Are Vampires "Real?"

kgould's picture

 

      Vampire myths date back thousands of years and originate from many different regions, from Asia to Eastern Europe, and reach as far back as ancient Babylonia and Greece (1). They are demons, the undead, living off of the blood and flesh of other beings (most prominently humans). They can take the form of many beasts, most memorably the bat. Vampires are characteristically pale, burned by sunlight and deterred with holy water, with prominent teeth and a penchant for seducing their victims. The only way to become a vampire is to be bitten by one. They sleep in coffins and only come out during the night.  But what is the origin of this myth, of vampires? Is their origin rooted in biology? Are vampires “real?”

      The rare and unusual disease, porphyria, may have been the beginning of vampires (1). Porphyria is a metabolic disorder that causes a malfunction in the production of heme, an iron-rich pigment essential in transporting oxygen in the blood. Symptoms from this disease include hypersensitivity to light, resulting in burning or blistering, psychiatric symptoms (like hallucinations), and seizures (3). People with more severe forms of porphyria suffer from extreme abdominal pain and acute delirium, and, due to irregularities in heme pigment, can have reddish mouths and teeth (1). Porphyria can also cause tissue damage and could make people’s teeth appear larger and more prominent due to gum tissue recession (5).

      Traditional treatments for anemias like porphyria involved the consumption of animal blood. As a hereditary disease, porphyria would appear in families, small Transylvanian villages (where inbreeding probably occurred), and groups including the eastern European aristocracy (where more inbreeding definitely occurred; you’ve got to keep the blood line pure, after all) (4).

      It is not difficult to draw connections between sufferers of porphyria and the vampire myth, ranging from hypersensitivity to sunlight, to pointy-looking teeth, to acute delirium and other hallucinations. It probably didn’t help that they were told to drink animal blood, either.

      Another disease often attributed to inspiring vampire legends is rabies. Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted through wildlife, through an infected animal’s saliva, most commonly bats, skunks, raccoons, and other medium-sized mammals (2).

      Since bats are commonly associated with vampires, (a second form), it could be inferred that people who contracted rabies from bats were thought to have been bitten by a vampire.

      Rabies causes excessive saliva and foaming of the mouth and uncontrollable, painful throat spasms. The sufferer suffers from overwhelming thirst but cannot drink; they experience restlessness, agitation, paranoia, insomnia, hallucinations, and seizures. Eventually, if untreated, a person with rabies will enter a coma and die (2). It is also common for a sufferer of rabies to experience a hypersensitivity to, well, almost anything: light, strong smells (like garlic), and noise.

      So, after a person was bitten by a bat or another animal behaving unusually, (with no fear of humans), they would present with symptoms not unlike the vampire of legend— unable to quench their thirst, hypersensitive to light and strong smells, and unable to sleep (causing them to roam around at night). Now, throw in the fact that the rabies sufferer would probably be agitated and might act violently toward other people, maybe even trying to bite them. As a Transylvanian villager, what would you believe?

      Catalepsy, a physical condition that often presented with epilepsy, schizophrenia, and other disorders that affect the central nervous system, could also be attributed to inspiring vampire legend. During a cataleptic episode, a person “freezes up;” their muscles become rigid, heart rate and respiration slow down… they could very easily be mistaken for a corpse (1).

      So imagine yourself a mourning relative, thinking your family member dead… when you find them clawing their way out of their casket, seemingly one of the “living dead.” What would you do?

      Break out the garlic and holy water, that’s what.

      Unexplained behaviors caused by unexplained diseases and disorders could have easily been the origin of vampire legend. It was their biology, not their damned soul or “uncontrollable thirst for blood” that made them vampires. Porphyria, rabies, and catalepsy, among other neurological and physical disorders, could have led people to believe that they were dealing with something, or someone, unnatural. It’s not that the cases weren’t real –according to this evidence, to these different diseases, they were—it’s that the so-called “vampires” were little more than people with unfortunate metabolic disorders, those who encountered a rabid skunk, or cataleptic schizophrenics.

