Monday, June 4, 2012

Truths Contained in Popular Vampire Superstitions

In 1847 Blackwood's Magazine published an article titled: "Letters on the Truths Contained in Popular Superstitions - Vampyrism." It contained many different examples of supposed real vampires that had been uncovered over the last hundred years. The story of the vampire Arnod was one of them. This is how it described how skeptics would be treated: "Your scepticism will abate pretty considerably, when you see him stealthily entering your room, yet are powerless under the fascination of his fixed and leaden eye—when you are conscious, as you lie motionless with terror, of his nearer and nearer approach—when you feel his face, fresh with the smell of the grave, bent over your throat, while his keen teeth make a fine incision in your jugular, preparatively to his commencing his plain, but nutritive repast."

The article further describes a "real" incident when a body was unearthed that was suspected of vampyrism: "The body," says the report, "was found in a perfectly fresh state, with no sign of decomposition. Fresh blood had recently escaped from its mouth, with which its shirt was wet. The skin (the epidermis, no doubt) had separated together with the nails, and there were new skin and nails underneath. As it was perfectly clear from these signs that he was a vampyr, conformably to the use established in such cases, they drove a stake through his heart. Whereupon he gave an audible groan, and a quantity of blood flowed from him. The same day his body was burned to ashes, which were returned to the grave."

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