Tommorow is the 1st of November or All Saints Day in the Catholic religion. Tonight is officially called All Hallow's Eve but it has been shortened to Halloween while those of the pagan European faiths call it Samhein. Today is a day or night when chances of one's deceased love ones can come back along with more unfriendly boggles while tommorow one is supposed to pay respect to the departed.
On Friday and today, A&E ran a two hour special called The Secret Life of Vampires. This show fairly covered the historical European origins of vampires while also delving into 'modern' vampirism.
Lets look at a modern blood drinking vampire, Lady CG. In Bram Stoker's Dracula, vampires can walk in daylight without dissolving. In the 1922 silent film Nosferatu, Count Orlock can walk in daylight and is only destroyed because he has been tricked to be out when the cock crows by the allure of a pure maiden, Ellen. Sidenote, in Nosferatu it seems the maiden serves the same function as a pure maiden does in attracting a unicorn to her lap to be killed for the unicorn's horn. So Lady CG working in her garden in daylight neither proves or disproves she is a vampire. But since it seems she is aging, even as a blood drinker, and has borne children it would rule her out as being a classical vampire. So what does that leave to explain her desire for hyper rare steak, light sensitivity, and heightened sense? Perhaps a confluence of genetically inherited problems/traits? But since Lady CG has 'accepted' herself as a vampire it seems any scientific search for explanation has been short-circuited.
Now lets meander over to the author of The Psychic Vampire Codex. She imbides in the chi energy of her partner on a regular basis and claims to be a vampire. Another word for chi energy is soul or if that word is too loaded with connotations then lets use life-force. A drinker of souls perhaps? On the Indian sub-continent shape-shifting soul drinkers are Rakashians, though they tend to get more bloody about it and can switch gender. In Europe/Levant there are the children of Lilith, the incubi and succubi; incubi are demons who seduce women in their sleep and bring them to sexual arousal while succubi are demons who seduce men in the visage of beautiful women and can do this even when the man is awake, both seem to feed off their victims' souls. So under classical definitions this lady is not a vampire.
In both cases I think Vlad Tepes would be screaming at how these people are cowards as he fought more Turkish invaders while Countess Bathory, aka the Blood Countess for the killing of her servants so she could drink their blood to maintain her youth, would be tsk-tsking at these confused people while drinking some O-positive. Neither of the above people I talked about fits the classical concept of a vampire/vampyre but it does seem to fit the modern hedonist's definition of an excuse. They can not help themselves because they can not fight their nature, so their nature is triumphing over their intellect and hence they are nothing more than slaves to their desires.
In case someone is wondering who are the children of Lilith, will try to explain it. In Jewish lore and not written in the Old Testament, before Eve Adam had another wife and her name is Lilith. Lilith was created from dust just like Adam and she thought of herself as Adam's equal. So in the Garden, before Eve and the apple, there was a clash of wills between Lilith and Adam. One day Lilith got tired of Adam trying to be the leader, invoked the Almighty's true name[which Kabbalists have been after ever since], and vanished. Adam prayed to the Almighty and He sent out three angels to bring Lilith back. So the angels found Lilith and bade her to come back, she refused. For her unbending ego, Lilith was cursed to become a bane to humankind and so were her children who followed her so cursed. It is her children that are most often described as incubi/succubi. Further afield, another cast out for an unbending ego was Lucifer. For a modern connection to the story of Lilith, militant feminism conducts the Lilith-faire series of concerts so one has to wonder what militant feminism really feels towards men? Seems it does not bode well though Lilith-faire organizers tend to gloss over Lilith being a demon with an ego and instead talk about how it all revolved around Adam wanting Lilith to be a submissive partner.
I am debating with myself on whether to post more comments on this show that has only tangential relationship to the two modern vampires I talk about. I think I will stop now.
May everyone have a blessed and safe All Hallow's Eve.