       “There are mysteries which men can only guess at,” wrote Bram Stoker, “which age by age they may solve only in part” (6). We cannot say for certain if these diseases were the cause, but through a summary of observations we can at least hope to decipher some of the mystery the creator of Count Dracula alludes to.

 

References:

1. http://science.howstuffworks.com/vampire5.htm

2. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/Rabies-Topic-Overview

3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/porphyria/index.html

4. http://www.infoplease.com/spot/dracula7.html

5. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/Porphyria-10646

6. http://www.litquotes.com/quote_author_resp.php?AName=Bram%20Stoker

 

Comments

blukik's picture

i belive in vampires

I do belive dat vampires r real i wana knw more abt them n meet 1 bt i tink dats imposble bt in any way if i can met a vampire i would luv 2 im soo obsedd wid being 1 if u want get bak 2 me by ma email. Plz

Serendip Visitor's picture

vamp

there might be something like vampire coz there are allot of facts about people having weird injuries in china .In 1984 there been allot people missing ,when they found the body it used to be drained of blood and looked like bite marks on their neck.Im trying to look for answers coz im interested in that kind of things and so far i can see is allot people are writing nonsense like vampires can change shapes,well they cant .In 1991 police have found 3 bodies near some lake (cant remember the name ) and they also were drained of blood .So yes there are facts but still not enough prove about their existance coz it might be some phyco person draining people from blood so people think that its a vampire .If you find any interesting sites about the vampire existance email me ,and also if u got theories you can also sent me those and i can read and see

Jay jay's picture

having a good time with life

hey some of this stuff is fake. just so u know.

:)'s picture

scs

i believe in vampires, look up the stories of peter plogojowitz and arnold paole just because we havent seen any vampires doesnt mean they dont exist, and if they do exist they wouldnt want 2 be found or exposed. And u guys r all stupid wanting 2 turn and shit u sound so desperate one thing about the movies thats probably true is that if they do exist everyone tends to regret it so stop acting desperate

sahar's picture

who is vampire ?i need to

who is vampire ?i need to chat with a vampire ?!give me your email if you are ?

sahar's picture

is there any vampire in world

is there any vampire in world in this year?or there were for many years ago?

jay jay's picture

vampires

Yes they are out there. I am one of them. truely. Though I try to hide it. It still drives me crazy. The dirve and craving for blood.

Serendip Visitor's picture

vampires

r u gest saying tht plz tell the truth i need to know!!!!!! plzzzzzzzzzzzzz im rely anxsiouse and i am rely fast at running plz i need ancers im confused???????? how can u tell if pple r vampires plz reply if u get this

diya's picture

amswer me

who is the powerful vempire on this website?
and real also

melodeath's picture

Vampires dosen't exist

i am a vampires' stories number 1 fan, i'm in love with their stories: films, books, games. but i know for sure they don't exist and all of these people who claim to be vampires, they're lying, because everything fades/dies, nothing and no one is immortal, everything will fade away/get old and die eventually, that is why we get to know for sure that God is a lie too and dosen't exist. anyway Vampires' stories are Great and i love em. but please get back into the real life.

Serendip Visitor's picture

nobody is saying vampires are

nobody is saying vampires are immortal... -_- or that "vampires" actually exist, rather just peculating what caused the legends to emerge from a scientific and logical point of view

Serendip Visitor's picture

i jst wanna knw more about

i jst wanna knw more about u....its not easy to accept dat u r a vampire...hey plza if its posible i want some more details bout it

Ted Collins's picture

Vampires

Of course Vampires are real , and I am 99% sure they are still about. Check out President Roosevelt / Vampires and a government department F.V.Z.A. .They have just got a lot smarter........Fake tan.....Contact lenses.....Hair dye.....Blood Banks , and Slaughter houses. Would you advertise it if you were one??

tadaee's picture

hi,

hi.
i have so many question about the vampires.
i don't know are you real!?
i need and want some information about the real vampires in real world.
so please,
tell me,
if you have any information about this.
thank you.

naresh's picture

hey u guys all r mad... i'm

hey u guys all r mad... i'm serious... all these vampire tales e gud to hear. but wen u open ur eyes n look at the real world u cn c people struggling to make a living. so guys dont get deviated by all these vampire stories. these r jus stories so stop thinkin abt it n get into the real life...!

subhee's picture

yaaa..

u r right naresh.there's no such thing as vampire.

