The Vampire Hunter's Guide (Part 1 Intro & Origins)


Introduction

For Centuries the Vampire has been a legendary figure of evil, romance, power and tragedy.  There are many legends and stories about where vampires first came from, what they are, what they do, and how to fight them.  The legends seemed to change from year to year as more and more stories were published.  I myself was shocked at Bram Stoker's seeming lack of knowledge when I read "Dracula". In truth it was my lack of knowledge that was showing.  I had learned of vampires by the movies of Hollywood and the fiction of comic books and modern novels until I eventually thought I knew all about vampires.  I was greatly mistaken.  


In the centuries since mankind has kept records, there have been stories of all different kinds of vampires.  The legends have slowly changed from a bogeyman creature that lives to destroy mankind to a tragic and romantic figure plagued by a bloodlust and hated immortality.  The appearance, strengths and weaknesses of the old vampires varied by location.  Many of the weaknesses that were thrust upon us by modern stories simply did not make sense, nor did they follow the old legends.  I started looking deeper and deeper into the older legends and found a whole different world of vampires that Hollywood and Comic publishers never knew about, or at least never showed us.  


The recent popularity of the game "Vampire, The Masquerade" by White Wolf Publications has brought even more new ideas of the powers and weaknesses of the vampire.  Although it totally ignores some of the most basic legends of the vampire, "The Masquerade" has brought about a resurgance in the knowledge of the the legendary vampire.  The game has popularized a caste systems among different types of vampires.  This game system defined vampires as members of clans, each with their own appearance and powers.  


This book is a collection of legends, myths, facts and debates over the legendary creatures of the night.  It discusses many commonly held misconceptions, and many relatively unknown aspects of the ancient legends. 

 

WHAT IS A VAMPIRE?

 "The Merriam Webster Dictionary" defines the term "vampire" as "A night wandering bloodsucking ghost."  The definition of a vampire in "The Encyclopedia of the Occult" by Lewis Spence is almost 3 pages long.  One excerpt from Mr. Spence's definition calls a vampire " A dead person who returns in spirit form from the grave for the purpose of destroying and sucking the blood of living persons, or a living sorcerer who takes a special form for the same purpose."   Both of these definitions assume that the vampire starts out as a living being, and later becomes a vampire.  


There are many types of vampires that are created as supernatural and nonhuman creatures.  These creatures are often demons or biblical monsters created to destroy.  Their target is sometimes  mankind in general or sometimes the enemy of a sorcerer or summoner.  These creatures are very common in the ancient legends and myths of many cultures.  Modern fiction and movies tend to ignore these non-human vampires for the easier to identify with human undead.


Neither definition of vampire includes the naturally occurring vampires of nature or normal living people that suck the blood of others for recreational or religious purposes. Since these living blood drinkers are also considered vampires in modern times, the most modern definition of vampires will therefore have to be modified to include them.  So for the purposes of this book, the definition of a vampire is:    Any person or creature, living, dead, or animated in some way that sustains itself by drinking the blood of the living or the flesh of the living for the purpose of destroying the victim or creating more creatures like themselves.


WHERE DO VAMPIRES COME FROM?  

There are many theories as to the origins of the vampire.  Some of the better theories are the Biblical, the Atlantean, the demonic, and the scientific.  These theories are all mankind's way of trying to define the  undead in a way that is understandable by their beliefs.


The Biblical Theory

Biblical references believe that Vampires are the descendants of Cain.  After Cain killed Abel, he was banished to the land of Nod and deformed so his face would match his acts.  He, along with 'Lilith' then sired the children of darkness which include all the legendary monsters of the ancient world.  These creatures main reason for existence is to bring the fall of mankind and the domination of Cain.  Vampires are thought to be offspring of Cain, constantly attacking men and defying laws of civilization.  


