Moonday’s Heroic Hunks in History: Vampires

Throughout October, each Moonday’s Heroic Hunks in History will feature creatures of the Dark.  Check out the history and pics of some of the best-known characters in the paranormal genre. 

Pitt & Cruise in Interview with a Vampire

Vampires have been part of the myths or folklore of many cultures.  The dead (or undead) creatures who subsisted by feeding on the life essence (usually blood) of living creatures were not called vampires until the 18th century (1734). When tales of vampires reached Europe from the Balkans and Eastern Europe, corpses were exhumed and staked to protect the living. Vampires of folklore were most often revenants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire.

In vampire folklore, common  apotropaics (items to ward off vampires) include garlic, branched of wild rose and hawthorn, crucifixes, rosaries, holy water, and sunlight. Vampires could not cross running water, walk on consecrated ground (churches) or enter houses uninvited.  

Methods of destroying vampires varied by country. Staking was the most common method—either with ash, hawthorn, or oak through the heart, mouth or stomach. Decapitation, incineration, sprinkling with holy water, drowning were also used to destroy the corpse. 

SLayer Wesley Snipes in Blade

The charismatic and sophisticated prototype for today’s vampire was developed in John Polidori’s novella The Vampyre (1819).  It also influenced later books such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Byron’s unfinished work, The Burial.  Beginning in the 20th century, vampires have been featured often in books, movies and television series.  Characters have become more sympathetic and certainly more handsome.  Check out some of our vampires. Do you have a favorite? 

Next Week, Werewolves. Rita Bay

BTW, throughout October, Rita Bay’s Blog will feature daily blogs on Myths and Legends including animism, legends and folktales, creation myths, the mythology of Greeks/Romans, Celtic, Saxon and Norse mythology. Check them out at http://ritabay.wordpress.com/    RB

Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Northman in True Blood

 

David Borneaz as Angel

Johnny Depp as Barnabs in Dark Shadows

 

Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Northman in True Blood

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5 Responses

  1. It’s amazing how long our fascination with vampires has existed, and there have been some sexy ones indeed in these later years!

    Can’t wait to see how you present werewolves! Love me some furry creatures!

  2. It’s amazing what the mind can conjure. Werewolves I think are some of the oldest beliefs probably going back to animal totems. There appears to be some evidence of bear totems as far back as the Neanderthals. RB

  3. Great Post!! I remember when the Interview w/vampire movie was coming out, I was thinking no way would Tom Cruise be able to pull it off. He did. Color me surprised. Antonio Banderas played a vampire in it as well and he didn’t know very much English at the time. He looked amazing in the black cloak. The vampires of lore sure didn’t seem to match the looks of the ones in that movie, right?

    Fun feature. Can’t wait to see next weeks.

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