Are Vampires Real? Here's the Answer to the Age-old Question

The vampire legend finds its roots entrenched in prehistoric folklore. For years, these stories gave Hollywood some of its most classic horror themes. Of course, vampires have now been reduced to being the object of teenage fantasy, no thanks to you-know-what. But conclusive evidence to prove their existence remains elusive...or does it?
"If there is in this world a well-attested account, it is that of vampires. Nothing is lacking: official reports, affidavits of well-known people, of surgeons, of priests, of magistrates; the judicial proof is most complete. And with all that, who is there who believes in vampires?"
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau


It's hard to find a person who does not have an opinion on the subject of vampires. While the basic concept of vampirism originated in Europe, there have been several stories of similar legends circulating around the world. As with every folkloric myth, there is a certain amount of drama and exaggeration that surrounds vampire stories. What we wish to explore in this article is whether there is any amount of truth attached to the mystery that shrouds these (supposedly) blood-sucking ghouls. So, as we set out to examine the phenomenon at hand, one does wonder if it is actually possible to do so without a hint of prejudice? Our logical minds, combined with a deep sense of scientific assurance leads us to believe that no such beings as vampires exist. That one can't possibly live forever, or be so full of aversion for garlic. It is up to us, then, to rest our prudent beliefs for a while, and investigate.

"I want you to believe...to believe in things that you cannot."
- Bram Stoker

Vampirism, per se, may be a concept that was at its peak in the eighteenth century. However, stories about evil spirits, demons, ghosts and such creatures have been told and re-told as long as anyone can recall. What sets the vampire legend apart is that it has maintained its mystique intact, long after the other ghouls took a comic retreat.

Ancient cultures around the world have chronicled several monsters who fed on the flesh and blood of humans, and who were reportedly invincible. Vampires, as we know them today, are closest to the eastern European view that describes them as corpses who rose out of their grave to satiate their hunger for human flesh and blood. The documented vampire attacks in East Prussia during the 1700s give us an idea of the mass paranoia these beings had apparently caused.
"Bring a vampire around, people start discovering religion."
- Richard Laymon
'The Stake'

Slavic spirituality reasons that the spirit lives on, long after the death of a being. For the spirit to move on to the next plain, the body must undergo a proper burial. Any shortcomings here, and the dissatisfied soul could reenter the body, and havoc would ensue. A sudden or a violent death could also have the same torturous effect on the soul, setting it up to become destructive. A huge emphasis was therefore placed on ritualistic burials that promised to keep the vampire menace in check.

Christianity brought with it beliefs of vampires being the personification of everything that was anti-God. As the vampire sought a sinner's blood to cast his soul in the demonic mode, a devout person needed to drink the blood of Christ to keep him from wavering from the right path. The impact of this concept is prevalent in modern fiction where the vampires are creatures who can't stand the sight of the cross and never consume wine.

"Lisa! Vampires are make believe, just like elves and gremlins and eskimos!"
- Homer Simpson
'The Simpsons'
Which rightly brings us to the modern view on the existence of vampires. As we're all allowed to have our own ideas of reality (no matter how warped they may be) the opinion on this subject is divided. There are various people who believe in the existence of these creatures as a result of what they read or see (thank you, Internet). And then we also see instances of cannibalism and even necrophilia and wonder, how different is it really from the vampirism of yore?

So you see, it is really hard to be conclusive whether vampires are for real or not. You may think of them as products of idle minds of the medieval era. You could also be picturing them as Edward Cullen and his dashing cronies. Well, if they do exist, there was never a more glamorous time for them ever before, and they ought to be reveling in it currently.
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