According to many biblical scholars, Lilith was Adam's first wife.  Lilith was so evil of spirit that she and Adam had to separate and she joined with the powers of darkness.   There is a Hebrew belief that Lilith is actually the twin sister of Cain. The original bible has the letter 'yud" after the name of each of the male sons of Eve.  This letter designated that there were more children born at that time, but female and not individually noteworthy in biblical times.  Cain's twin sister went with him to the land of nod after killing Able.  These biblical stories are repeated in the ancient British legend of "Beowulf".   Some legends say that Lilith was actually Eve, but after being cast out of Eden, became the warped evil child hating Lilith.  Babylonian legends name Lilith as Lilitu, an evil spirit that was never human, but a demon that preys on children.  Lilitu was the queen of the succubi, and had a horde of beasts helping her hunt children.  Because of the legends of Lilith, many of the legendary vampires around the world hunt almost exclusively children.  Lilith was so related to vampires and children, some stories later made a mythical daughter to Dracula and called her Lilith.


Some vampires are even in the form of a serpent, again bringing the relation to vampires and man's biblical creation.  The South American Jaracacas are snakes that kill children by taking the child's place at the mother's breast and choking the child with it's tail.  This creature drinks the mother's blood and breast milk as it kills the child.  The middle eastern Lamia is a half snake, half woman creature that lives by drinking the blood of children.  Lamia is either a demon or a tragic victim of a woman cursed by the gods Both the Jaracacas and the Lamia are related to the biblical creation story by it's serpentine appearance and by it's desire to victimize children.  


The biblical studies done by Kabballists further the theories of vampires as biblical creatures.  The Kabballah belief says that we live in the 'false world' or 'untrue world'.  The only thing that makes this world real is our belief in it.  According to Kabballic belief the soul of a man is a shard or thread of the only consciousness that exists, God.  Each shard or thread of the collective soul has it's own personality and awareness, but is still part of the soul.  This thread connects the body to the universal soul, but upon death becomes disconnected from the body.  As the soul shard moves on to another life it gradually forgets the body it has left behind, and as it forgets the body decomposes.  If a soul thread rejoins with the body after it has 'died' the body will change to be exactly what the soul thread thinks it should be, rejuvenating it and keeping it from decomposing.  Of course the experiences of 'death' gives the soul shard a new perspective of reality, thereby giving it the ability to do the amazing things that the undead are able to do.  These vampires are very hard to kill since they can easily repair any damage they sustain by just deciding to do so.



The Atlantean Theory

The Atlantian theory is that the vampires were created by the  sorcerers of ancient Atlantis.  These sorcerers created the Vampires to defend the walls of Atlantis from the monsters that roamed the Earth at the time. These defenders did their job well, protecting Atlantis from all enemies and bringing about a golden age .  Unfortunately, man is never satisfied with safe or powerful enough, he is always trying to get more powerful.  The sorcerers of Atlantis kept trying more and more powerful spells until finally they lost control.  The forces that they played with destroyed the continent and sank it beneath the sea.  With the destruction of the continent of Atlantis, the vampires that survived were free to run amok upon an unprepared world.  


Many of the vampires aspects are brought to light by this origin.  Even to this day, vampires guard and respect the sanctity of property ownership, not entering abodes unless invited by the rightful owner.  The creatures have through the ages lost the power to travel during the daylight as the magic that created them slowly weakens.  The weakening spell also requires them to drink the blood of humans to replenish their strength.  Having seen the power of the gods wreak vengeance on Atlantis, they fear the powerful forces of religion, and cringe from the sight of it's icons.  Their memory of Atlantis' destruction keeps them away from running water in streams and oceans, defying them to cross.  It is even possible that they fear water because it constantly tries to reclaim them as it was destined to during destruction of Atlantis.  The foul weather that constantly plagues areas of a vampire's presence may be caused by the spirits of the water trying to find and take the vampire.  



The Demonic Theory

Demonologists say that Vampires are nothing but demons that have taken human form.  These demons need to drink the blood of the victims to remain on the Earthly plane.   Being creatures of another hell, the demons cannot bear the light of day, nor can they bear any reminder of the Heaven from which they are forbidden.


