For the last few years I have been doing research on my novel. This has taken me to Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, Babylon among others. One of the oldest references to a creature that drinks blood is in Sumeria around 4000 B.C. The Ekimmu were the earliest reference of any god or legend that deals with vampires and are one of the oldest references in Archaeology. Their description fits right along with the rest of vampire lore.
They were described as demonic, severely rotting corpse. More along the lines of the movie “Nosferatu” than “Interview with the Vampire” or “Twilight”. Every region in the world has its own creature that could be called a vampire, Nosferatu or any other word that would describe a vampire.
As the myth/legend has changed so has the story. The first story to make waves or break into the mainstream is Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” which was based on Vlad the Impaler in Eastern Europe. There are many things and many ways that the vampire myth has effected my life. I named my son after one. Although I will tell him that when he is older and can more understand his crazy dad and his love for the undead.
I have a tattoo on my back that says vampire in Kanji. There are many things about the vampire that attract attention. That they feed on humans has been used as a sexual metaphor so many times. That they sleep in coffins is another. However, that they are immortal is one thing that draws most people to them in my opinion.
That if they are hundred’s of years old, as many of Anne Rice’s or Stoker’s Dracula. They have had to abandon any person that may have been their life. Husbands, wives or children. The Charlaine Harris books have dealt with this with Bill Compton(I have not read the books only seen the t.v. show, please forgive me if their are more references of this in the Sookie Stackhouse novels).
If one is not prepared to leave their families it could cause someone to go mad, the way that Nicholas does in “The Vampire Lestat”. This theme of being alone and away from one’s family is what can make the vampire so disturbing. That the twins from Rice’s books hold onto their family line through millenia is an amazing feat. Meharet and Mekare are two of the best examples of holding onto one’s mortality when they are made a vampire.
That is all I have for now. I will post more later this week about my thoughts on the vampire and its history. I may dealve into my own WIP on one of these occasions.
Till the dawn.