Vampire – restless undead
There are many types of vampires in beliefs found all over the world. Some vampires are demons that attack at night, and are associated with night terrors. Vampires also were blamed for plagues, invisible terrors that bothered people at night and wasting diseases that brought death.
Western fiction and film have popularized the vampire as a glamorous and seductive living dead person who bites people on the neck. The victim of the vampire’s bite would become one of the “living dead”. Vampires have no shadows, and cannot cast a reflection in any mirror or reflective surface. Some vampires had the ability to turn into a wolf. These vampires were known as vukodlak.
Common superstition still holds that when a werewolf dies, it becomes a vampire.
During the sixteenth century people believed that vampires were the spirits of suicide victims and could only be killed if they were exposed to daylight, or stabbed through the heart with the sharpened point of a wooden crucifix.
The famous novel Dracula was written by Bram Stoker in 1897. It is based on the life and times of the fourteenth- century Transylvanian warlord named Vlad, better known as Vlad the Impaler. Stoker also added the idea that vampires were half human and half bat and could change from one form to the other at will.
The cinematic depiction of the vampire in F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) presented the traditional vampire. Actor Max Schreck’s bloodsucker creeps about in the shadows with dark-ringed, hollowed eyes, pointed devil ears, and hideous fangs.
In 1982, parapsychologist Stephen Kaplan, director of the Vampire Research Center in Elmhurst, New York, discovered a vampire subculture living among the general population.
In Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles the vampire is a romantic, enthralling figure.
Sometimes, people mistook ill people for vampires. Porphyria is a genetic disorder of pigment metabolism, and a person is forced to hide from the sun, because his skin does not tolerate ultraviolet irradiation, being covered with ulcers.