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Vampire 101: A history of the fanged one

VAMPIRE 101 DEFINITION OF A VAMPIRE A vampire is a reanimated, soulless, dead human who must drink the blood of others to remain "alive." VAMPIRES THEN AND NOW (DIFFERENCES) Then: Vampires were things of fear and disgust. They could shape-shift to gain access to their prey. Sunlight was painful, debilitating and resulted in death if exposed long enough. Their goal was simply survival. Now: Vampires possess unearthly physical beauty. Shape-shifting may be alluded to but isn't common. Sunlight causes pain but can be endured as they now try to blend into human civilization. VAMPIRES THEN AND NOW (SIMILARITIES) Both possess more than human strength and speed and appear to have telepathic abilities. They, for all their strengths, remain vulnerable to humans. MODERN VAMPIRES BREAK THE RULES What we were always told We've been told countless times ways to identify and possibly even kill a vampire, but those "rules" don't hold true anymore. Vampires are not supposed to cast reflections in mirrors. Holy symbols such as crosses, crucifixes and holy water would debilitate a vampire. Garlic was a cure-all and was believed to repel all types of evil. Above all, a wooden stake through the heart, decapitation and burning were guaranteed ways to kill a vampire. Here are a few ways these rules have been broken: "Twilight" These vampires do not sleep in coffins. According to Edward, the main character and Bella's love interest, they cannot sleep at all. Sunlight? They avoid it. Not because it will kill them, rather, their skin sparkles like a diamond in the sunlight and would draw too much attention. "True Blood" These vampires cast reflections in mirrors. They sleep, but not always in coffins. For example, Bill, the main character, sleeps in the space under the hall closet with a trap door under his house. Another interesting feature is they cry tears of blood. Holy water? "It's just water." How about garlic? "It's irritating, but that's pretty much it," says Bill. ERAS IN VAMPIRE HISTORY Vampires as bloodthirsty killers
  • 1746: Benedictine monk Antoine Augustin Calmet writes "Treatise on Vampires and Revenants."
  • 1872: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu releases "Carmilla," a vampire tale with lesbian overtones.
  • 1897: "Dracula" by Bram Stoker is published.
  • 1897: Philip Burne-Jones' painting, "The Vampire," inspires Rudyard Kipling to write a poem with the same title.
  • 1909: "Vampire of the Coast" is one of the first silent vampire movies.
  • 1922: "Nosferatu," a German vampire film based on Stoker's book, is released.
  • 1931: Universal releases "Dracula," starring Bela Lugosi.
  • 1954: Richard Matheson publishes "I Am Legend." The vampire tale is filmed as "The Last Man on Earth" (1964), "The Omega Man" (1971) and "I Am Legend" (2007).
  • 1958: Christopher Lee stars as the count in "Dracula"
Vampires become family friendly
  • 1962: Bobby "Boris" Pickett's novelty song, "The Monster Mash" reaches No. 1.
  • 1964: "The Munsters" debuts on CBS, featuring vampire Grandpa Munster, runs through 1966.
  • 1966: Vampire soap opera "Dark Shadows" debuts on ABC, runs through 1971.
  • 1966: The Count Five, a California band that dressed in vampire capes, hits the Top 10 with "Psychotic Reaction."
  • 1967: Roman Polanski directs "The Fearless Vampire Killers."
  • 1971: A cartoon vampire starts selling Count Chocula cereal for General Mills.
  • 1972: William Marshall stars in "Blacula." He reprises the role in 1973's "Scream, Blacula, Scream."
  • 1972: The Count, a friendly Muppet vampire, begins teaching counting skills to children on "Sesame Street."
  • 1975: "'Salem's Lot" by Stephen King is published.
Vampires as sex symbols
  • 1976: The first of the vampire chronicles, "Interview with the Vampire," by Anne Rice is published.
  • 1979: George Hamilton stars in "Love at First Bite."
  • 1987: Kiefer Sutherland stars as a suburban vampire in "The Lost Boys."
  • 1992: Kristy Swanson stars in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Sarah Michelle Gellar takes over the role of the high school vampire killer in a TV series that runs from 1997-2003.
  • 1994: Fox Mulder meets a sultry vampire on "The X-Files."
  • 1995: Leslie Nielsen stars in Mel Brooks' "Dracula: Dead and Loving It."
  • 1998: Wesley Snipes stars in "Blade," based on a Marvel Comics vampire hunter.
  • 2004: Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale hunt vampires in "Van Helsing."
  • 2005: Stephenie Meyer releases "Twilight," which spawns a series of vampire-centric books and films.
  • 2008: HBO debuts "True Blood," a dramatic series about vampires in a small Louisiana town. The show is loosely based on Charlaine Harris' "The Southern Vampire Mysteries" series.
  • 2009: The CW debuts "The Vampire Diaries," a series based on the novels of L.J. Smith.
* Note: this is not a complete list of all vampire events. If we left out your favorite vampire book, movie or TV show ... bite us! ;-) Written by Tom Szaroleta and Kyzandrha Zaratestory

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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