Welcome to my new monthly blog post (Oh! Look What I Found!), all about shit I found while researching for some creative project. I do a lot of random digging and searching and connecting to try and flesh out my stories, worlds, and characters. Now, I want to share some of it with you!
Why Do Vampires Drink Blood?
I love vampires, but as of late, my love of them has been rooted in how creators are making them anew. To ‘revamp’ a common trope, genre, or monster, like vampires, it helps to go back to the beginning.
In my effort to get to the heart of many vampire conventions, I’ve been reading, researching, watching, and playing lots of vampire stories. While I’ve found out a lot of cool information and gotten tons of inspiration, I wanted to focus on one topic in particular.
And what vampires eat.
The not-vampire vampires in my book will not feed on blood since that doesn’t heighten or deepen the themes around family, home, and Alzheimer’s. But to figure out what they will eat and tie it neatly into their mythology, I wanted to know what weird xenophobic, scientific, or demonic reason behind why vampires drink blood, energy, or whathaveyou.
Vampires have drunk blood since ancient times where supposedly these undead creatures roamed around attacking people and livestock for blood and other bodily fluids. And that’s where I read beneath the text and associate these early vampires with themes of sex work, BDSM, and all that fun jazz. Were the people sucking fluids vamps or just people working and having a good time? Or maybe these vampires were just Boogey monsters meant to steer people away from such dangerous lifestyles?
My main reason for thinking that the blood-drinking of vampires is more symbol than reality is based on the fact that various regions and cultures have types of vampires. And each one craves a particular substance, not always blood. There are also stories and accounts of vampires spreading plague as they traversed through ancient civilizations drinking as they wanted.
And again, I wonder what vampires are these accounts referring to? Is it truly the undead, or are they people these societies found unclean or wanted to give certain people a monstrous appearance? Or perhaps, like many things in our history, vampires were just a symbol representing not a person or group of people but an idea and fear.
Fear of sickness and death. Obviously.
And while vampires can not die, they can bring death and are associated with disease and unhealthy appearances or appetites. Maybe vampires and their thirst for blood/life are less about what they need and more about what we as humans are afraid to lose.
Reasons Why Vampires Drink Blood
- For the oxygen or iron
- They drink to help them heal and keep their corpse fresh
- Blood’s got a lot of nutrients
- Anne Rice said it was to help them pass as human because they were so cold and pale
- Viatamin D deficiency from lack of sun
- They represent our dark desires seeping away at our life forces and the dangers of what will happen if we let them go
- Originally, vampires didn’t drink blood. They were simply undead ghouls with strange appetites. It wasn’t until exhuming bodies did folklore change because many corpses were found with bloated bellies from rot and blood on their mouth from it exiting their bodies.
- Rare blood conditions like porphyria, tuberculosis, pellagra, and rabies
- In Blade, vampires drink blood because they can’t produce hemoglobin.
- Vampires are demonic or dark spirits that possess corpses, and the only way to keep the corpse from falling apart, vampire spirit must drink blood.
There’s more, of course, but this is what I’ve jotted down in my notebook. If you have any suggestions of vampire stories, histories, folklore, games, etc. I should check out, please let me know! I’m trying to take in as much as I can between now and June to help inform my outlining, writing, and editing.
Thanks for swinging by and reading about what I’ve been up to the past couple of weeks. I appreciate it. I’d appreciate it even more if you’d consider subscribing to my blog or checking out some of the books, games, and stories I have available for fans, followers, and readers.