• Question: Are vampires real? Or were they ever real? (I have a fascination with vampires)

    Asked by ejrw to Adam, Leila on 23 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Leila Battison

      Leila Battison answered on 23 Mar 2012:

      Well, I don’t think the living for thousands of years bit is very realistic – we’ve never have anyone live longer than a hundred years or so, and I don’t think they did it by drinking blood!

      But there are some pretty odd people out there. There are people who drink blood, people who sleep in coffins, and people who have their teeth sharpened into points to look like vampires’.

      So sadly (or perhaps happily?) vampires, along with werewolves and (probably) zombies are just fictional. 🙂

    • Photo: Adam Stevens

      Adam Stevens answered on 23 Mar 2012:

      There’s loads of really interesting stuff about where the vampire ‘myth’ came from. Obviously there are lots of tales about Transylvania and Vlad the Impaler drinking peoples blood and stuff, but there’s a lot more realistic stuff too.

      For example, the symptoms of rabies kind of match up to what the original conception of a vampire (not the modern day sparkly-warkly or dracula type ones) looks like. The disease can cause personality shifts, make people violent, change their sleep patterns so that they become nocturnal, can bring about a drive to bit others and froth blood at the mouth.

      There’s also stories about people testing for rabies by seeing if someone could recognise themselves in the mirror, and the fact that people with rabies tend to be hypersensitive, so strong flavours (like… garlic!) would annoy them as well as being averse to light.

      Just so happens that vampire bats often carry rabies!

      There’s of other stuff about people accidentally being buried alive because they were thought to be dead but actually just in a coma or something and then “rising from the grave”.

      Ultimately though, all the folklore points to the vampire myth coming about because of incomplete medical knowledge. It’s really interesting to read and hear about, but means that vampires probably aren’t real.