Leopold Broom Investigates: Vampires Of The Mind (Part 2)

by Lee Cross

Have you ever wondered why Vampires endure as they do?

bela_lugosi_as_dracula_anonymous_photograph_from_1931_universal_studiosYou’d be surprised but I think the answer is pretty simple; that we have a psychological need to believe in Vampires (and creatures of their ilk).

I got bored once (…if you’ve read any of my blogs you know I’m prone to whimsical fits of boredom…) and started wondering why the Nosferatu persisted and existed within so many different cultures.

Certainly, you can’t discount their worth to literature. They are creatures that are both alluring and terrifying at the same time. We, the readers, are drawn to the idea of them as surely as we are scared of their naked reality… it’s literally the perfect character make up.

That said, I think a bigger part of the puzzle is found within our own psychology… we’re bipeds, stand currently at the top of the food chain and are the dominant animal on the planet… but we weren’t always.

moraine_le_vampireOnce upon a time we were part of the prey; until one day some lunatic decided to grab a bit of wood and started sticking it into the Lions. From that point of we became a species capable of conquering our fears (or perhaps, putting them aside, might be a better way of describing it), defying the natural order of things and killing without necessity…

Think of the Vampire. This winged creature from above, capable of falling on us in silence and without warning. This animal stronger than us, with powers we will never possess. Smarter than us, aged with the experience of eternal life. Dependent upon us, feeding literally on our living blood. A creature born of and existing in darkness; and only a fool forgets their fear of the dark.

Deep down, in our subconscious or genetic makeup (or whatever), I think we still haven’t forgotten our days as prey… deep down, we are still searching for that creature which stands above us.

I think that’s why the Vampire endures and keeps coming back time and again… because secretly we want them to be real… because although evolution has taken us far, with further yet to come no doubt; it will never be able to completely remove us from a time when we were the hunted.

(I just want to give a shout out to an excellent podcast called ‘Invisibilia’ here; they did a cracking episode on the nature of fear, which gave me ideas and is well worth listening to.

Also, the idea of wanting to believe – vampires were only part of my reading into the subject… Dragons, Golems, Demons, etc… all came under the same umbrella)

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