Are Vampires Real? 10 Terrifying Reasons They Might Be
Things that go bump in the night are what nightmares are made of, and one of the most terrifying monsters to haunt our dreams are vampires. There are a number of reasons why vampires terrify us, including the fact that they drink the very thing that keeps us alive.
The concept of vampires goes back to ancient times, and cultures such as the Greeks, Mesopotamians, Romans, and Hebrews all told tales of blood sucking beasts. These creatures are what our modern concept of vampires are based off of, and it wasn’t until the early 18th century that what we understand a vampire to be was first brought to public consciousness.
These days, vampires are a part of our popular culture thanks to Hollywood and literature, and movies and books about vampires have taken center stage over the past couple of decades. Movies such as “Interview with the Vampire” and the “Twilight” series have once again made people question the existence of these creatures, and the question of whether or not they are real has become a common one.
Before we can answer the question of whether or not vampires are real or not, we must first look at the definition of the word ‘vampire.’ There are actually people who call themselves vampires out there. This is not what we are going to cover here. Instead, we are going to cover the mythical…or perhaps not mythical…creatures of the night. So, are vampires real? Here are 10 terrifying reasons and examples that they might be:
10. The Vampire of Highgate Cemetery
Cemeteries, especially Victorian cemeteries, are some of the spookiest places around, especially on those dark nights where the fog tends to be just a bit too thick and the air is a touch too cold. This is where the Vampire of Highgate Cemetery was first seen.
The Highgate Cemetery is located in London, England, and it has long been the scene for ghost stories. However, in 1963, ghosts and ghouls were soon forgotten and the cemetery became known for its resident vampire.
The first sighting of the vampire occurred when a couple were walking home near the cemetery on a dark night. The couple was terrified out of their minds when they reported the incident to authorities, and they described the creature as a dark, tall figure that was floating behind the cemetery railings. The sightings of the Highgate vampire continued throughout the 1960s, and by 1970, Sean Manchester, a self-proclaimed vampire hunter, attempted to find this mysterious, frightening creature.
Manchester claimed in interviews that he discovered that this creature was known as a ‘King Vampire,’ and it was actually a 15th century Romanian nobleman who was one of the ‘undead.’ This man practiced black magic in Wallachia, Romania, and after moving to England, the man died and was buried in Highgate cemetery. Manchester believed that the man rose from his grave and was revived by a group of Satanists, who had started to meet and operate at the cemetery. Manchester began hunting the vampire, and in 1985, he published a book, “The Highgate Vampire,” in which he claims to have finally caught up with the creature in 1983. He staked it, beheaded it, and burned it, damning it to hell. Since, there have been no more reports of vampire sightings in the cemetery.
9. There is a Historic Practice of Killing Vampires
Though there is a legacy of demons drinking the blood of people since the beginning of time, the legacy of vampires is much newer. One of the first historical figures to be described as a possible vampire was Jure Grando. He was a Croatian who died in 1656, and who is said to have come back to life following his death. Stories claim that Grando rose from his grave and began walking around the village and terrorizing its denizens. Grando was only stopped after a villager was able to decapitate him, and then placed a wooden stake into his heart. Records show that after Grando was killed, peace, once again, came to the village.
Stories of vampires were told throughout the next few centuries, but it wasn’t until the 18th century did vampire fever hit eastern Europe full time. In fact, the number of vampire outbreaks were causing widespread panic throughout Serbia and Prussia. Staking people and exhumations of body were commonplace, and the evidence of this is still seen, today.
The possible presence of vampires…and how to stop them…spread throughout Germany and England, and eventually inspired writers and poets, including Bram Stoker, who wrote the novel, “Dracula.” Though it is difficult for us to think of vampires stalking us in the night, they were a very real danger in the 18th century…at least people thought they were, which could be a good basis for the reality of these creatures.
8. Vampires Crossed Cultural Lines
Another fact to support the possibility that vampires are real is that cultures from around the world have stories of vampires. You might think…so what? But, consider this: many of these cultures had no contact with others and there is no known way that the story of vampires could travel from one cultural group to another.
Scholars believe that the fact that vampire stories were found in several cultures mean that these stories developed independently and were not told from one culture to another. This, of course, can raise some eyebrows.
The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all believed in vampires, as is evident in historical documents that we have today. The Greeks, for instance, called their vampires the ‘strogoe,’ and described them as monsters who drank blood and ate little children.
The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians are all from the same area of the world, so it is no surprise that they would have similar stories. However, the Chinese, Indians, and Nepalese also have legends of vampires…and when these stories originated, there was no known connection between these cultures. So, where do these stories come from? Is it possible that there could have been creatures that only come out at night? Creatures that suck the blood of the innocent might have roamed the earth…do they still?
7. The Story of Arnold Paole
The story of Arnold Paole is another tale that lends to the possibility that vampires are…or at least were…real. Arnold Paole was a Serbian soldier, and in 1727, he was way at war. When he returned home, his friends and family began to notice a change in him. When asked, Paole first denied that anything was wrong, but eventually, he admitted that be believed that he had been attacked while away by a vampire.
Paole claimed that he had stalked and killed the vampire that attacked him, but he ultimately believed that there was no hope for any salvation. Soon after he admitted this, Paole died.
Several months later, his family began to receive reports that people had seen Arnold around the village. Remember, during this period in history, the fear of vampires was wide spread, and Paole had already claimed that he was bitten by a vampire. So, the people of the village called for some action from their leaders.
The leaders of the city decided to open Paole’s grave, and did so 40 days after he was buried. They were so serious, and frightened, about this, that they summoned military officers from Belgrade to see over the exhumation.
When they opened the grave, they found that the body was laying on one side of his casket, and fresh blood was flowing from his mouth. There was no explanation as to why this was happening, as even these people knew that after 40 days in the grave, the flow of blood was an impossibility. Paole was named a vampire immediately, and his heart was staked. As the stake when into his chest, Paole made a sound like a moan, and blood gushed from the wound in his chest. His head was then removed and all of the body was burned.
6. Archaeological Evidence
If you know anything about vampires, you know that to kill them, you stab them in the heart with a wooden stake. Some might believe that this is simply legend, but the truth is, there is a lot of archaeological evidence that shows skeletons in graves with wooden stakes in the middle of their rib cages.
In 2013, for instance, workers who were building a road in Gliwice, a city in Poland, discovered four skeletons. However, they weren’t typical skeletons at all. Instead, all four of the bodies had their heads cut off and found between their legs, as was the practice for those who were believed to be vampires. Around this time, another gravesite was discovered in Bulgaria. In this case, there were actual iron stakes in the rib cages.
There is still even more archaeological evidence in addition to this. The largest gravesite for vampires was in Perperikon, Bulgaria. Here, there were more than 100 bodies…all men, and all with signs that those who buried them believed these men were vampires. These included coins, stakes, and beheadings.