Il If you want to has always populated the collective imagination of man, so much so as to carve out a space, as well as in books and stories, also in films, games, television series and much more.
But how did the vampire figure come about and why does he have so much hold on readers and spectators?
A bit of history
Since ancient times the blood it has risen to the role of the seat of life. For this "sacred" value, many religions, such as that Aztec, they sacrificed blood in a sign of pity and affection: the blood flow, in their culture, presided over the movement of the sun.
"... The fiery globe red blood, so that the earth lived"Aztec prayer in the sun
Blood in the past was therefore seen as a media between the divine and man. Cults such as that of Cybele, the Dionysian or those Orphic, foresaw the mutual bite and the abandonment to every sort of communion between flesh and blood.
Blood becomes a symbol of life and salvation with the appearance of sacred texts such as the Bible (Genesis and Leviticus), where the act of consuming blood takes on a negative value.
Here we could place the beginning of the vampire myth.
If a deity, through the gift of his own blood, grants salvation and preservation of his faithful, the vampire through the theft of blood seeks individual salvation and undermines the preservation of the faithful of the divinity. This sort of opposition to the saving divinity has led the human being to mythologize this figure by opposing it to what is sacred and blessed, but at the same time coming from it "attracted".
We will talk about this attraction in a few paragraphs
The vampire in the world
The Lord help those who go on the streets at night,Popular song from Transylvania
when the wolf howls,
when the rat runs to take refuge in the sewer,
when the leaves of the trees tremble,
when the moon is dripping with blood.
Every traveler can be the ghost of the vampire,
and be careful not to meet his gaze with his.
It can suck your blood to the last drop;
beating his wings in his black cloak,
the cursed son of the devil,
who does not rest in peace in his grave.
There are many vampires that have been handed down to us over the centuries and, hazarding a hypothesis, most of them (at least the most famous) are present in countries of Slavic origin or in the Baltic ones. Fear not! We can also find them in India, China, Malaysia and much of the world. In short, ours are immigrants or important!
Il Drakuls, Blautsauger, Kuzlak, Mule, the Strigoiare just some of the vampires that populate the areas of Bohemia, Dalmatia and the Balkans, but don't forget the Ch'Ing Shi (guess where it comes from), the Witch Portuguese (not the enemy of The Witcher Strigo, although she's also a vampire) and many many others.
So how to drive them out? If you find any of the Baltic and Slavic ones, all you have to do is have a little bit of hawthorn with you and vehemently put it in their navel. A very symbolic value, as if to sever his second life, and then the classic stake in the heart, what harm never hurts, on the contrary!
So remember that before you travel to certain areas, find out which one anti-vampire kit you have to bring it with you.
The Vampire in reality
In this part of the article we will cover the stories of some of the most famous vampires known and, very often, condemned by the law of man.
Marshal Gilles de Rais and Countess Erszebet Bathory
These two figures, very demonized in their day, were the first prototype of a "vampire" in modern history.
The first, a XNUMXth-century French general, was accused of practicing the occult and murdering children. His figure, perhaps, was even an inspiration for the character of the fairy tale of Bluebeard.
We come to the macabre parentheses. We advise readers who are weaker in the stomach to avoid reading what is written below:
Qui dentro potete trovare ciò che spingeva questo vampiroQuello che affliggeva Gilles de Rais era una sorta di perversione sessuale, trovava infatti piacere a ricoprirsi e involtarsi nelle viscere dei bambini squartati
Similarly to his "fellow worker“, Erszebet Bathory was also accused of witchcraft, magic and many other occult acts, but an objective truth has not reached us. The countess in fact was accused by the church of the time of these acts for mainly political and ecclesiastical reasons.
Colpe della Contessa SanguinariaSimilmente al Maresciallo, la Contessa provava una perversione, sessuale anch'essa, che la spingeva a fare il bagno nel sangue di fanciulle sgozzate
She too was the inspiration for a character in the book Carmilla and is featured as a secondary character in a book we talked about on our website. The Countess is in fact one of the first examples of female vampire in literature.
Myth? Reality? Policy? Everything is possible. Just think that the Church plundered them of their possessions and I will seize the lands of the condemned.
But do you know that other figures, much closer to us, have been branded as a "vampire"?
Peter Kurten, the Monster of Dusseldorf
Known to most for the beautiful film by Fritz Lang "M - The Monster Of Dusseldorf“, With an extraordinary Peter Lorre as the protagonist, Peter Kurten was a real figure.
