Evolution of Vampires over Time in Literature Essay

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Vampires, what are they? Are they real? These are just a few of the many questions that have surrounded the belief in vampires over the last 500 years. The aim of this essay is not to answer these questions but to look at the relation between the historical understanding of the vampire legend and the vampire literature of today. In order to successfully answer said question I’ve employed the use of both my literary reading and related research to form my own notion. As part of my research I have looked at a wide range of materials, particularly focusing on literature from present day as well as related topics of interest. Today’s modern vampire is probably considered one of the most notorious and iconic figures all over the world and with the steady stream of vampire novels, films, and television shows being produced it is fair to say that the vampire has become the dark horse of literature, becoming every enthusiasts dream. Yet this wasn’t always the case. Vampires were once considered the stuff of nightmares. Every culture all around the world have stories of these terrifying “bloodsucking demons” that according to literary historian Brian Frost “may go back to prehistoric times” however many of the myths surrounding such creatures emerged mainly during the 18th century particularly arising in Eastern Europe. These myths sparked a mass hysteria throughout most the 18th century, with frequent reported sightings of alleged vampires. Most famous of which was the case of Serbian peasant Arnold Poale who is believed to be the first man accused of being a vampire. It is supposed he had killed 17 people from his village during the night, later returning to his coffin. Government officials who ordered his coffin to be opened believed at the time the body was the body of the resurrected vampire. Such stories appeared continuously, building on the already growing fear in

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