The lore surrounding vampires and whether or not they are real has fascinated people for centuries.
Are vampires truly the way they are depicted in movies? Where did all these ideologies surrounding vampires come from?
There are a wealth of myths regarding vampires, including some myths about the myth itself. So many interpretations of vampires have existed in literature, and the image of what a vampire was or is has changed a lot.
Even if you believe that the idea of vampires are based in some truth, below are some of the most common myths surrounding vampires.
Myth 1: All Vampires Are Beautiful
Not all lore about vampires depict them as being especially beautiful. In fact, many older depictions of vampires cite them as being bloated and grotesque, yet still with signature pale skin.
Myth 2: Vampires Are Undead
Vampires have been believed to be humans who were brought back to life through a vampire bite. It has also been believed that vampires were just simply sick humans, or even paranormal creatures who were never human.
Myth 3: Vampires Are Just People With Illnesses
There have been a plethora of illnesses and diseases that have been used to try and rationalize the idea of vampires, from tuberculosis to porphyria, which is an extreme sensitivity to the sun.
Rabies is another illness often used to explain vampirism, as it can cause aggressive behavior and aversions to things like sunlight or strong scents like garlic.
Myth 4: Stakes Through The Heart
It’s widely believed that, to kill a vampire, a wooden stake should be shoved into their heart. This myth actually has some quite gruesome roots in truth.
Due to centuries-old beliefs in the existence of vampires, stakes were often stabbed into the chest of the deceased before burial to prevent them from coming back to life.
Myth 5: Only Wooden Stakes Kill Vampires
In any folklore, vampires are tough to kill. However, the myth that a wooden stake is the only method of destruction for vampires isn’t true. Vampires can also be decapitated or burned in order to be killed.
Myth 6: Babies Born With Teeth Are Vampires
There used to be a belief that if a baby was born with teeth, it was because they were a vampire. While there are rare circumstances in which babies are born with natal teeth, it’s so rare that it would be very difficult to prove they were otherworldly children.
Myth 7: Blood Keeps Vampires Young
This is another myth possibly perpetuated from a true story.
There was a countess in the 16th and 17th century, Elizabeth Bathroy, who murdered countless people to drink their blood in an effort to stay young.
It makes sense that this myth continued given just how prevalent the idea of a young and beautiful vampire has become.
Additionally, the belief that vampires consume human blood has existed since the idea of a vampire was first documented.
While there have been depictions of vampires sustaining themselves through other methods, it has always been known that the greatest source of strength for vampires has always been human blood.
Myth 8: Witches Become Vampires
This myth has roots in old Russian tales. It was believed that witches who had evil intentions in life came back to life as vampires.
Similar to this tale, it was also believed that vampires were once people who were evil in life, going against the Russian Orthodox church when they were alive.
Myth 9: Grains Keep Vampires Away
It actually was once common practice to scatter large amounts of tiny grains around a person’s grave in the event that they came back to life as a vampire.
It was believed that vampires would be so caught up counting all the grains that they wouldn’t leave the area until each grain was counted.
Perhaps that’s where the idea of Count von Count and his love of counting came from.
Myth 10: Vampires Can’t See Their Reflection
While the origin of this myth cannot necessarily be pinpointed, there is some interesting superstition from centuries ago that relates. It was often a defense against vampires to hang a silver mirror on a door to ward off vampires.
While the vampire couldn’t see itself, the silver in the mirror’s frame would scare off the vampire.
Part of this myth also revolves around photos. Vampires are said not to want their photos taken since they won’t show up in the developed picture. In an effort to avoid being discovered, vampires would refuse to be captured on film.
It’s hard to know which myths are real or unreal about a cryptid that may or may not be real. Part of the fun of the myths surrounding vampires is trying to imagine whether or not it could be plausible were vampires, in fact, real.