Vampires: The Undead


Although vampires are recognized to be deadly creatures and
their existence is controversial, evidence substantiates
that they do indeed exist. The teachings and the records of
the past give enough proof for sane people. Horrible things
happen today, due to vampire activity. Humans are
instinctively fearful of the truth, fortune and of death;
but human fear of the fact that some incidences are
actually caused by vampires leads man to ignore the problem
and thus make himself believe that vampires do not exist.
Ignoring the problem only increases its severity. The
number of vampires is probably multiplying. Vampires would
most likely one day rise against humanity, to avenge their
long dead ancestors, and turn the human population into a
vampire one. People need to be aware of the problem, and
educated about vampires, maybe even taught about them in
school, so that humans can destroy the legions of the
undead and live in peace.
If the issue of vampires' existence is to be discussed,
then the exact meaning of the word vampire should be
clarified. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines a
vampire as "a bloodsucking ghost or reanimated body of a
dead person believed to come out from the grave and wander
about by night sucking the blood of persons asleep" (qtd.
in Baumann 5). This statement is also supported by the
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English and
Encyclopedia International (950; 6). Dictionaries and
encyclopedias usually give limited information, but in this
case they actually gave an incorrect definition. Firstly,
vampires are not "believed..." to be, but their existence
has been proven. Secondly, they do not just suck "the blood
of persons asleep" but also of those who are awake. In
short, the word vampire is applied to a dead and buried
person who rises out of the grave every night except
Friday, and goes about stealthily sucking the blood of
whoever is available (Crow 252). Kipling was absolutely
correct in writing that "Some of him lived but the most of
him died" (201).
Vampires have certain physical characteristics that
distinguishe them from humans. Generally, vampires are pale
and skinny (Baumann 7). The most widely known universal
characteristic would be the fangs. Right before the bloody
encounter, the vampire uses its piercing eyes to hypnotize
its prey (Baumann 7). The vampire plunges these two, long,
sharp teeth into the jugular vein and sucks the blood from
its victims (Baumann 7). It is well known that vampires
cast no shadow nor a reflection in the mirror (Stoker 245).
A vampire can transform himself into a wolf (Stoker 245).
Vampires can also take the form of a bat to gain entry into
a victim's house; It would resume its normal form once
inside (Baumann 7). Vampires, on certain occasions, can
also be seen as phantoms (Crow 252). Vampires are not
always spotted right away; but because of these
morphological differences between humans and vampires, it
can be made.
Vampires have powers, but they can not always do as they
wish because their power is limited. A vampire will remain
undead, as long as it feasts on the blood of the living and
is not killed (Stoker 245). A vampire can not die like a
human by the mere passing of time and the growing of age
because he can grow younger (Stoker 245). People who have
died by the hands of a vampire are at his command (Stoker
243). A vampire "...can direct the elements: the storm, the
fog, the thunder; he can command all the meaner things: the
rat, and the owl, and the bat and the fox, and the wolf..."
(Stoker 243). A vampire possesses strength so overwhelming
that it is estimated to be the equivalent of twenty people
(Stoker 243). A vampire can transform himself into a wolf,
can come in mist, can slip through hair breadth space, can
see in the dark, and he can come on moonlight rays as
elemental dust (Stoker 245). A vampire can only enter a
house at first if invited, he can then come as he pleases
(Stoker 246). A vampire is powerless in daytime (Stoker
246). If the undead creature is not in its coffin, it can
only transform itself at sunrise, noon, or sunset (Stoker
246). A vampire can only pass running water at the slack or
the flood of the tide (Stoker 246). Garlic and a crucifix
make a vampire powerless (Stoker 246). A vampire with all
its power still has to abide by some of nature's laws.
