ByLea Weller BA PGcert, writer at Creators.co
Horror is my forte
Lea Weller BA PGcert

For all of you True Blood fans, I mentioned in my last article that I had written a book you might enjoy.

Below is the introduction of my novel that you can now buy on Lulu.com:

The Myth of the vampire has dominated popular culture for decades in the form of literature, art, film, television or franchise. Western society has become fascinated with vampires, and Dracula caused an upsurge of interest in this field. The vampire is a global archetype, incorporating many stories of the vampire’s represented image and ‘supernatural powers’.

Chapter one examines the question of how vampires are categorised in story-telling; Folklore, myth or legend? The chapter investigates this by examining the writings of Montague Summers (1928), finding answers to the problem of categorization and documenting the developmental history of the vampire myth. When examining The Jewish Publication Society’s production of the Tanakh, The Old Testament and Roberta Sterman Sabbath’s (2009) Sacred Tropes, we find evidence for the existence of another woman before Eve who was banished from the Garden of Eden and pursued her revenge. The Vampire: A Casebook by Alan Dundes (1998) examines the story of Vlad the Impaler and how Bram Stoker based his character Dracula on this evil man and his reasons for this.

Chapter two explores different ideas and stories of the vampire in Europe. Dundes’ ideas on the Romanians belief in the Strigoi and the Slavic belief in counting grains of sand to keep the vampire at bay are reviewed in this chapter. Also studied are Lawson’s perspective on the Greek belief in the Vrykolakas – their vampire. Their belief in vampires only emerged when Greece became Christian. Lastly Montague Summers (1929) is explored to show England’s idea of the vampire and the vampire hunters in England.

Chapter three presents the study of myth and its origins, investigating Freud’s oedipal theory and the concept of the repressed, following an explanation of the vampire myth and an introduction to psychoanalysis and analytical psychology. Steven Walker (2002) introduced the study of myth from the view of a Jungian analytical psychologist and was interested in the archetypal images of the psyche and their relation to myth. Michael Carroll (2009) described how the distinctions between myth and fiction are blurred in order to psychoanalytically study myth. An account of the previous views on the study of the vampire myth will be given. William Day (2002) stated that the vampire myth has its roots in traditional folklore beginning in the eighteenth century.

An example of this is Montague Summer’s (1928) study, which had explained the significance of scholarly writings concerning ‘The Great Vampire Hunt’. Wendy Doniger and Laurie Patton (1996) suggested that scholars became mythmakers themselves within their writings and Elizabeth Miller (2006) explained that Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula was successful promoting the vampire myth. Dracula was very successful and was later adapted to film by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992. Konstantinos (1996) and Alan Dundes (1998) explained that Stoker had based Dracula on Vlad but he was not a vampire. Ian Craib (2001) discussed how Freud accounted for the human personality whilst studying the vampire and there had been significant criticism against psychoanalysis. Jung took analytical psychology and merged it with Freud’s psychoanalysis to study the vampire myth.

Chapter four investigates the psychoanalytical and analytical perspectives of Freud and Jung. Jackson (1988) explained how Dracula represented Freud’s oedipal theory and the theory of personality: the Id, the Ego and the Superego. Jung studied vampires using the ‘collective unconscious’, the archetypes, and Freud’s ‘personal unconscious’. Bohn (2007) contended that Jung believed the vampire is a shared archetype of the human psyche and the details evolve depending on the society. Enns (1994) stated that vampires in fiction are intended to represent social anxieties of a population. The mythology of a nation gives them a shared value, a shared belief or interest. Jung (1999) contended that the modern vampire harbours both masculine and feminine qualities, showing the equality between genders, and this shows in the twenty-first century vampire. Chapter five presents an investigation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), which was introduced to a young audience but became trans-generational. Following the successes of previous examples in the vampire genre, Buffy rejuvenated the vampire myth. This allowed for a successful vampire franchise and has included Fan-sites and spin-off s such as Angel (1999-2004), which is based around Buffy’s vampire lover Angel. This chapter also discusses the Spierig twin’s film of 2009, Daybreakers, which portrays the vampire as an evil corporate, exploiting a resource. The resources exploited in this case are the humans, farming them for blood causing the inevitable extinction of the human race and the ‘true-death’ of the vampire when the blood supply has died out. The vampire does not portray domestication but it portrays destruction (if the vampire was to exist in the ‘real world’). Twenty-first century vampires are more appealing to the human psyche, no longer monsters, but alluring and troubled creatures who long to be human. Chapter six investigates current popular culture, depicting how different writers have adapted the vampire myth and characteristics, analysing the films and television series adapted from novels. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Twilight (2008), and the television series Vampire Diaries (2009) and True Blood(2008) are investigated to show how they compare to original vampire mythology. These representations depict how the myth has evolved over the decades:

The figure of the vampire has undergone a variety of fascinating transformations in response […] to ongoing transformations […] [in culture and society. They also contend that] […] One of the most interesting and significant metamorphoses in the conventional figure of the literary (and cinematic) vampire has to do with what several of the writers in this present collection refer to as its “domestication”. (Gordon and Hollinger, 1997, page 2)

Gordon and Hollinger contended that the “domestication” of the vampire is now evident in many written works and is continuously shown in film and television. By investigating the differing representations, one can show how the vampire has become domesticated, living and working with the humans, and having relationships with humans who know what they are. Even living in a society that has potentially accepted vampires is shown in True Blood where the vampires are building their own lives and businesses and are seen to be fighting for equal rights. The intention of this study is to represent a true account of the historical evolution and domestication of the vampire in the twenty-first century.