The Legend of Vampires
One of the most common spooky stories is about the vampire. This sneaky, dark, blood-sucking demon is the scariest character out of all the Halloween monsters. So beware: keep reading at your own risk! Or, you might have a hard time sleeping tonight … vampires just might be the real deal!
East Europe Evil
The stories about vampires have been around for hundreds of years. They come from countries in Eastern Europe like Austria and Serbia… where some people really do have sharp teeth! Back in the 1700s, many people were hunted like witches... especially those who rebelled against religion. They were considered to be vampires - and they had to be caught!
You might be asking yourself: “What the heck is a vampire anyway?” Traditionally, vampires aren't good-looking high-school kids living in small towns in the U.S. (anyone see Twilight?). According to legend (in other words, history), a vampire is actually an evil spirit that lurks around a graveyard trying to sneak into someone’s grave. When it succeeds, it enters into the dead body, rising from the coffin at night to feed on blood. Here’s a list of a vampire's main characteristics:
- Purplish skin color (think un-dead)
- Bloated body (from all that blood)
- Dark hair and eyes (it's tiring staying up all night!)
- Long fingernails (guess good hygiene isn't a priority)
- Sharp teeth (human skin's not that easy to bite through)
A funny disorder that all vampires are plagued with is something called arithmomania. That means that they are completely obsessed with counting any and all objects. That's how when weird tradition - to spread poppy seeds or rice around someone's grave when they died - got started. Any vampires that came along would become so obsessed with counting the tiny objects, they'd totally forget about trying to sneak into the coffin and invade the body! Obviously, Jim Henson and his muppeteers knew about this weird vampire disorder when they created Sesame Street's "The Count" character...
Unveiling the Vampire
OK! Now you know what vampires are, but how do you identify them? Here is a list of things you can do to verify that you are in the company of a real, honest-to-life vampire:
- Get that vampire in front of a mirror. You're not going to see if his cape is on straight - you're going to check whether or not he's got a reflection (a REAL vampire won't).
- Lead a black horse through a graveyard. You're not there to practice your trot. The horse will get absolutely spooked when it comes close to the grave of a vampire.
- Check the coffin. There are usually holes in it if a vampire is lying in wait inside.
- Keep on the lookout for missing cattle, sheep or neighbors!
If you have positively identified a vampire in your midst, don't panic! There are several surefire ways to protect yourself. Here is a quick list:
- Vampires will not go anywhere near garlic. Wear some whole around your neck... or maybe have an extra helping of your mom's super-spicy tomato sauce at dinner.
- We're not sure going around harassing people with Valentine's Day bouquets is the best method, but rose thorns will cut right through a vampire's skin.
- Sprinkle some mustard seeds on the roof of your house and vampires will literally not be able to come inside.
- Use a crucifix or other religious objects to distract them.
- Stay in the sunlight (but be sure to wear sunscreen!).
- Never invite a vampire into your home - once inside, nothing will be able to stop them.
Most Famous Vampires
The vampire culture has become quite the fad. Dracula is one the greatest novels ever written and it has started a huge fan base. Now there are tons of vampire movies, books, fashion statements and icons. Here are some of Kidworld’s fave famous blood-sucker guys:
Have Your Say
Who is your favourite vampire of all time? Let us know in the comments section below.