No one is born a vampire; yet, one can become a vampire if
certain conditions are met. According to legend, when a
werewolf dies, it immediately becomes a vampire (Baumann
7). Priests proclaim that people who commit serious sins
leave their graves at night because their souls can find no
peace (Baumann 7). A person can be buried for months, even
years before leaving the grave (Baumann 8). People
excommunicated by the church are also liable to become
vampires; so are people cursed by their parents, and
wizards, and people who commit suicide (Baumann 5). But
horribly enough, some people became vampires solely by
having their blood sucked, during life, by another vampire
(Crow 252). Even after death a person can become a vampire,
that is if an animal jumps over the corpse or if a bird
flies over it (Crow 252). These undead or living corpses
are doomed to live as vampires until they could be
Certain procedures have to be employed if one desires to
keep vampires away and ensure safety from them. The most
common method is placing garlic in front of all doors and
windows (Baumann 8). A person wearing a crucifix or rosary
is also supposed to be safe, so is someone standing in a
circle of holy water or salt (Baumann 8, 76). If a vessel
of holy water is thrown onto a vampire,it would be burned
and scarred (Baumann 8). The same result would be achieved
using Holy Wafer (Stoker 302). It is said that placing a
wild rose over a vampire's coffin would prevent him from
leaving it (Stoker 246). For people living in fear of
vampires, it is reassuring to know that they can protect
themselves from them.
The best news is that vampires can be killed, but they
simply do not die as easily as a normal human. As a human
dies and turns into a vampire, it is as if it has just been
born again, but as a vampire this time who has been
baptized with blood. Morning is when vampires are usually
found in their coffins; they must be killed immediately
before they recruit some more troops. There are many ways
to kill a vampire such as driving a large nail across the
head, through the temples, driving a stake through the
heart, or cutting the head off or burning the whole body
(Crow 252). If the coffin is found empty, usually at
nighttime, a crucifix is placed in the grave so the vampire
will not be able to get back into it; then when the sun
rises, and its rays will transform the vampire into a
shapeless pile of dust (Baumann 3). A vampire can also die
if a sacred bullet is fired into the coffin (Stoker 246).
Vampires will live on and on, feasting on the blood of the
living, unless one of the mentioned anti-vampire remedies
is used.
Dracula, often assumed to be a vampire, did exist; sixty
years after the publishing of Dracula, his identity has
been firmly established (Baumann 10-11). Dracula means "son
of the dragon" or "son of the devil" (Baumann 13). If it
had not been for Bram Stoker, the real Dracula would very
likely have been lost to history (Baumann 13). Dracula's
childhood may explain why he "...was one of the cruelest
and most barbaric rulers in recorded history" (Baumann 13).
At eight, Dracula was imprisoned by the Turks for four
years and, as a result, he became eager for revenge
(Baumann 16). Dracula was released from prison and he ruled
Walachia (Baumann 16). On one occasion, three hundred
Tartar soldiers entered Walachia; Dracula had several of
them fried in oil, made their companions eat them and he
told them that they would continue eating each other if
they do not agree to fight the Turks with him (Baumann 18).
He got into more trouble with the Turks than he could
handle and fled to Hungary, but there he spent seventeen
years in prison (Baumann 18). Even though Dracula was
imprisoned, he still had to see blood flow. Guards brought
him creatures and the Russian ambassador to the Court of
King Matthias (the king of Hungary) reported that: "Dracula
particularly enjoyed plucking all the feathers off
chickens. He would watch in fascination as they ran around
his cell in wild circles. When the novelty of that finally
wore off, hewould slit their throats (Baumann 19)."
Dracula's long years in prison were not entirely
unpleasant; the sister of the King liked him and as a
result, he was given special treatment by the guards
(Baumann 19). He ate and drank well, and he spent much of
his time in the palace because the King enjoyed showing him
off to his visitors (Baumann 19). Dracula married the
Princess when he was released from prison (Baumann 19).
Dracula was killed on the field of battle by anonymous
assassin(s), who cut off his head and sent it to the
Turkish Sultan in Constantinople; it was openly displayed
on a stake (Baumann 19). "He spilled the blood of thousands
of people, but he never drank any of it. Contrary to common
to popular belief the real Dracula was not a vampire"
(Baumann 13).
Although Dracula was not a vampire, the existence of
vampires has been proven. Men centuries ago signed
statements saying that Arnold Paole became a vampire
because he was bitten by one during his lifetime in 1727
(Baumann 46). Within months after Arnold's death, a number
of villagers claimed that they have been haunted by him and
his nightly visits left them weak; some of them died soon
afterward (Baumann 48). A party was sent to destroy the
vampire; when the grave was found and opened, Arnold's eyes
were wide open and blood stained his lips, he looked as if
he died recently (Baumann 49). As a stake was driven
through Arnold's heart, the corpse shrieked (Baumann 52).
