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Did You Know – About Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies

About Vampires

The concept of an immortal creature, once human, that lives in a tomb and comes out at night to suck the blood of living creatures, who then become vampires themselves, is widespread throughout Europe, Russia and many parts of Asia.  The fact that the vampire takes all its nourishment in this way is a reminder of blood’s power as a sustaining life-force, and explains why ancient man daubed his dead in red ocher, in the hopes that the vitality of the colour alone would restore life.

Vampires were once taken very seriously as a threat.  In the Middle Ages, a Slav edict placed a heavy fine on any female vampire that was found guilty of taking blood from a man.  The Classic prophylactics against vampires have remained the same for centuries.  These are the Christian Cross (since the vampite is the agent of the Devil); the silver bullet (the metal encapsulates the essence of moonlight which is necessary to the vampire, and therefore effects a sort of homeopathic poison); garlic, a herb of protection that is hated by all demonic creatures; and finally, the wooden stake through the heart.

Today, there seems to be fewer blood-sucking vampires around than there used to be. However, the word is used to describe anyone who saps psychic energy from those around them.  How to spot a vampire? The key feature is a lack of reflection, since refelction is a symbol of the soul the vampire doesn’t have.

About The WereWolf

The idea that Gods and Goddesses could shape-shift into the form of animals or birds, and that shamans could absorb the spirit of an animal by wearing skins and feathers as part of ritual practice, is ancient. The werewolf is part of this tradition. However, the reason why a wolf in particular should have been chosen to represent the evil side of human nature is worth examining.

The belief in lycanthropy (human/wolf shape-shifting transformation) was an ancient one that existed in Classical times;  even Virgil wrote about it. As any horror move aficionado knows, werewolves change into wolves during the time of the full Moon.  Like vampires, they have no reflection, nor do they have a shadow. Since both reflection and shadow are symbolic of the soul, in taking on the form of a wolf, the human soul and conscience are left behind, the ferocious nature of the beast taking over entirely.

The belief in werewolves is evidenced by documentation that describes the trials — and punishments — of such creatures, although belief in them was starting to die out by the seventeenth century in Europe. For example, in 1615 a woman was burned alive, accused of lycanthropy.  A man traveling alone late at night was attacked by a werewolf but managed to chop off its paw. The woman in question was missing a hand.  Other werewolf trials, carried out under the jurisdiction of the Church, worked with the same kind of logic that was applied to witch trials, often using severe methods of torture until the accused either confessed or died.

About Zombies

The zombie is a Voudon term that has become the popular name for a revenant, or one that returns from the dead.  Although this could be considered a handy skill, the unfortunate zombie has no soul and will only survive if it has access to a sufficient quantity of meat from normal soul-containing human bodies. In this, there is a parallel between the zombie and the vampire.

In Haitian myth, a corpse can be re-animated by a powerful sorcerer called a Bokor. The zombie is really nothing but a robot that must do the biddling of the Bokor, since it has no mind of its own; it is simply a ghastly mechanical creature. Although we may think of the zombie as nothing but a handy device for use in horror films, there are several reported eye-witness accounts, with names and dates mentioned, of people seen wandering around several years after their death, a reminder that folklore, no matter how bizarre, carries a powerful symbolic punch.

The term “zombie” has come to mean a person who carries out certain actions automatically, without seeming to apply any conscious thought or decision-making process.

From the book :  The Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols by Adele Nozedar

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