A compromised family situation, friendships with a sadistic dog catcher, until the turning point of military service. The act of fighting sublimated, for a period of time, the violence of the man who, after the end of the war, built a life as a trade unionist, marrying a woman and living in relative peace.
This until the forced return to his hometown Dusseldorf. Here, following the vision of a blood-red sunset, the man's mind broke and began wandering at night armed with an ax and various knives. The monstrous acts, of which he stained himself, were carried out in the most complete lucidity and rationality.
The thing that struck me most about this character is that after his arrest, as can be read in the police reports, he talked about his lucid and apocalyptic nightmares. He said he had seen the fall of the Weimar Republic and told of a future that today we have been able to reconnect to Nazi Germany. This was in 1930, well before Adolf Hitler came to power.
Other figures over the years have shown an undeniable passion for blood, but if we had to list them all we would never end.
Let's move on to the symbolism of the vampire figure
The vampire and his opposition to Christ
In all respects, it is Bram Stoker, with his Dracula, who sets some parameters that oppose the figure of the vampire to that of Christ the Savior. I speak to you as a complete agnostic, so forgive any errors or misinterpretations.
Before starting it is right to make a clarification. Abraham Stoker, the author of the cult book Dracula, was an Irish writer, born to an English Protestant family, raised in a deeply Catholic and religious environment. This faith of his is clearly visible in the character of Abraham Van Helsing.
We come to the oppositions that can be found in various points.
Through the blood stolen from the vampire his genia spreads through the blood offered from the Savior, Christianity spreads.
Christ has offered his blood for the remission of man's sins, on the contrary the vampire offers his blood so that sins increase.
Christ rose through the US meat and the his blood, the vampire rises again own flesh through blood altrui.
The vampire is dominated from the four elements: it fears fire, cannot cross water, flies in a limited way in the air and rises again in land.
The Christ dominates them: does not fear fire, walks on water, moves without limit in the air and rises again from land.
Christ is light, it is white, the vampire is darkness and it is black.
3. The Cult
Suffering is present in both "cults". Christ suffered on a cross, the vampire suffers at the sight of a cross.
The crown of thorns is a symbol of his suffering for others, the vampire 's dental crown is a symbol of his pleasure for the suffering of others.
A trained eye can find in this duality some of the dictates of the hermetic philosophy where we can find it the principle of correspondence e the principle of cause and effect.
Literature, films and other media
Dozens and dozens of feature films have been made on the vampire figure, some more interesting and well made than others, the last of which is the television series Dracula recently released on Netflix e BBC One, which we talked about in this article.
But in addition to Bram Stoker, Polidori, other writers and writers have interpreted their vampire ideal. We want to remember Anne Rice who has been carrying on her since 1976 Chronicles of the Vampires from the best known "Interview with the Vampire " (here you can find the book and here the film) to his latest work "Prince Lestat and the Realm of Atlantis". I swear I didn't know it invaded us, but maybe that explains my huge nightlife!
But how can we forget George RR Martin with his "The Delirio Boat“, A good work that takes place on the Mississippi River?
I sincerely advise you to read it (find here the book), if only to understand that Martin can do much more than "A Chronicle of Ice and Fire", Luckily!
And while I think of these works, a song resonates in my head with a refrain that does:
I only wanna do bad things with youBad Things - Jace Everett
Remember True Blood? Did you like it? To me up to a certain point, but the jingle has stuck with me!
The vampire, with its negative charge, with its charm, stimulates our passions and our repressed desires, desires that we often relegate to our dreams, because "dreams are a refuge in which we sin without consequences", no?
But what else inspired the vampire? It has inspired many people to play, interpret and jump into the world of Vampires: La Masquerade, to interpret your darkest self and learn, perhaps, something new about ourselves.
Or, more simply, we let ourselves be frightened by Gothic literature and bewitched, not myself personally, by the "sbrillucciare" in the sunlight (any reference to Twilight is purely wanted).
The fact is that the vampire will remain one of the "monsters" of pop culture par excellence, waiting for what was announced by Richard Matheson in his book "I'm legend".
We would have to write whole treatises and books on the vampires of myth, on vampirism as a physical, psychological or psychiatric disease, but this is not the right night and therefore, for now, I wish you just good hunting to all of you, vampires and not ...