The Vampire

Kingwell By Kingwell, 30th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Culture

My thoughts on the Vampire - another stalwart of Halloween.

Ancient Legend

The Vampire is another stalwart of Halloween and seems to have been around as long as man himself. In ancient legend vampires were horrible creatures that came back from the dead (possibly because they had been buried alive) and would never die as long as they could consume the blood of the living. They were terrifying and didn’t care who they killed so long as they could feed on their blood. Vampires (or the undead) are present in many cultures from many eras and has to do with the fact that even ancient cultures associated blood with life. Many of the early stories have to do with female vampires sucking the blood of children.

Scratch Marks on Coffins.

While the concept of vampires rising from the grave to feast on the blood of humans may seem ridiculous to modern men and women, in the past, the world was a much more mysterious place and a lack of medical knowledge may well have contributed to a belief in the undead. One source of the legend may well have come from the medieval practice of digging up burial ground to reuse for new burials. While digging up these graves, the workers noticed that some showed definite signs of activity after burial. Scratch marks on the lids of the coffins … bodies that had changed their position. To the superstitious, this could be evidence enough. After all, they were certainly dead when they were buried – Or were they? It is often difficult to tell, even with modern medicine, when a person is really and truly dead. Stories still surface about people who were delivered to the mortuary only to revive just as preparations were underway!

Buried Alive

Fear of being buried alive led to a number of customs that persist to this day: After a person died, relatives would gather at the house to maintain a Prayer vigil and a watch over the body, which was held in the front room, or Parlor of the house. This practice of watching over the body was known as holding a wake, perhaps because people would wait for the deceased to “wake.” One interesting story says that people would run a string from the coffin to a bell on the surface. If the person awakened, all he had to do was pull on the string and the bell would ring, letting people know that he was still alive. Some scholars have even cited this as the origin of the term “saved by the bell.” But if the person awakened in the middle of the night, there would be no one to hear it. This problem apparently was solved by hiring village boys to sit in the graveyard for a few days after a burial to listen for ringing. The boys were said to be working the “graveyard shift.”

Facts about Vampires

Vampires are allergic to sunlight, have the ability to turn into a bat and can also turn other people into vampires. They fear a cross and can be injured by holy water. It is also said, that they have no reflection, can be hurt by silver, are scared of garlic, cannot cross running water, and cannot enter a house until invited. (Guess who’s not coming to MY Halloween party this year!) Since they have no reflection, vampires can’t be photographed – so if you suspect one of your friends of being a vampire, try taking a picture of them with your cell phone – but make sure you have some garlic or holy water with you – just in case!

Tags

Blood, Buried Alive, Coffins, Fear, Garlic, Graveyard Shift, Holy Water, Kingwell, Saved By The Bell, Silver, Superstition, The Undead, Vampires, Wake, Walking Dead

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
31st Oct 2014 (#)

Kingwell, this is a perfect article for Halloween! I loved it. You are teaching me things I didn't know. Smiles to you this morning. I hope I don't run into a vampire but if I do I hope I have my garlic with me.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
31st Oct 2014 (#)

Thank you Nancy and I too hope the vampires keep their distance but have that garlic handy lol! Blessings friend.

Reply to this comment

author avatar M G Singh
31st Oct 2014 (#)

I love vampires, but they are not real.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
31st Oct 2014 (#)

Thank you Madan- keep the garlic nearby just in case lol!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
1st Nov 2014 (#)

wonderful story about vampires, love the theme and movies as well!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
1st Nov 2014 (#)

Thank you Fern

Reply to this comment

author avatar Randhir Bechoo
1st Nov 2014 (#)

Interesting page's. Enjoyed all of them.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
1st Nov 2014 (#)

Thank you for commenting my friend. Blessings.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
5th Nov 2014 (#)

Now I know the origin and meaning of "holding a wake" and "graveyard shift" that I hear often.Thanks for educating us Kingwell.

I like to share an anecdote from India. One person was certified dead by a doctor. As he was being taken for burial, he woke up and asked where he was being taken to. He was told he was dead and will be buried. He shouted - I am not dead but others told him - just lie down, we will rather believe the highly educated doctor than the illiterate you! siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
5th Nov 2014 (#)

Thank you Siva. I hope that your anecdote isn't a true story!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
21st Feb 2015 (#)

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Interesting article.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
21st Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you reading and commenting my friend. Blessings.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
19th Oct 2015 (#)

Kingwell, I came back to read your Halloween article again. I liked it as much this year as I did last year. Smiles to you today and always! Blessings too!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
19th Oct 2015 (#)

Thank you Nancy. Blessings.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password