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Fisher-Edelglass 1 Zachary Fisher-Edelglass 4 February 2013 EN102 Professor Hayes From Folklore to Fiction: The Evolution of the Vampyre Vampires have haunted society’s imagination for centuries. However, the way in which the vampire have been presented has constantly changed and evolved. In order to appeal to cer- tain fears of different cultures, authors took the liberty to expand and change the mythology asso- ciated with vampires. This constantly changing creature has had severe effects on how society has changed their perception of these undead beings. These changes can be traced through early vampire literature, such as Alexis Tolstoy’s The Curse of the Vourdalak, John Polidori’s The Vampyre: A Tale, and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla. When compared to accounts of “real” vam- pirism, including Paul Barber’s Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen Monster Theory, the differences are clearly illustrated. The standard “facts” about vampires were essentially non-existent until recently. The wooden stake, religious objects and garlic were not related to vampire slaying in anyway. Nor was the ability to shape shift, hypnotize, or their seductive nature. No author or filmmaker actu- ally invented this creature, which society today believes to be non-existent. In the eighteenth cen- tury, real life accounts gave rise to vampirism. It was viewed in the same light as a disease, such as tuberculosis. According to the accounts found in Paul Barber’s Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality, the vampire was much different than today’s version.
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  • Spring '12
  • PatriciaDowcett
  • vampires, Vampire literature, Paul Barber

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