Like the demons, Vampires come in many different shapes, sometimes even changing shape at will.  They are as varied as their names.  One constant in the demon's description is the "teeth like a lion's", and "fingers like those of a wild boar"  (St. Bernard, 1238 AD).  This description was later restated as "Fangs like a dog" and "Claws like a bear" (Reginald Scott 1588).  The demons could often control winds and waters, bringing great winds, storms, fog, or many of the bad weather problems associated with the presence of vampires.  The main purpose of demons is to collect and carry off souls of the condemned, just as a vampire steals the life juices and takes them with him as a symbolic theft of the soul.


The Halfbreed Theory

The basis of the halfbreed theory is that it is possible for a human and an animal having a child.  This child would of course have the deformed and grousome appearance that vampires are expected to have, yet they would have a certain fascinating aspect to them.  Stories of children born of man and wolf are the most common of this theory


The Alternate Species Theory

The alternate species theory is based on the belief that as man evolved (or was placed on Earth by God), another species came about in a similar manner.  This species "Homo-Vampirus"  and Homo-Sapiens  (man) shares as much in common as the chimpanzee shares with the gorilla.  In some legends, 


The Sire Theory

The sire theory states that vampires are created by one "sire".  This sire cursed God in his own temple and was in turn cursed by God.  Other "sire" theories say that he was a devil worshipper, and as a 'gift', the devil gave him immortality, in his own way.  The "sire" may have been a demon of some sort that created all vampires.  Either way, this sire has since made the brood of vampires that exist today.  


The Scientific Theory

Modern medicine has come up with a scientific theory of vampirism as well.  According to this theory is Vampires are actually human victims of the disease porphyria.  Dorland's Pocket Medical Dictionary defines porphyria as: "A disturbance of porphyrin metabolism characterized by an increase of porphyrins [any of a group of iron- or magnesium-free cyclic tetrapyrrole derivatives, occurring universally in protoplasm, and forming the basis of the respiratory pigments of animals and plants] or their precursors."Porphyria is a disease that affects the blood and skin of the victim.  The victim will need constant blood transfusions, and their skin is highly susceptible to sun burn and dry skin.  The same book defines the some of the types of porphyria as follows:

"Acute intermittent porphyria.-- Hereditary hepatic porphyria due to a defect of pyrrole metabolism [pyrrole - a basic, cyclic substance (CH)4- NH - obtained by destructive distillation of various animal substances] with recurrent attacks of abdominal pain, gastrointestinal and neurologic disturbances, and excessive amounts of aminolevulinic acid and porphobilinogen in the urine."

"Congenital erythropoietic porphyria. -- Hereditary erythropoietic porphyria, with cutaneous [pertaining to the skin] photosensitivity leading to mutilating lesions, hemolytic anemia, splenomeglay, [enlarged spleen] excessive urinary excretion of uroporphyrin, and, invariably, erythrodontia [reddish brown pigmentation of the teeth] and hypertrychosis."

"Porphyria cutanea tarda symptomatica -- A sporadic form, usually associated with chronic alcoholism, marked by chronic skin lesions ranging from slight fragility to severe scarring, and by hepatomegaly [enlargement of the liver]and excessive excretion of uro- and copoporphyrin."

"Variegate porphyria -- Hereditary hepatic porphyria, with chronic skin manifestations, chiefly extreme mechanical fragility of the skin, mainly of areas exposed to sunlight, episodes of abdominal pain, neuropathy, and, typically, an excess of coproporhyrin and protoporphyrin in bile and feces."

Since porphyria is a hereditary disease, porphyrics are likely to be family members.  This may explain the tendency of vampires to seemingly attack their family first.  Other family members of the suspected vampire will show signs of the vampirism himself since after all, he has the same disease already.  The family will likely also be a band of gypsies, since they would not want to stay in one place too long for fear of being discovered.  The family connection of porphyrics may explain why Vampires always seem to have gypsy followers, they may actually be sharing the 'food' or bounty of blood with the strongest member of the family.  If this is correct,  a vampire may not be a strong undead creature, but rather a family of pitiful diseased humans.  

© Virtual Reflections 2016