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Posted by on Aug 18, 2021 in TellMeWhy |

Who Is the Blood-sucking Monster from Folktales?

Who Is the Blood-sucking Monster from Folktales?

An imagined bloodsucking monster known as a vampire frequently appears in folklore, particularly in Eastern Europe. When people were asleep, vampires were thought to be men and women who had been buried but had survived by sucking their blood; if the victims ultimately died, they too turned into vampires.

Vampires were nighttime monsters that had to return to their graves or coffins by dawn. They might be recognised by the lack of shadows and reflections their bodies made in a mirror.

A crucifix, a thread of garlic, and other charms could keep their eyes off of sleepers. They could only be put to death by having a stake driven through their hearts or by having their place of rest during the day destroyed.

Thanks to Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, published in 1897, vampires became a prominent subject for horror fiction in modern times, and public interest in them has been sustained by the countless Dracula films made for the big screen and television.

Revenants are human corpses that are thought to rise from the dead and attack the living. These vampires have Slavic origins and are the ones that most people are familiar with (such as Dracula). Older vampires, however, were supposed to be supernatural—probably demonic beings that did not take on human form rather than being at all human.

In fact, there are a select few truly vampire-like animals, such as leeches, lampreys, and vampire bats. The vampire’s goal in each of these instances is to draw just enough blood to keep them alive but not enough to kill their hosts.

What about human vampires, though? There are undoubtedly a lot of self-described vampires in gothic-inspired subcultures. Others wear capes or obtain vampire-fang dental implants, while some conduct covert bloodletting rituals or literary clubs with a vampire theme. Everything is exciting and frightful, but drinking blood is a totally different story.

The issue is that blood is toxic; because it is so high in iron and the body has trouble eliminating excess iron, anyone who regularly consumes blood runs a serious risk of developing hemochromatosis (iron overdose), which can result in a wide range of illnesses and problems, including damage to the liver and nervous system.

Vampires have been a part of human society and legend in varying forms for millennia, and they don’t seem to be disappearing any time soon.

Content for this question contributed by Amy Miller, resident of Dover, Pennsylvania, USA