Serendip Visitor's picture

just leave vamps outta ur lives

Who care's if the vampires r real or not just leave them alone if they r dont ask anymore questions bout them just leave them be why should yall even be interested in vampires if u even think they dont excist and Btw a few things one vampires dont sleep in coffiens and they're not dead that's just a lie and also u have to drink the blood of a living vampire to become a vampire and yes that disease makes them look like that but they're not real ones so just leave the vampires alone u hacks

Jeffrey Cherry's picture

Spaghetti Monster

Hello David,

My name is Jeffrey Cherry and I am, what most people refer to as, a spaghetti monster. I am not a native to your world. Spaghetti monsters are a genetically modified species that were brought to earth a very long time ago by the supreme overlord of Zumaduma-what-the-hell, Gargaroth. We are not mammals. We are a half spaghetti, half alien species that live in mass numbers on the lunar surface in massive bases. When living on earth, we consume spaghetti sauce and beer in order to maintain a more human looking form.

Hell, Barack Obama is also a spaghetti monster. Hitler was too. He went rogue on us so we had to put him down. Not all of us are interested in harming humans. It is you who wish to feast on us, for we are spaghetti in our original form. In fact, there are large segments within our species that want to help humans very much.

We currently occupy Ur-anus, Venus, and Jupiter. If you want to learn the truth about us, visit the website: Ineedtherapy.com

By the way, there are gigantic organizations on your planet that collect spaghetti sauce and beer for us through the Hunts and Heinz Companies, and the Budweiser and oh-so-tasty Coors company. These products are then made available to us in a variety of ways.

PS: We created AIDS, which is only passed on through sex with reptiles

Serendip Visitor's picture

History's proven to us the vulnerability of the human mind.

Does nobody else realize that this is pretty good satire? Hilarious, by the way.

Nobody can claim to know anything. The basis of scientific discovery is the adaptation of current beliefs to accomodate new discovery. Faith is the opposite of observation. In ancient to medieval to early modern history, when the fear of vampires was very, very widespread, it consumed people. MOst of the population of the world at that point was illiterate and governed entirely by religious doctrine. Certain types of people were profiled. During witch hunts, for example, it was strong, forward-thinking, independent women, old women, and anyone that was no longer considered "useful" to society that were put on trial and burned at the stake. We see how real the need to be contributing to society was with the workhouses of England in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Originally, during the Protestant Reformation, people were burned at the stake for stating any beliefs against Church doctrine or religious propaganda. And why was that? It was because the Church's power was threatened by the Renaissance ideals. Why were witches burned later on? Again, religion and politics mingling. Absolute rule was gaining prominence.

I'd like to point out, again, that THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WERE ILLITERATE, POOR, AND SUPERSTITIOUS. THEY WERE VULNERABLE IN MANY WAYS AND THE PERFECT SUBJECTS FOR RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL PROPAGANDA.

I'm just wondering how many of the people who come to this article are even reading it. What would a Transylvanian villager in this political, social, economic, and religious dynamic think of someone with porphyria? Not only is there illiteracy, but medicine is sadly backward. There is always a rational explanation to everything.

Still, there's no denying that Dracula was one of the greatest literary works of all time. Twilight, on the other hand, just a bored, dim-witted, submissive Mormon housewife.

