The History Of Vampires
In recent years, the ‘new’ vampire has taken over the world, leaving people with little imagination, or information on the true root of these demons.
Vampires are an immortal species, a fact that is still consistent in our literature today. However, how did vampires come into existence? The true origin of the vampire species is unknown, with theories enough to cloud the head of the most logical among us. Some speak of the anomaly being spawned from hell; others say they are the spawn of demonic creatures. One statement has always been regarded as fact, however; Vampires have been around as long as the human race.
In the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible, a woman who once shared Eden with Adam is spoken of. Her name is believed to be Lilith, though her name is only mentioned once in the bible (Isaiah 34:14), and she is spoken of once in the Jewish Torah. Originally, Lilith was Adam’s wife. She was not made from Adam, rather she was created as an equal of Adam’s, and was given free will in Eden. Lilith and Adam argued frequently, and Lilith refused to make love with Adam, who demanded her lay on her back during intercourse. For this, Adam became angry with God, and demanded a woman created in his likeness. God punished Lilith for her disobedience by forbidding her and any offspring that should come of her from eating from the Tree Of Knowledge. Enraged after a time, Lilith began to eat from the tree again. By the time God had sent Adam to punish her, Lilith had escaped the Garden of Eden. Once out of the garden, she took up the habit of sleeping with a different man every night.
When Lilith heard of Adam’s new wife Eve, she became fearful that if they had offspring, Adam would send them to seek revenge. Lilith became paranoid, and quite fearful of children. Due to this phobia, she resorted to cannibalism, devouring innocent children, cursing them as well. Her sins turned her into a horrible winged monster. This story is believe to be the explanation as to why women are ‘cursed’ with monthly bloodletting; hence many believe the myths of vampires were born from this legend, as well as that of Cain, the son of Adam who murdered his brother Abel.
In Ancient Egypt, Vampires were a prevalent and highly regarded part of Ancient Egyptian beliefs, held in the same regard as cat people and werewolves. They were treated as gods, their power visible through their fearsome features. Osiris was by far the most popular of the Vampires in their system of beliefs, as was his brother Set. They were abandoned by their parents, who were also vampires. The people who took in the two brothers practiced magic. They had two human daughters, Isis and Nephytus. Osiris married Isis, and when he became king he used the magic he’d been taught to teach the people of Egypt to work the land, and from him they gained incredible knowledge of agriculture.
In a jealous rage, Set began feeding on humans, creating more vampires to overtake his brother and gain his position of power. He and the new vampires murdered Osiris, making Set the pharaoh.
Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, worked with a sorcerer called Ra, and placed a curse on Set and his vampire minions. They could not go into the sunlight, or they would be destroyed. This is where the myth of vampires being nocturnal originated. When Isis managed to bring Osiris back, he was bound to the netherworld, and known as the Lord of the Underworld amongst humans.
In Greek history, the vampires of old are assumed to have taken on different forms, and some were mistaken as Gods. It is believed that Hades was truly Osiris, Cain was known as Cronus (also spelt Kronos), and Lilith went by Circe. Hades, as many of you may know was the God of the Underworld in Greek mythology. Cronus was the Titan God of time and ages. He was the father of Zeus. A prophecy said that his children would overthrow him, so he ate his offspring. Zeus was saved, and when he grew up, he defeated Kronos, saved his brother Poseidon and Hades, and sent the Titans, his father included, to Tartaros, ruled by the Goddess Hecate.
Circe was a minor goddess in Greek mythology, most known for her presence in the epic Odyssey, by Homer. She was often coined a sorceress, though she was truly and simply the Goddess of Magic. She invited Odysseus’ crew into her lavish home, a mansion amongst dense woods, and fed them well. She did, however, lace their wine with a magic potion, and once they had indulged, they were all turned into swine. She was known to do this to all her enemies, and all who opposed her. In Indian lore, it was a well known fact that Circe had a habit of eating the animals into which she’d transformed men.
Moving on through history, it is common lore that the Roman Empire was not built in a day, nor was it built by humans. Romulus and Remus were werewolves, who founded the empire of Rome via conquest. A vampire known as Scorn appeared at this time, becoming involved in the wars of Rome. Scorn was often mistaken as the incarnation of Roman God Mars (Greek: Ares) due to his war-like attitude. Scorn conquered many lands, and an alliance with many other vampires, was formed. These fiends terrorized the humans, until a powerful and nameless human began to weaken the vampires, and condemned them to a life of exile, while other terrified people began to follow his lead. The Roman Catholic Church comes into play now, as the force that kept the vampires exiled, and the city safe. In ancient days, being a vampire tended to mean you were murderous, ate flesh, and/or drank blood. Often, the people were perceived as undead, but depending on the lore and the person telling it, sometimes that tidbit of information has changed.
Now, above were explanations of some of the many myths that came in part with the original legend of the Vampire species. Now, let it be known that not all vampires are the ones we think of today. Most every culture has their own form of vampire, some of which do not even take human form. I will discuss some of them now.
Two of the most well known types of vampires are the Incubus and the Succubus, both of European origin. Both are sexual beings, the Incubus the male, and Succubus the female. The Incubus is known to visit women nightly, and drain them of life and strength. It is said that if an Incubus should visit you, it will haunt your dreams. Incubus vampires can father children. Succubus vampires are female, who visit men nightly for sexual relations, and haunt their dreams, rendering a victim totally exhausted.
The Talamaur is a living form of the vampire, originating in Australia. It is said the Talamaur can communicate and summon spirits, and that it feeds on the remaining life force of a fresh corpse by eating the flesh.
The Strigoii is by far the most famous vampire, of Romanian descent. It is dead, and feeds on the blood of the living, often participating in sexual acts with human females.
While many books and movies have captured the essence of the original vampire lore, for instance Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, many also skewer the myths and have created their own breed of vampire, one who doesn’t adhere to the previously well publicized and understood myths. Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection seems to have stepped in; we play out one breed of vampire, (and well, it took centuries…) and another is born.