Vampire Facts and Fiction
Facts about vampires are gathered largely from folklore. Modern medical science can shed a little light on vampires and what might cause the vampire's thirst for blood. Beyond that, vampire facts are mainly anecdotal and just about impossible to verify. Still, it is fascinating to delve into the rich vampire history and lore to explore known vampire facts.
The single most compelling fact about vampires is that they are said to drink blood in order to survive. Legend has it that human blood is the vampire's preference, but the blood of animals can be used as a substitute. Could at least some cases of vampirism be explained away as undiagnosed cases of porphyria, a condition that causes pale skin, photosensitivity and other symptoms that reflect part of historical vampire lore? Some humans drink blood as a form of modern vampirsim.
This type of vampire is definitely not a blood drinker. Instead, PSIs feed on the psychic energy of others. The act is typically performed with a willing partner or "donor" who allows the PSI to physically and emotionally connect and withdraw the energy.
Folklore has it that the vampire's image doesn't reflect in a mirror. Even a piece of furniture produces a reflection, so this fact is particularly difficult to believe. Perhaps the mirror lore is a distortion of the old practice of holding a mirror beneath a person's nose to detect whether or not he was still alive and breathing. If vampires are truly undead, they wouldn't leave any condensation from their breath on the mirror's surface because they have no need to breathe.
Aversion to Garlic
Garlic has long been used to repel vampires, and this fact may hold a kernel of truth. Garlic has a distinctly strong odor that many people find repellent. If vampires truly have heightened senses as many legends say, the odor of garlic must seem overpowering. It would be far easier to seek another victim than endure the smell. This vampire attribute may be the result of some humans being allergic to garlic.
Unable to Endure Sunlight
Nearly all the vampire legends claim that vampires cannot endure the sunlight so they must wait for sunset to emerge and return to shelter before dawn. Older stories claim the sun's rays will turn a vampire into dust. People who claim to be modern day vampires say this is an exaggeration. They report photosensitivity that causes headaches and faster than average sunburns, but no bursting into flames and disintegrating. Unless of course, you want to consider the topic of spontaneous combustion.
Aversion to Holy Relics
It's said that one of the few ways to defend yourself from a vampire attack is to hold off the evil creature with a silver cross or preferably a crucifix with the image of Christ as used in the Catholic Rite of Exorcism. Holy water is also supposed to repel a vampire because coming into contact with it causes pain and scarring of the creature's skin.
Vampires Are Immortal
Beyond the blood or energy consumption, tales of immortality are one of the most fascinating of all so-called vampire facts. The prospect of living forever is very attractive to some people; perhaps attractive enough to want to become one of these creatures of legend.
Excellent Night Vision
Vampire mythology discusses their excellent night vision. Vampires are like most nocturnal animals with the ability to see almost as well at night as in daylight. This ability makes these creatures more frightening predators.
Vampires Can Compel Humans
In vampire lore, these beings have the ability to compel humans to do their bidding. The vampire supposedly looks into the person's eyes and creates a type of hypnotic connection. The human falls under the vampire's spell and is unable to resist its commands.
Ability to Fly
It isn't just childhood dreams of being able to fly. For a vampire, air travel doesn't require a ticket or a plane. Vampires are the crossover of bat and human and supposedly retain the ability to fly wingless at will.
Enjoys Super Strength
Another attribute that makes a vampire such a formidable enemy is its incredible strength. Vampire lore reveals how the creatures have an arsenal of super-human powers with the ability to defeat the strongest of humans. In fact, their strength is depicted as effortless.
Faster Than Humans Can See
One of the ways a vampire overpowers its human prey is speed. The ability to go undetected until it's too late gives the vampire a tremendous advantage over a human being. The vampire is able to move so quickly that it's nearly invisible or appears as a brief shadow flitting past.
Vampires Have Keen Hearing
Just as a bat can hear better than other animals, so can vampires. This ability to hear far better than their human counterparts, is another powerful ability. There can never be any sneaking up on these beings.
Undead Sleep on Homeland Soil
Per vampire mythology, this undead creature must sleep on soil from its native land. The vampire won't survive without the soil from its origin. This is typically placed inside the coffin where it returns to sleep each night. Modern genre fiction often omits this part of the vampire lore.
Ancient Lore of Vampires
Tales of vampires are rooted in many cultural lore. From ancient Greece, Roman, Asian, India and Africa, the mythology of nocturnal creatures once human and once alive prey upon humans. Blood is the vampire's nectar. Without fresh human blood, the parasitic creature cannot exist. These guesome stories have survived for centuries and in the modern world have become a popular fiction genre, especially as a sub-genre of young adult and romance novels.