The same was done to the people who died because of him and
no more attacks were reported (Baumann 52-53). Many similar
stories are told, including ones about the Vampire of
Croglin Grange and the Vampire Shoemaker (Baumann 61-68;
32-39). For people living in the eighteenth century, there
was proven evidence of the existence of vampires.
One might wonder why there is no evidence of vampire
activity today, there is! Highgate Cemetery is an unkept
and a rather frightening place in London, England (Baumann
69). An epidemic of ghost sightings began in 1967 and still
continues; there is evidence that at least one of the
ghosts is a vampire (Baumann 70). Dead foxes and rabbits
were found in the Cemetery; they had wounds around their
throats and their bodies have been completely drained of
blood (Baumann 70). Manchester, President of the British
Occult Society, personally investigated the matter and
found that the most accurate description of the phantom
came from a man who had been attacked one night while
walking in the Cemetery (Baumann 73). Elizabeth Wojdyla had
the symptoms of a vampire victim and contacted Manchester;
she bore the "mark of the vampire" on the side of her neck
(Baumann 74-75). On several occasions, Elizabeth went into
a trance and sleptwalk to the northgate of the Cemetery and
then came back (Baumann 76). She was attacked several times
by the vampire and desperate measures were taken to prevent
further attacks (Baumann 76). The attacks stopped, which
indicates that "the ancient anti-vampire remedies still
worked in the twentieth century" (Baumann 77). The vampire,
unfortunately, found another victim "Lucy", who refuses to
reveal her real name, and who developed the same symptoms
as the ones Elizabeth had (Baumann 77). Manchester believed
that if Lucy were followed sleepwalking, the vampire's
grave would be found, which is what happened; but he could
not give it the vampire treatment because disturbing a
corpse was against the law (Baumann 77-81). The entrance to
the tomb was sealed (Baumann 82). Four days later, a body
of a dead man was found in the Cemetery; he had died from a
vampire attack (Baumann 82). Things that can not be
explained logically still happen in Highgate Cemetery
(Baumann 82). "Twentieth-century man may refuse to believe
in vampires", says Manchester, but he insists that they are
by no means a thing of the past (Baumann 74).
People must face the fact that vampires exist and do
something about it. Vampires will not disappear if they are
forgotten; that is like asking whether a falling tree in a
desolate place makes a noise or not. Vampires and humans
were probably created at the same time and for centuries
neither race became extinct, but the vampire population is
increasing and is ready to strike. It is a war that has to
be fought and humans have to take the first step which is,
since the existence of vampires has been proven, making the
public believe in vampires in order to be watchful and
control them.
Works Cited
Baumann, Elwood D. Vampires. New York: Franklin Watts, 1977.
Crow, W.B. Witchcraft Magic and Occultism. Hollywood:
Book Co., 1974.
Hornby, A.S. "Vampire." Oxford Advanced Learner's
Dictionary of
Current English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974.
p 950.
Rudyard Kipling. "The Vampire." Treasury of Poems. Chicago:
Book Production Industries, 1985.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: Penguin Books, 1992.
"Vampire." Encyclopedia International. 1963. ed.
Topic Sentences
Definition: If the issue of vampires' existence is to be
discussed, then
the exact meaning of the word vampire should be clarified.
Description: Vampires have certain physical characteristics
distinguishes them from humans.
How to become a vampire: Nobody is born a vampire, yet one
can become a
vampire if certain conditions are met.
Vampire's powers and limitations: Vampires have certain
powers but they
are limited.
To keep them away: Certain precautions and procedures
should be employed
if the desired effect is keeping vampires away.
To kill: Vampires simply do not die as easily as a normal
Dracula: Dracula did exist!
Ancient vampires: Even though Dracula was not a vampire, it
has been
proven that there are other people who did become vampires.
Recent vampires: The vampire of Highgate Cemetery proves
that vampire
activity is still going on today.
Thesis: Although vampires are recognized to be deadly
creatures and their
existence is controversial, evidence substantiates that
they do indeed
I. Defining a vampire
A. Definition
B. Physical characteristics
II. Becoming a vampire
III. Having certain powers and limitations
IV. Protecting oneself
A. To keep them away
B. To kill them
V. Identifying Dracula
VI. Identifying real vampires
A. Arnold Paole
B. Vampire of Highgate Cemetery


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