Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy 165th Bram Stoker


I can still remember the first time I read Dracula. It was only a couple of years ago and I remember getting the distinct feeling as I cracked open the book for the first time that I was in the company of a genius.

Bram Stoker created a nightmare that has endured for decades. We still shudder to think of creatures of the night stalking our homes to drink our blood. Recent sparkling additions aside, people are still creating tales of horror with the ancient vampire. 

Interestingly, there are vampire legends in just about every culture. Check out this Wiki list of all the various vampires and vampire names throughout the world: List of Vampires in Folklore and Mythology.

Strange, isn't it? How something that we attribute to the over active imaginations of frightened children or the folktales of primitive cultures trying to explain the unexplained flourish the world over? I've often wondered where do our myths originate and if they are only stories, only nightmares, why do people on the opposite side of the globe recognize them? Consider this: every fairy tale has a counterpart to be found in most countries. Every country was once separated by great land masses and oceans that were impassable without the benefit of modern transportation.

So I ask you: Do you believe that vampires and gargoyles, dragons and fairies have their origins in fact? Or are they just spooky stories to tell by the light of a dying fire on a cold, dark night? Or maybe, possibly, a little bit of both...

PS: A great big THANK YOU to all the new visitors to my blog yesterday from the Insecure Writer's Support Group! I still plan to do a bit more blog hopping today! Great to meet all of you! Cheers :)

4 comments:

  1. He doesn't look a day over a hundred!
    Those tales had their origins somewhere.
    And the IWSG posts were awesome this week!

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  2. It's fascinating how stories travel and change. Wasn't Vlad the Impaler the original inspiration for all tales vampiric? Or maybe he wasn't the only one... I've always been terrified and fascinated in equal measure by vampires - I used to collect Hammer House of Horror bubblegum cards when I was a kid. I wouldn't part with them, but I was so scared of them they had to shut tightly inside a tin, face-down! Great post, thank you!

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  3. oh i used to be all about vampires....i grew up on the Lestat version....but def liked the old drac as well....

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  4. Alex: There have been some wonderful IWSG posts this month! I'm still trying to read a few. There are just so many people on the list! It's wonderful.

    Linda: Yes, Vlad the Impaler was an inspiration for Dracula. Did you know that Bram Stoker NEVER left Ireland while he was writing "Dracula"? That book is so atmospheric and yet he never visited Transylvania. Amazing!

    Brian: Lestat is classic!! Old vampire stories are my favorites. I'm not really into the new ones but, hey, it takes all kinds! And at least the old stories are being carried on to the new generations.

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