Fall officially begins at the end of this week, but I’ve been gearing up for it for some time. For those who follow my blog, I’ve already written a couple of posts this month related to my favorite season, with hopefully more to come. Today, as I start planning the decorations I’ll be putting up over the next few weeks (Do I really want an entire cemetery on the front lawn this year?) I began thinking about one of my personal favorite monsters-the vampire.
What is it about these creatures of the night that is so fascinating? The myths that surround vampires are hardly new, but because of new additions to literature and Hollywood, their lore is continually being renewed by modern culture. There are even societies devoted to vampires, where members dress and act as if they are members of the undread.
Vampires are enormously popular, thanks to television shows- Vampire Diaries (Netflix), The Originals (CW), True Blood (HBO), as well as recently popular movie series- Underworld, Blade and Twilight, to name a few. Of course, books about vampires can be found by the dozens and hundreds in any seller or online retailer, from authors such as Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice, and the one who started who launched the cult following, Bram Stoker.
But why do we love vampires? Here’s a few of the top reasons:
Vampires have longevity. The stories and legends of vampires existed long before Bram Stoker penned his epic novel, or before Hollywood first introduced Dracula to the masses.
Vampires are mysterious. No matter the version of the story, all vampires have secretive pasts and hidden existences that leave an audience wanting to know more about them.
Vampires are often seen as romantic characters. Whether they are seductive fiends that come into a woman’s bedroom at night, or brooding teens that shy away from their bloodthirsty nature, we can’t help but be drawn to them.
Vampires are powerful. They have superhuman strength and speed. In some versions of the story, they can turn into bats or wolves, and have the ability to take control over a human’s mind.
Vampires often have a duality of nature. Vampires can be both scary and attractive. We are captivated by them; while at the same time we fear them. They appear to be human, right up till the moment they give in to the urge to feed-on us.
Vampires have history. Many stories include vampires that have been around a century or a few, that have seen mankind’s many triumphs and missteps, and have acquired a great deal of wisdom from their extended lifespans.
Vampires represent eternal youth, beauty, and immortality. They are often portrayed as being attractive, appearing young, and of course, they live forever, or until they see the sunrise or someone stakes them.
Vampires are outsiders. Many of us can identify with characters that exist on the fringes of society, which are often portrayed as being solitary, as loners.
Vampires are the ultimate bad boys. They live outside the rules of society, because they must kill to live, or at least steal blood from a bank or animals.
Vampires are monsters, even if they appear human. We can’t help being fascinated by the idea that something out there considers us prey, which makes us vulnerable. After all, horror stories in general have widespread appeal.
When you have some downtime this week, why not dust off that vampire novel you’ve been meaning to read, or download your vampire movie about those creatures of the night? After all, with fall right around the corner it’s the perfect time to feed a monster obsession.