Lunar's picture

Vampire

Hello,

My name is David (not my real name) and I am, what most people refer to as, a vampire. In reality, vampires do not exist as they are portrayed in books and movies. I am not a native to your world. Vampires are a genetically modified species that were brought to earth a very long time ago. We are not mammals. We are a reptilian species that live in mass numbers on the lunar surface in massive bases. When living on earth, we consume human blood in order to maintain a more human looking form.

We occupy the top positions in governments all over the world and greatly influence the trends and agendas that affect the planet. Not all of us are interested in harming humans. In fact, there are large segments within our species that want to help humans very much.

We currently occupy your moon, Mars, and two of the moons that orbit Mars. If you want to learn the truth about us, visit the website www.marsanomalyresearch.com.

By the way, there are gigantic organizations on your planet that collect blood supplies for us through the Red Cross. These products are then made available to us in a variety of ways.

diya's picture

real

oh, realy ?
are you a vampire?
ok replay me..

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hi..

I'm vry keen 2 know about d reality of vampires in real wrld.
Could u plzz gv me sm more info abt vampires?
If vampires r real n they live b\w humans,then how v r not able 2 distinguish them frm normal humans?
If vampires really exist,then why dont they clear d cnfusion that humans r facing abt their existence?
why dont they cum 4wrd 2 accept their reality in front of d whole wrld??

sizzling mano0 's picture

THey eXist in ''REAL''

hello0 who said 2 ya tht they jst eXist in bookS fairyTales nd such other thIngz!!!!
they ARE!!!!!cuz i hve a believe tht aLLah has maded maNy creaTures nt jst HUMANS also0 othEr creaturES......there are nt to mention thoSe like animalS nopE!!!im talkin abouT some other creatureS tht onEs ......nd we cAn't see them.....buT some timEs we can!!!!!so0 then i knOw its suRe they EXisT!!!

Luna's picture

>.<

ughhh... im tired of all these people saying they are vampires.

confused's picture

im confused. i want to

im confused. i want to understand vampires, and if its not hard, to become one, i love life but vampires seem to rule it. i want to know how and what turns you into one, i belive everyone who says they are, but if vampires are real. keep it a secret unless ones you trust. not long till someone finds out what vampires really are and keep them traped forever.
please someone answer my 5 questions.
1. how long do real vampires live for.
2. can you become a vampire, if so how?
3. do all vampires hunt off people, or like the twilight saga films can you hunt animals instead?
4. is being a vampire painfull in anyway, is it hard, what is it like?
5. what happens when you become a vampire, do you have ultiment speed, are you amazingly strong?

please please please tell me these answers. i need to know.

Serendip Visitor's picture

we live for bout 500 to 1,000

we live for bout 500 to 1,000 years tops and u have to be bitten and drink the vampires blood and no we actually have buddies that r human that volunteer for giving us blood and only a few of us can drink animal blood fluently most of us have to and need human blood but we can also feed on our mates and yes it's hard and u get psychic head aches and we have to hide ourselves constantly cause humans want our blood to try and make some kind of elixir that will make them "Young forever" that's bullshit once u drink our blood u become us and u dont get long fangs ur teeth naturally sharpen and yes we r fast and strong but we cant lift cars and we cant fly just jump really good :p

Serendip Visitor's picture

i wanna bbe a vampire

if your saying your one of them will u be able to change someone
who really wants to be one who hasnt got anything to live for if
so i want to be one

Serendip Visitor's picture

vamps

hey dude u r dam interesting n if u seriously exist then convert me into a vamp as well bcoz i seriously find them dam facinating . i jus wanna meet a vamp as soon as possible

anum jawad's picture

i wana turn

hry i want to know the truth
m serious
if its True thn i wana Turn
is it possible?

Breighe's picture

Interested

Hi - I've recently adopted a huge interest in Vampires as i'm studying Mitholagy. I would love for the truth in all this - sort out the sterotypes ect... and find out whats really going on in the world. Any and all facts would be appreciated and if any of you know any good sorces in which i could gather information email me or phone me on (UK NUMBER) Many Regards.

