I told Facebook followers last week that I am participating in a Short Story Challenge.
In the first part of this series, we looked at contemporary ways to discover if you or your loved ones might be a vampire. In this part, we’ll look at questions that were more relevant to life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Part 2’s questions deal with our morals, collectively and individually. If a person didn’t subscribe to the expected morals of their peers, they would have been scrutinized. The issues examined in these questions don’t necessarily pertain to the person accused, but often address the acts of their family or circumstances surrounding their birth. Nowadays, these are looked at as superstitions or old wives’ tales, but at the time, they were serious accusations. Suspicions ran high and quick, and mass hysteria was the result.
When I started writing this, I thought, “How funny, how silly, to think these things. These would make a great blog post.” I still think they’re funny, but on reflection, I also think they are more than just silly questions. We are centuries removed from these types of accusations, but even today, people are accused of things they have no control over, but that are simply circumstances of their birth. Back in the day, people turned to the supernatural to explain things they didn’t understand. Nowadays, things are done differently, and I’ll leave it at that.
Deep thoughts for a vampire blog, eh? Anyway, take the questions in the spirit they are intended: lighthearted and fun. Just remember to be kind, always. You never know what someone else is dealing with. I mean, being a vampire isn’t as glamourous as it looks in the movies.
As in Part 1, the majority of the ideas discussed below came from The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead (full citation below), unless otherwise indicated(+).
Part Two: Social Mores and Superstitions.
Have you been excommunicated? If so, you may want to sort that out prior to meeting your maker.
Are you overly greedy?
Do you seek revenge?
Have you committed a great crime, such as murdering a kinsman?
Are you a man who swears falsely?
Were you born out of wedlock? Were your parents born out of wedlock?
Were you born between the week of Christmas and New Year?
Did your parents conceive you on a taboo day?
Are you the seventh child of the same sex in your family?
Is your father a vampire?
Were you born on a Saturday?
Did your mother eat salt when she was pregnant with you? If not, you’re doomed.
Was your mother gazed upon by a vampire while she was pregnant?
Were you born with a caul or a tail?
Were you born with teeth?
Are you missing a finger? Do you have animal-like appendages?
Do you only appear to your friends precisely at noon?
Do you have red hair and blue eyes?+
Are you a werewolf? Because you may become a vampire after you die.
Have you been bitten by a vampire?
Have you been cursed?
Are you a witch?
Do you practice magic? Or are you a sorcerer?
Have you eaten the meat of a sheep killed by a wolf?+
After reading those questions…what do you think? Are you a vampire?
Sources and Notes:
Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Detroit: Visible Ink, 1994
+These ideas came from the Wikipedia page Vampire Folklore by Region.
The rest of the ideas were found in The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead in the following sections:
Greece, Vampires in (pp. 272-278)
Gypsies, Vampires and the (pp. 278-282)
Romania, Vampires in (pp. 512-520)
Russia, Vampires in (pp. 524-527)
Scandinavia, Vampires in (pp. 539-541)
Slavs, Vampires Among the (pp. 559-564)
She’s a bit prickly and no one has ever called her nice.
But she gets stuff done. And when you’re the vampire running New York City, you get stuff done-nice doesn’t figure into it.
You can read more about Eliza in Turning Point.
Being the sole vampire in the small college town of Albion, Michigan means Adam never goes hungry. It also means the residents are safe – for the most part. Dead humans tend to scare away living humans, and that’s no good for Adam.
Self-control, manipulation, and demanding the will of others to bend toward his desires, Adam plays a precarious game with the lives of those he encounters.
If you let him win, maybe he’ll let you live.