Friday, April 17, 2015

Vampires - Myth or Reality?

A vampire is a mythical being who subsists by feeding on the blood of living creatures. In folkloric tales, undead vampires often visited loved ones and caused mischief or deaths in the neighborhoods they inhabited when they were alive. They wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of dark countenance, different from today's gaunt, pale vampire which dates from the early 1800s.

People are always wondering - "do vampires really exist?" It seems that no matter how much evidence there is to suggest they do or don't, most people are not satisfied without a good answer.

The causes of vampires to generate were several and varied in original folklore. In Slavic and Chinese traditions, any corpse that was jumped over by an animal, particularly a dog or a cat, was feared to become one of the undead. A body with a wound that had not been treated with boiling water was also at risk. In Russian folklore, vampires were said to have once been witches or people who had rebelled against the Russian Orthodox Church while they were still alive. In modern times, however, the vampire is generally held to be a fictitious entity, although belief in similar creatures such as the chupacabra still persists in some cultures. Early folkloric belief in vampires has been ascribed to the ignorance of the body's process of decomposition after death and how people in pre-industrial societies tried to rationalize this, creating the figure of the vampire to explain the mysteries of death. 

The 21st century brought more examples of vampire fiction, such as J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and other highly popular vampire books which appeal to teenagers and young adults. Such paranormal romance novels and allied occult detective stories are a remarkably popular and ever-expanding contemporary publishing phenomenon. Vampires in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer ignore the effects of garlic and crosses and are not harmed by sunlight. Richelle Mead further deviates from traditional vampires in her Vampire Academy series, basing the novels on Romanian lore with two races of vampires, one good and one evil, as well as half-vampires.

Clinical vampirism, more commonly called Renfield's syndrome or Renfield syndrome, is an obsession with drinking blood.The earliest formal presentation of clinical vampirism to appear in the psychiatric literature, with the psychoanalytic interpretation of two cases, was contributed by Richard L. Vanden Bergh and John F. Kelley in 1964. As the authors point out, brief and sporadic reports of blood-drinking behaviors associated with sexual pleasure have appeared in the psychiatric literature at least since 1892 with the work of Austrian forensic psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing. Many medical publications concerning clinical vampirism can be found in the literature of forensic psychiatry, with the unusual behavior reported as one of many aspects of extraordinary violent crimes. 

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So, do vampires really exist? There have been reports from around the world over thousands of years of creatures like these. If vampires don't exist, then how do you explain all of these sightings and encounters? A jest is one thing, but the same jest being played continuously for thousands of years across different cultures is an entirely different matter. Hence, we have reason to believe they might exist because of these reports on clinical vampirism. It seems like the concept of vampirism has taken place in a modern and ghastly form.

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