Sunday, December 09, 2018

Warrendale wonders about vampires


I've been thinking about vampire stories a lot lately, for some reason. One of the things that amazes me about them is how universal the concept is.

The mythos about vampires seems to have originated in ancient Greece where precursors to them were seen in legends such as the stories of the shape-shifting women known as Empusa as well as the Lamia, which were ancient women who became monsters that ate children.  These legends were later adopted by the ancient Romans who, in turn, spread their stories throughout Eupore.

The legend of the vampire eventually spread to the Americas. The mythos took hold in stories throughout the Caribean about the Soucouyant, reclusive elderly women who took to the skies at night in search of victims who blood she could drink. Similar legends were told from Chile to Connecticut and on into Canda.

Vampires, by the way, were not unique to the Western world either. There were similar stories about shape-shifting, blood-sucking (usually female) monsters throughout Asia. These legends existed in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines well before any known contact with Europeans or Americans.

In fact, about the only place where vampire-like legends were not common was in Africa in particular and sub-Saharan Africa in particular. There has been much speculation in scholarly circles about why nothing like vampires among the people of sub-Saharan Africa.

One of the more interesting theories has to do with the fact that vampires in all of their forms are often killed with Holy Water...

And they bless the rains down in Africa.
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