Nosferatu destroyed by sunlight in Nosferatu the vampire, 1922, Vampire
Art,  English

Dracula : Blood, Sexuality and Spirituality

– Introduction video credit: Dracula in Full moon scary video of Vimeo free videos from Pixabay.
– Ending video credit: Creepy young woman drinking blood beverage video of cottonbro from Pexels.

The text below is the excerpt of the book Dracula (ISBN: 9781644616215), written by Elizabeth Miller, published by Parkstone International.

Vampires did not originate with Count Dracula. A revenant who returns from the grave to suck the blood of its victims in order to sustain its existence, the vampire has its origins in the folk legends of many countries, most specifically in central and eastern Europe.

From these roots it metamorphosed into the more familiar image that has dominated literature and popular culture for the past one hundred years. Attempts to identify the genesis of the vampire legend are fraught with difficulty.

Inquiry is further complicated by what folklorist Jan Perkowski refers to as “contamination,” the process by which the vampire has been merged with other supernatural beings such as the mora, strigoi, incubus, werewolf and poltergeist.

John Collier, Lilith, 1887, Vampire
John Collier, Lilith, 1887. Oil on canvas, 237 x 141 cm. Southport, The Atkinson Art Gallery.

If one confines the search to legends associated with the word “vampire” or its many variants, the trail leads to the Slavic countries of Europe.

Most folklorists concur that the word “vampire” has Slavic roots, first appearing as a proper name (“Upir”) in an Old Russian manuscript of the eleventh century and as a generic term in a Serbian manuscript two hundred years later. The form “vampir” has been found in a fifteenth-century South Slavic source.

Perkowski defines the Slavic folkloric vampire as a half-human, half-supernatural being, a reanimated corpse that emerges from its grave to prey on the living and asserts that it arose as a consequence of the clash of orthodox Christianity with dualist heterodoxy. Other scholars contend that belief in vampires existed in southern and eastern Europe before the advent of Christianity and later spread among the Slavic people who apparently passed it to their non-Slavic neighbours. Some suggest that gyipsies may have brought some of the legends with them from India.

Horror of Dracula, 1958, Vampire
The vampire needs the blood of its victim to sustain its existence. Horror of Dracula, 1958.

Explanations for what causes some individuals to become vampires after death differs from one folk culture to another. Some unfortunate persons are predisposed at birth: those born on certain holy days, or on the new moon; those born with a defect such as a caul, an extra nipple, or teeth; anyone who is the seventh son of a seventh son.

Others are doomed to return as vampires because of transgressions committed against acceptable codes of behaviour during their lifetime, such as practising sorcery or engaging in acts of violence.

Still others return from the dead because of the circumstances surrounding their death or burial: they died without baptism, they died in a state of excommunication, they committed suicide, they were in life attacked by another vampire, or their bodies were not buried in accordance with appropriate rituals.

Franz von Stuck, Salomé, 1906, Vampire
Franz von Stuck, Salomé, 1906, oil on canvas, 115.5 x 62.5 cm. Munich, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus.

We also find in the folk legends a variety of ways by which a vampire can be detected: a disturbed grave, a strange reaction by animals around a grave, tell-tale signs in a victim (anaemia, bite marks, nightmares, sleepwalking, weight loss, aversion from garlic), the appearance of the exhumed corpse of a suspected vampire (ruddy and/or bloated appearance, new nails or hair, lack of decomposition, presence of blood).

Not surprisingly, ways were devised to cure the community of such visitations. The most widespread was to drive a wooden stake through the heart of the vampire; other techniques included decapitation, drenching the body in garlic or holy water, extracting and burning the heart or burning the entire corpse.

Though the term “vampire” is of comparatively recent vintage, the image goes back much further in time. If one applies a more liberal definition (including either the return from the dead or the blood drinking), one can identify “vampires” in various cultures around the world, including a wide range of revenants, ghosts and restless spirits.

One of Dracula's various aspects in Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1992, Vampire
One of Dracula’s various aspects in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992.

Thus we find evidence of “vampirism” in diverse places: for example, in drawings from ancient Babylonia and representations of the goddess Kali of India. Also identified by some scholars as archetypal sources for vampire legends are the lamia of Greek mythology and the Jewish Lilith. Vampire-like creatures appear in the folk tales of Malaysia, China, Australian aboriginals, Romania, Germany, Ireland and Greece…

To get a better insight into the Dracula, continue this exciting adventure by clicking on Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AustraliaAmazon FrenchAmazon GermanAmazon MexicoAmazon ItalyAmazon SpainAmazon CanadaAmazon BrazilAmazon JapanAmazon India, Amazon NetherlandsParkstone InternationalKobo, GoogleAppleOverdrive, ScribdBestfile BookGoodreads

Parkstone International is an international publishing house specializing in art books. Our books are published in 23 languages and distributed worldwide. In addition to printed material, Parkstone has started distributing its titles in digital format through e-book platforms all over the world as well as through applications for iOS and Android. Our titles include a large range of subjects such as: Religion in Art, Architecture, Asian Art, Fine Arts, Erotic Art, Famous Artists, Fashion, Photography, Art Movements, Art for Children.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap
%d bloggers like this: