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:
10The 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.
9There 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.
8Vampires 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?
7The 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.
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.
5Science Proves That Vampires are Possible
When people try to disprove something, they often look to science. In the case of vampires, however, science actually proves that it is possible. Two modern studies, one from Science magazine and one from Nature Medicine magazine came to the same conclusion: blood can improve health.
Both studies looked at mice, and took blood from young mice and transfused it into older mice. Both studies then found that the aging process of the older mice, specifically in the muscles and brain, was reversed.
There is more, too. Research done at Harvard University found that older mice that were give a specific protein, which is only found in younger mice, could run longer on treadmills. Furthermore, researchers that the University of California found that a specific memory center in the brains of old mice was “turned on” when the mice were given blood from younger mice.
These findings, thus far, are only limited to mice, but there is also a reason that researchers use mice to do experiments like this…mice and human bodies are remarkably similar in the way they work. So, we can conclude that it is certainly possible that as research moves forward, that these effects can be recreated in adults, i.e. transfusing the blood from a young person into the body of an old person. Or, as generally happens, a pill will be created that will do all of this for us, allowing people to live longer than ever before…like a vampire.
4The Story of Mercy Brown
Thus far, there has only been mention of vampires in Europe, but there are also documented vampires in the U.S. One of the most well-known is Mercy Brown.
Mercy Brown was known as the last North American vampire. She was a farmer’s daughter who lived in Exeter, Rhode Island, and she died in 1892 at the young age of 19 years old of consumption. She was entombed according to the typical practice, which we still do today…but here is where things get a little fishy.
Mercy Brown had a brother, Edwin, who also had consumption, and was sent to Colorado, as the air was better to breathe. He, however, began to improve and was able to come home soon after Mercy Brown passed away. When he arrived home, however, Edwin took a turn for the worst. At the same time, people in the town of Exeter reported to see Mercy Brown near her brother’s home…but remember, she was dead and buried, so how could that be?
George Brown, Mercy’s father, became suspicious of these sightings, and asked town leaders to exhume her body. When they did, they found the body was quite fresh looking, but she had been dead for two months. When they saw this, the group decided to cut open her chest cavity, and found that the heart still had liquid, fresh blood in it. This, of course, made them believe that she was a vampire, so they cut the heart out of the body and burned it upon a rock.
3Elizabeth Bathory – The Countess of Blood
Elizabeth Bathory is not only known as the most prolific female serial killer in the history of the world, she is also known as one of the most violent and frightening vampire.
Elizabeth Bathory lived in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and was a Hungarian noble. Throughout her life, it is estimated that she tortured and killed as many as 600 people, mostly female servants. Now, this isn’t a list about serial killers, it is about vampires, right? So here it goes…according to more than 300 witness accounts, Bathroy not only drank the blood of her victims, she also bathed in it.
To obtain this blood, and to keep her looking youthful, as that’s what she is said to have believed, she would torture and murder young female servants. Of course, they had to be virgins, too, or Bathory would not bathe in the blood.
Some of the things that witnesses report that Bathroy did to her victims include heating metals sticks in fires and placing them in different areas of the body…yes, those areas, and stitched the lips of servants together with a needle and thread. She was also accused of cutting flesh from the buttocks of her servants, cooking it, and making them eat it and put servants in ice water outside in the winter until they died of hypothermia.
Bathory was eventually arrested and imprisoned for her crimes, and she is often compared to the most famous vampire of them all, Vlad the Impaler, who the story of Count Dracula is based on.
2The Biblical Vampires, Lilith and Cain
Many who believe in vampires will also often use Lilith, the first wife of Adam, as proof that vampires have always existed. Though this story was not chosen to be part of the Christian bible, biblical scholars agree that texts tell us that Adam had a wife, Lilith, before God created Eve. Lilith, however, was one of those women who ‘did her own thing,’ and left Adam after she felt that he was too domineering. The story continues to say she traveled to the Red Sea and made a deal with the angels. This ultimately gave her powers that eventually led her to be known as the “Mother of All Demons.”
Now…for the vampire stuff. If you know the Bible, you know that Adam and Eve had two boys, Cain and Abel. Cain was the first born, and he was banished from the Garden of Eden after killing his brother. Cain was cursed and forced to walk through the world with certain traits…the sun now hurt his skin and he was unable to eat fruits or vegetables, which means he could only eat meat…meat with blood.
Eventually, Cain came across Lilith, who taught him how to use blood as a way to gain powers, and how to create others who drank blood. Cain eventually turned three other people into vampires, and these three turned 13 more people into the blood sucking creatures. According to text, most of these, but not all, died in a natural disaster, but those few who were left managed to escape…and surely they created more.
What do vampire believers say about this story? They say this: if you believe in the Bible, you believe in the existence of vampires.
1Vlad the Impaler
To prove the existence of vampires on the earth, one must have examples. There is no greater example than Vlad the Impaler. If you have ever looked into vampires at all, you have surely heard of Vlad. He was, as mentioned, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s book, “Dracula.”
Vlad, or Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, was born in Transylvania in Romania, to the leader of the principality of Wallachia, Vlad II. In 1431, Hungary’s King Sigismund recruited Vlad II to become his knight, and he gave him the new name, Vlad Dracul, which came from the Romanian word meaning “dragon.” Thus, his son, who would become Vlad the Impaler, was the “son of Dracul,” which in Romanian is Dr?culea, or Dracula.
Vlad was an extremely harsh ruler, though still seen as ‘just’ to some in Romania. Why? Well, because he stopped the advancement of the Ottomans from attacking Wallachia and other areas. Vlad ordered his soldiers to stab all of the invaders, and then he forced them to impale their still twitching bodies on large wooden stakes. This, of course, is how he became known as Vlad the Impaler.
So, where does the vampire part of Vlad come from? Well, witnesses claim that Vlad would take his victims, impale them while still alive, and eat his evening meal while watching them die upon the stakes. He would also, as one would expect from a vampire, dip his bread in their blood before eating it.
Though it is impossible to say with 100 percent certainty if vampires are truly real, there is a lot of historic and even scientific evidence that says this is a possibility.
There are modern day people who refer to themselves as vampires, of course, but these people are more correctly defined as sanguinarians, which are humans who drink blood. There are some people, however, that do believe there are still people walking around with a ‘vampire gene.’ Believers of this believe that modern vampires are actual hybrids of true vampires and humans. Thus, they share characteristics of both, yet the vampire gene is weak. In fact, the only features of these hybrids is said to be elongated teeth and an aversion to light and garlic. In some cases, the person doesn’t even realize they have the vampire gene.
So, if you don’t like garlic…if light seems to bother you…and if you seem to have longer teeth than your friends…you, too, could be a vampire, which would prove without a doubt that vampires are real.