Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Spotlight on Mythological Creatures (Post 1 of 5)

As everyone waits patiently for the release of The Chronicles of JJ: State of Unrest (Release TBA), I wanted to shed some light on some of the speciesthat will be running amok amongst the pages!  First up the ever-popularVampire!

1.A preternatural being, commonly believed tobe a reanimated corpsethat is said to suckthe blood of sleeping persons at night.
2.(in Eastern European folklore) a corpse,animated by an undeparted soul or demon,that periodically leaves the grave anddisturbs the living, until it is exhumed andimpaled or burned.

Not sexy you say!!!
Well, we owe our views of vampires mostly from Bram Stoker's1897 novel Dracula that is remembered as the quintessential vampirenovel and which provided the basis of modern vampire fiction.  However,vampire mythology can be dated as far back as possibly prehistoric times.
·       A vase discovered in Persia with a man fightingoff a blood-sucking fiend.
·       Supposedly, Lillith (first wife of Adam) turneddemon that sucked the blood of babies.
However, despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures inthese ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as thevampire originates almost exclusively from early-18th-century southeasternEurope, when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region wererecorded and published. In most cases, vampires are revenants of evil beings,suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolentspirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire.

Attributesof a Vampire:
 The attributes of a vampire are wide ranged. Even among television, we have differences of what a vampire looks oracts like.  Some old legends hold that a vampire is a bloated and decayingcorpse.  Some popular books, movies and television shows depict vampiresas beautiful creatures often with a predatory side that makes them dangerous. Most are depicted to have super human abilities from super strength tobeing super-fast.  Whatever the distinction, today's vampires are verybeautiful and just as deadly.  One movie in particular that shows theVampire as less than beautiful: 30 Days of Night. There are others, I'm sure, but this one pops in my head first (Possiblybecause of Josh Hartnett?)  Therefore, we can agree that there is no setof rules when it comes to what makes a vampire a vampire.  

Not even Blood!

I know!  Vampires are blood-sucking fiends! Well, maybe not exactly.  In Sherrilyon Kenyon's series TheDark Hunters, her vampires are known as Daimons and they don't suckblood.  If you haven't read this series -- What are you waiting for? Iabsolutely love it!

Howdo we kill them/ward them off!

In most cases we don't want to ward them off or killthem...Kiss them, lick them, ahem...
But for those that we do we have the following:
Apotropaic: items able to ward off revenants, are commonin vampire folklore.

These include but are not limited to:
·       Garlic
·       Hawthorn or Wild Rose
·       Crucifix, rosary or Holy Water
·       Consecrated Ground (such as those of churches ortemples, or cross running water.  On a side note Ghosts are said not to beable to cross over water)
·       Sunlight
·       Must have an invitation to enter a dwelling(Sometimes it is believed it can be revoked at any time, but other sourcessupport that once given permission can come and go as they please)
·       Mirrors (While most sources say just thereflection is absent, others say it actually wards them away when you point themirror.)

Howdoes one become a vampire?

Just as diverse as the other two topics, is the becoming ofa vampire.  Some popular theories are:
·       A contagion: A virus or chemical/toxin thatcauses vampirism.  
·       Death:  Certain circumstances at deathtrigger the transformation from human to vampire.  Sometimes just a bitefrom a vampire.  Others the person must be drained to the point of neardeath and the vampire then feeds the nearly dead person some of his/her ownblood.  Back in the day in Europe, they thought if the body didn'tdecompose in a way they thought bodies should, then that was a vampire. Of course, we know now that many factors trigger decomposition rates.
·       Born This Way: (Sorry, I couldn't resist (LadyGaga Born this way)) Some even believe that vampires are born and not made, ora combination of the two.
I could go on and on and on, but I won't bore you with everylittle detail!

Somerandom things worth mentioning

1. Porphyria:  This refers to groups of rare disorders that are passeddown through families (genetic).


What does this have to do with anything?
Nothing and possibly everything!  Check out theSigns and symptoms of Porphyria:
There are three major symptoms of Porphyria:
·       Abdominal pain or cramping (only in some forms)
·       Light sensitivity causing rashes, blistering,and scarring of the skin (photodermatitis)
·       Problems with the nervous system and muscles(seizures, mental disturbances, nerve damage)
There are lots of other signs and symptoms, but the main onewas the photodermatitis.  A lot like the effects of sun on Vampires,right?  No, I did not make the connection, which goes to biochemistDavid Dolphin who proposed a link between the rare blood disorder porphyria andvampire folklore in 1985.

2.Vampire Bats

Although now mainstream, we didn't actually associate batswith vampire folklore until the 16th century when Vampire Bats were discovered.
Some interesting facts:
1.  Vampire bats feed solely on blood, which is alsoknown as hematophagy.
2.  Vampire bats hunt only when it is fully dark.
3.  The stomach lining rapidly absorbs the bloodplasma, which is quickly transported to the kidneys from where it passes to thebladder for excretion.

Still want more?  Click on the links below:



Vampire Bat:

Wantto read some Vampire stories?  Below are links to author websites so youcan get more information about their books.  I have personally read mostof these authors!

Thanks for readingand as always you can contact me @

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