Are You A Vampire? – Part 2

Social Mores AYV2.2

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)

Are You a Vampire?

Are You a VampireAre you sure?

While perusing my very well used copy of The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, by J. Gordon Melton, PhD, to learn about various vampire mythologies, one thing struck me: It used to be very easy to be suspected of being a vampire or to have the potential to become one.

“Used to be” encompasses a broad swath of time, but generally speaking during the 18th and 19th centuries and primarily, but not exclusively, in Europe. Mass hysteria swept through many countries on the continent, and similar to the witch trials in New England (but occurring more than a century later), people who didn’t follow the social mores of the day often found themselves or their loved ones accused of vampirism. The main difference here is that death didn’t exempt you from accusations. But that’s another story. For now, let’s determine if you or any of your friends and loved ones are, or might be, or might become, a vampire.

Because there are so many ways vampire status could be achieved, I’ve decided to break this into three parts.

Part One: Contemporary Questions.

Are you allergic to garlic; do you do your best to steer clear of it?

What about salt? Does it burn your skin?

Do loud noises offend you? What about thunder–be careful, because it could kill you if you’re a vampire! (This applies mostly to the chiang-shih* of China, but it’s good to be thorough)

What about holy symbols (such as the crucifix)? Do those agitate you?

Can you walk over a threshold without being invited in? If not, well…you know what that means.

Are you able to cross running water? I sure hope so, or else!

Do you find you can only sleep when on your native soil?

So, 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

The ideas listed above 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)

*There are several spellings of chiang-shih, but The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead uses this spelling.  (p. 98)

 

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