I love research. Research finds me in the strangest (and sometimes mentally disturbing) places, learning the most demented oddest things. Sometimes they just stick with me until I look them up again.
(I mostly write it all down now so I don’t go insane trying to find it.)
Point being, there are some very strange myths and lore centered around the ever prevalent vampire.
And since sharing is caring…
(minus diseases, blame, and pain)
Vampires were not always considered nighttime creatures. Seventeenth and eighteenth century vampiric lore found vampires to be daytime roamers. Specifically early morning and late evening. Most commonly however, the cruelest of intentions were carried out during the darkest hours of night.
It wasn’t until later that books and movies glorified the evil night dwelling vamps, which of course caught like wildfire.
I mean come on, you hear about a vampire that can come out in the daytime these days and people are blowing it off like the proverbial pink kitten at the biker bar. Why wouldn’t it scare people more if vampires could come out and play hangman with them at all times of day and night? The nighttime thing feels like a product of poor plotting and easily killed antagonists.
And yet I’ll probably use it. 😉
Bram Stoker invented the theory that vampires have no shadow. He also took the no reflections bit and blew it up in “Dracula”, causing it to become traditional vampire mythology.
The reasoning behind both of these failings, is the lack of a soul. Thusly, the vampire couldn’t have a shadow or reflection as their soul was no longer intact, leaving them empty and lifeless. So to say.
In Chinese, Slavic, and Russian lore (among other countries), it was believed that if an animal or person jumped over a corpse, it could cause the corpse to come back as a vampire. Cats and dogs were the most feared in this situation. The Chinese particularly feared the tiger. The Romanians, a black hen.
There’s a lot of lore on how a corpse becomes a vampire and a lot of it involves a person or animal disturbing a corpse, turning it against the natural order of things and damning it to raise. Kinda freaky to think they believe becoming a vampire could be so completely out of your control. Makes me wonder why more people didn’t decide on cremation back then. How could you get more vulnerable than corpse?
In Yugoslavia’s lore, gypsies believed that melons, specifically watermelons, could turn into vampires if they were left out for ten days straight or too long after Christmas. These vampire watermelons were stained with blood, rolled around annoying people, and growled.
I will never look at a watermelon the same way again.
Some Arabians believed an aluga could possibly be the demon king of all vampires, tracing its origins from the book of Proverbs in the bible.
There’s actually a lot of tie in between demons, witches, and vampires throughout history. Oh – and werewolves. I only left them out of the list as more than half of old lore considered werewolves and vampires to be the same thing, as the vampire could transform into a wolf at will, or out of necessity.
But that’s another topic completely. (Interested?)
CONNECT THE DOTS
I often follow one theory, myth, or legend to another. Say I want to research cannibalism. I might end up learning about tulips riding chimpanzees in the wild forests after Armageddon. Not really, but you get my point.
So how did I get from daytime vampires to vampiric watermelons?
I don’t remember. I just know I was researching the reasoning behind the no-soul-having-vampire theory. It ends up in my novel.
All in all – I’m curious. Getting lost proves fun.