Sunday, April 3, 2011

Vampire Myth and Folkfore

Before I get to what I want to talk about, I just want to quickly tell you all how the conference went. It was better than last year even though I didn't leave with agents who wanted to see my novel. I learned a lot though, and I know now that it is not ready to be published. I have more rewrites to do. Hopefully it will be ready soon, and I will let you all know. I have also decided that I am going to put up little excerpts from my novel maybe once a month. I don't have one ready right now, but I will hopefully post one soon.

Anyway, what I want to talk about today is vampire myths and folklore. They are very interesting. Most of the things people come up with are very strange. Of course you always have your stereotypically vampire that started with Bram Stoker's Dracula. Vampires that everyone knows are the ones that burn in sunlight, shy away from garlic, need an invitation to enter, don't appear in mirrors, and a stake through the heart will kill.  I consider that the Hollywood vampire, but there is a lot more to the folklore than that.

Each culture in the 16th century, although they have had no contact with each other have similar myths. Most of their vampires fed on children or infants and were closely related to witchcraft. I'm only going to mention a few but there are many more.


Lamia
The Lamia (right) originated from Greece and Rome. She was a feared demon that was half-snake, half-women. It was believed that she preyed on young children and men for revenge.

The Chinese Hopping Ghost or Iiangshi is another ancient vampire myth. They were lost souls that were covered in hair, had daggerlike teeth, and razor-sharp talons. They would of course come out at night to search for prey by hopping from their graves. (Unfortunately, I couldn't find a good picture for this one)

Sekhmet
Ancient Egypt had Sekhmet (left) as one of their vampire myths. She was once a war goddess who got drunk on human blood and began to hunt down all humans. She is seen as a women with a lion head.

There are many more vampire myths, and they are similar to one another. They may have come from different places or been created in different ways but they are all pretty much repelled and killed by the same methods. One of the thing I actually laughed at was that people thought if you spread rice or seeds around the hiding place of a vampire they would stop to count them. Or that if you throw a knotted rope in their path they will stop to untie. That just sounds really funny to me.

That's all for now. I will post again hopefully soon, and maybe it will be a small excerpt next time.

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