The Lure of the Vampire

Illustration in Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le F...
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The Lure of the Vampire

 Immortality, Religion and Soul

     Just what is it that attracts us to vampires? and why are they popular? Mari Miniatt touched on some good points in her blog post “Why We Need Vampires” on GetFanged.com. To recap: (please read full post for more details)

  • Fear of Death
  • Accuracy of Burial Rites
  • Sexuality & Seduction
  • Blood Equals Life-force
  • Friend or Foe

     I would like to add; Immortality & Religion & Soul.

     Immortality and the lure of youthfulness has been sought after by humans for hundreds of years. Wanting to live forever and look good is nothing new. But, besides that, what does immortality really mean? Does living forever give a person time to reflect and understand what being alive is really all about? I think so.

     Paranormal creatures, such as vampires, are the perfect recipients for the perils and joys of reflection. In modern times vampire characters range anywhere from heartless to soulful. Either way there is time to ponder their choices and their life. Immortality has given them the longevity to truly understand what they’ve lost and what they’ve gained. It’s also given them a way to right their wrongs or decide they really don’t give a damn. Surely, living for centuries has got to take a toll on you, even if you’re a vampire. People you love, die and then more people you love, die. It’s an endless cycle of life and death. That is, unless they are vampires as well.

     Religion and the idea of a soul plays a huge part the lure of the vampire, especially more modern-day versions. At the heart of some stories becoming a vampire was a way to smite God. In Brahm Stoker’s vampire tale, Dracula became a vampire because his wife died. His denial of her death turned into an act of vengeance against God. His reasoning was you let the woman I loved die, so in return I will deny you my life, my soul. Eventually his lack of a soul is what feeds his anger against God. He also turns his rage inward toward himself for making such drastic decision.  Some questions come to mind. Does God forgive vampires? Are they soulless? If they are soulless, then who are they in league with? God, the Devil or something in between? 

    Vampires have intrigued me since I was a teen. The biggest lure was immortality, which in my teenage mind was the ability to decide when you grown old and die, not have that decision made for you. Since then, the wisdom that one acquires after living a long, long time has become a more crucial part. In my vampire stories retrospect seeps into my characters personalities. Yes, they may be monsters. Yes, they may feed and sometimes kill. But, I find when their vampire nature is balanced out with life lessons it makes for a much more interesting and relatable character.

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharon Jones says:

    I’m not really sure when or why I became so interested in vampires,but in my case, I don’t think it has anything to do with being afraid of death because I know where I’m going when I die – and I’m not afraid of it.
    Although, you have a good point about the idea of being forever youthful~(already too late for me…ha)

    I’ve seen all the vampire movies through the years, and I even remember watching the old soap opera called “Dark Shadows”!!
    I watch the Vampire Diaries, The Gates, True Blood, and old Buffy shows. I’ve even read all the Twilight books, (recommended to me by my daughter and granddaughter!)

    And now, I’ve been writing about them! (the idea came to me in a very vivid dream which woke me up in the middle of the night, and I knew I had to write it!)

    Great post, Lara!

    Sharon 🙂

    1. laradunning says:

      I would suggest adding Anne Rice’s books to your vampire to read list. I write about vampires too, such fun characters to creat stories around. Lots of drama and darkness.

  2. It’s not that difficult to understand the fascination vampires have caused in literature. In each generation there is another vision of the vampire, the immortal.

    I loved what Charlaine Harris did creating vampire Bill and making them “mainstream” and giving them synthetic blood so they don’t have to “feed.”

    Lara, yes … it is our desire for immotality, the impossible connection to religion and the loss or capture of our immortal souls. Are they monsters or misunderstood travelers of the night?

    Good post … great research materials 🙂

    1. laradunning says:

      I think a little bit of both 🙂

  3. LK says:

    The notion that Dracula became a vampire out of love is Francis Ford Coppola’s greatest disservice to the novel itself. Stoker patterned Dracula after the blood-thirsty tyrant Prince Vlad of Wallachia, a real life noble who probably loved mostly his ability to kill people in as many different ways as possible. The legend of the falling woman comes from folkloric literature about a woman of whom, being stuck with Vlad in a tower and under the threat of being surrounded by muslims, jumped to her death refusing to be a prisoner of war.

    I understand the fascination, however. One of the themes I thought most compelling was Wes Craven’s Dracula. Some legends have it that suicides become vampires, thus Craven posits that Judas Iscariot became a most powerful vampire living throughout the centuries because of his dramatic connection to Christ. This vampire’s aversion to silver is based on the thirty pieces of silver symbolism.

    Personally, I don’t think God forgives vampires because the theory from what I read is: when a person dies of vampirism, their soul goes into the limbo where ghosts exist, and a demon takes place of the body. Thus the demon is able to lure people so it can get the blood it needs to keep the body alive.

    On the contrary, since there’s no such thing as vampires, I suppose the explanations are all up for grabs!

    1. laradunning says:

      Yes I know that the book is way different from the movie. I guess I should have made myself more clear I was thinking of the movie when I wrote that, not the book. I didn’t care for the book that much actually. The movie is a wonderful story and I like how he pushed the characters to the extreme of themselves. You ending comment made me laugh, so true!

  4. Helen says:

    I’m a vampire junkie, I watched Tru Blood, loved it, Vampire Diaries, still loving that, especially Damon, now he’s one hot Vamp. – Shame I’m so old. I remember my very first Vampire Movie, I got into the cinema under age with my brother, I was 13 and the film was The Kiss of the Vampire with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, .. I don’t know why I am attracted to this type of movie serial or novel – but I do know that I like how they have evolved in these modern series. In Vampire Diaries, Stephan has a conscious, so how can he have no soul, even Damon is starting to exhibit traits of caring. Either way I think its a fascination with the idea of immortality, and super powers. 🙂

    1. laradunning says:

      I’ve been facinated with vampires since I was a teen. I haven’t read the Sookie Stackhouse series yet, but I do like how TrueBlood has taken it with vampires wanting to be part of human society. I agree, immortality and supernatural powers is a good combo.

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