief that they slept in coffins. It is now thought that vampires will sleep wherever they feel. In the past, victims of vampire bites were often kept in coffins while they were still in a vampire-induced coma.

·    Garlic Fights Off Vampires: Equipped with a strong sense of smell, offensive odors can momentarily distract a vampire, but it is most likely not a reliable source of keeping vampires away.

·    Crosses:  Crosses will have no effect on a vampire and is a belief that originated in Christian religion.

·    Stakes Through the Heart: All the movies show vampire hunters using a stake to end the life of their nemesis, but since the skeletal muscles is said to circulate the blood throughout the body of a vampire, they are able to survive an injury to the heart. This myth most likely originated from the Christian religion.

·    Holy Water: Splash the skin or flesh of a vampire and they will burn is what you’ve probably been told, but thanks to Christianity having a hand in this myth, you should know that any water (including holy) tossed on a vampire will not have a negative effect.

·    Additionally, vampires do not seek out virgin women, as they really don’t care where they satisfy their taste for young blood. They are great leapers, but sadly, cannot fly or turn into a bat.

Ancient Myths of Vampires

Throughout time, vampire-like creatures have always been a part of ancient legends and myths. For example, the Persians believed in ‘blood demons.’ The ancient Persians belonged to one of the first civilizations to tell the tales of demons that drank blood, as they spoke of creatures that had a penchant for the blood of men. Pottery shards depicting such actions were found in excavations.

However in ancient Babylonia, it was Lilitu (or Lillith) that added a twist to the bloodsuckers of the past. It all started with a myth from ancient Babylonia that presented the legend of Lilith , a demon oftentimes shown living off of the blood of young babes. This same tale is told in Jewish circles except that she is believed to have drunk the blood of men and women , in addition to the blood of newborns. Lilith was known in myths as a Mesopotamian storm demon that had connections to the wind. While she was depicted as a lovely figure, she was also associated with bringing illness, disease, and death.

The first time Lilith appeared in records, she was listed in a category consisting demons and spirits of wind and storm. In Sumer, she was called Lilitu around 4,000 BCE. In Jewish lore, she was portrayed as a night demon, while the Bible makes mention of Lilith in the King James Version as a screech owl.