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【Vampires 】


 In many movies or stories, people like to write about dreadful creatures that harm people, especially in the past times. On the other hand, we can say that those creatures were used to show human holiness, that evil cannot defeat purity. Vampires were one of the poor creatures that were used. They have histories for a few hundred years, their legends are attractive, and their powers are fearful.


 The image of vampire was not completely formed right away, it can actually trace down to ancient times, and the image of vampires was formed during that time, piece by piece. Since the time people had religion, blood is the sign of life, and vampires are the creatures that take away life. The first information of vampires was found in Persia, a paint on a pot, a man tried to fight with a demon, which wanted to suck his blood. The legend of vampires existed in many nations, throughout the whole world we can see a little piece of image of vampire. At the 11th century, somebody found a dead person’s body outside his grave, and it’s completely unharmed. In Collin de Plancy’s book, it records that in AD 1031, in south France, Limoges, the Bishop de Cahors said that in his diocese, a knight who was fired from his parish was dead, and his corpse was often found at a place far from his grave. These examples can also be found in many place, such as one of Walter Map’s book in 1193, and one of William de Newburgh’s book in 1196. In these two books, it all wrote about dead people who were fired from their parishes, and they came out of their grave and bothered their living families and cause many deaths. The people opened those vampires’ grave and saw the blood on those dead corpses, so they pierced swords through their bodies and burned them. The English historians don’t know a word to describe this kind of zombies so they called them cadaver sanguisugus, meaning blood-sucking living corpses.


 The belief in vampires started to get popular in the 14th century. At that time, the plague existed in many places, and people wanted to avoid it and often don’t know if patients were dead, they often buried people alive, and days later when they opened their tomb, they would see the body completely and with blood. Actually, those patients might be buried alive and wanted to get out, so they tried very hard but they could not get out and were hurt, thus there was blood. In the 14th century, the plague was popular, Duke Steino de Retten was killed by plague, buried in Lauenbrug, but some people swore that they saw the duke outside his tomb, thus, to end this, people pierced a sword through his corpse. The most famous fiction about a vampire was Duke Earl Dracula, written by Bram Stoker. His was not a real vampire but a real human in the history. Dracula was a cruel duke, it was said that he fed his horse with human blood to make the horse more strong. His name was Vlad IV, Dracula was his nickname, meaning evil or evil dragon. Dracula also had another nickname, Tapes, meaning the person who pierces stakes through people. The truth was, Vlad was quite a skilled guy, and he defeated the Ottoman enemy and saved his kingdom. According to the history, he was sent to Turkey’s capital as a hostage, but then he escaped and became a king at the year 1456 and counter attacked Turkey. At battle he liked to use surprise attack and absolute killing. In the battle he pierced many stakes through his prisoners and that made Turkish people lost their fighting spirit.


 People often just talk watch vampire’s movies and read fiction about them but not knowing the legends of vampire. There are many legends of the beginning of vampire. Most are related to the Christians, without any reason. In the old legend, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, and the Queen of the night, Lilith means belonging of night. She was abandoned by Adam and thrown to Red Sea. The angel which represents the word of God talked to her and tried to comfort her, then God punished her to give birth to a hundred of Adam’s children a day because the attitude of her not caring about God’s power. Lilith cannot stand that so she jumped in Red Sea and killed herself, then God made Eve. Then Lilith became the female devil which sucked children’s and men’s blood. Her appearance was described as a very beautiful woman that wouldn’t get old, had a tail of big snake and black hair, all men whom see her cannot stand her beauty, and she sucked their life.


 Another legend of a vampire was in the time close to Adam’s time. It was said that Cain murdered his brother because of jealousy, and thus he was cursed by the God, and became a vampire. The last legend related to Christianity was in the time of Jesus. There was a man who treated Jesus very bad at the time that Jesus was going to the cross, so Jesus cursed that man. The curse of God’s son made that man immortal, his appearance always stayed kind of same, always in a cycle of thirty years old to fifty years old, but the legend did not mentioned about sucking blood. Some other legends about the origins of vampires were short, some say it’s Dracula’s victim. Whatever the legend says, there is one scientific way to explain vampires. Scientists say that there are kinds of illness, the symptom is that the patient would not have enough blood, and they would want to drink blood. Their eyes are damaged in a way that make them afraid of lights especially sunlight, and their skin tends to be dead white.


 Vampires were often described as creatures that suck human blood, and have the power of immortality, they can live for thousands and thousands of years and without dying. Normally these creatures sleep in their coffins or graves at day and do things at night. The victims of vampires are not like in the old movies, they won’t turn into a vampire right away. To make them turn into a vampire, the vampire must feed the dying victim its blood. Vampires can be made in many other ways, children born in some kind of omen or born with teeth, a cat or other animal jumping over a corpse, a person studying witchcraft, a person fired from his parish, or a person committed suicide. Vampires were thought to be able to change forms into many animals, such as bats, and they can also turn into mist. They are able to control animals such as bats, wolves, elements and many others. Some of them were endowed with the ability to fly.


 There are also many weaknesses of vampires: they can be killed by expose use to sunlight, they cannot cross running water, cannot enter people’s houses without invitation, they are afraid of iron, fire, garlic, holy water and the symbol of Christ. They also cannot see their reflection in the mirror. Some vampires of high level were said to be able to recover from sunlight and fire, but during the day, all vampires would feel tired. The belief that vampires are afraid of garlic came from Romania, and their fear of holy water and crosses came from Christianity, some people think vampire’s fear of holy water and crosses are just Christians trying to raise their power. There are many ways to avoid vampires, a way of protects people from vampires is to scatter seeds at the entrance. It was said to be that they would be so involved with counting every single seed that they might end up losing interest or they might even count the seeds till the sun come up and be destroyed. Not just sunlight can kill vampires, cutting of their head, or pierce a wooden stake through them can kill them too. In the modern world, vampires are made to be only afraid of stakes, sun, decapitation, and crosses. They can transform from human to vampire. And, in the modern times, people sometime describe a vampire who suffers in their human conscience and is good.


 Thus, a vampire is a kind a romantic creature. They have a long history, interesting legends, and powerful abilities that people would sell their soul to have. There is no way to decide whether vampires exist or not. Technically, vampires do exist, in some kind of illness. In legends, they do exist, in little children’s bedtime stories. Although there are no way to decide whether vampires exist or not, being immortal is a really good thing.

參考資料:
    天使帝國
    私立.繚亂館學院
    http://www.pantheon.org/mythica.html