Vampire's picture

Vampires are real. We can;t

Vampires are real. We can;t walk into the sun. Vervain is not toxic,and it's called verbina . Wood can kill us. Mind Compullsion works but diffrently, the compulled person remembers all in a couple of hours. We have Immense strenght. Uncompared speed.We can resist all kind of pain and reduce it. We heal very fast. But blood is vital. Human blood is required . If we are not drinking blood ,human blood our bodies lose 90% of all the powers. We startng to feel like normal humans. If we are not drinking blood for a long period of time our organism shuts down,actually pretty fast.

Serendip Visitor's picture

i wanna change into a vampire

how do you know that there real if they are and your one of them can you change me or if your not how do i change into one or maybee find one.

emma- damonxxx's picture

So most people on hear

So most people on hear actually think there vampires but honestly non of you are admit it, anyone could say ow I’m a vampire I’ve seen twilight and vampire diaries and underworld its all just imagination seriously if there was any one who actually believed you on this sight. They would try and prove it not to tell anyone but just for there own knowledge I want to find out the existence of vampires maybe its just Darwin’s theory and there just a more evolved human race hey I guess anything is possible we evolved from monkeys so im open to the idea that vampires may have evolved from us its just there is no proof email me to try and convince me on

Chris McDonald's picture

Vampires

I am a Vampire. Really. If you dont believe me, fine dont. I dont really care.

diya's picture

real

ok tell me what is the meaning of vampire?

melodeath's picture

Read me

i am a vampires' stories number 1 fan, i'm in love with their stories: films, books, games. but i know for sure they don't exist and you are lying, because everything dies, nothing and no one is immortal, that is why we get to know for sure that God dosen't exist too. so you are lying. text an reasonable answer to my E-mail Vampire, please >>>

Ronnie Shay's picture

Vampires

well, i would like to know more about this subject, reply back if you would like me to know what's going on

lavy's picture

hy

you're really a vampire? please turn me into one. expect a response from you. you have my e-mail.

i wanna turn ,can you help me to turn?'s picture

pleas help me to turn !?

pleas help me to turn !?

Elizabeth's picture

can i chat with you or send

can i chat with you or send you an e-mail?

Chris McDonald's picture

Vampies

I dont see why people insists on thinking that their vampires. Only true, full blooded vampires are real. I, on the other hand, am a dhvire. Meaning that im half human and half vampire. But i can only take six hours of sun in three days. I hope that someone is listening so that i dont feel alone. send me a message at Serendips Exchange.

damonxxx's picture

...

hey my name is emma and can i just say most of you are MAD, yer i belive in vampires and yes i wish they where real i even want to study mitholagy at collage but if vampires where real and wanted to show them selves we would have seen them

Serendip Visitor's picture

??

What makes you think they want to be found or discovered

Chris McDonald's picture

Vampires

Actually, no one vampire has to show themselves if they dont want to. Its their choive. Im the only vampire in my school.

emma- damonxxx's picture

Hey I’m up for the idea that

Hey I’m up for the idea that vampires exist, I have even said to my mates I believe in them but when people on the computer are saying there vampires well im a little non-believing but hey if you want to prove to me that you are a vampire give me your best shot.

Chris McDonald's picture

Vampires

Ok. You got it. Just name the place where you want to meet me at. Ill physically show that im a vampire. Txt me at

emma-damonxxx's picture

Hey do you even live in

Hey do you even live in Sunderland because if not how are you going to prove it xx

Chris McDonald's picture

Vampires

No I dont. I live in Missouri, United States

damonxxx's picture

then how are you going to

then how are you going to show me vampires exist i live in sunderland in the uk... lol xxx

walison's picture

moro no brasil, quero me

moro no brasil, quero me transforma em vampiro, os humanos são seres fracos, eu quero ser de uma raça superior quero ser forte.