It’s Halloween! (Or Samhain…as some might say…) So I thought it a perfect time to discuss something that’s fittingly spooky. And of all the Halloween-y topics that would be fun to tackle in the context of TPD – where we explore various “conspiracy theories” from various perspectives – there’s one topic that stands out as a prime candidate: Vampires.
It’s probably no coincidence that I’m just coming off a week of watching the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. Otherwise, you might be getting an earful about … oh, I don’t know… the Salem Witch Trials or some such thing. But thanks in large part to Buffy, vampires it is.
I’ll spare you any unnecessary suspense here. It’s my conclusion that vampires are 100% real. And yes, by “vampires” I mean demonic entities that feed off humans while appearing to be human themselves.
Saying out loud that I believe in vampires might raise a couple eyebrows, even amongst my fellow conspiracy nuts. I get that. It may indeed seem kind of ridiculous at first. But please bear with me.
If you dare. Mwu-Ha-Ha-Ha-ha-ha.
You see, I don’t buy into the cartoonish representation of vampires made popular in books and movies. The sharp teeth and blood-sucking and coffins and capes and all that hoopla feels to me like a gaudy layer of paint that needs to be scraped away in order to reveal what’s underneath. I think what’s down under there is allegory.
What if traditional vampire folklore is designed to reveal secret meanings about real, malevolent entities that are here, living among us? What if vampire stories encode real clues for us about how to identify and protect ourselves against them? Is it possible for us to discover these secret meanings and clues?
Let’s take a swing at it.
In the spirit of keeping this little journey taut, it might be useful to make like we’re eating a Tootsie Pop. What I mean is this: Why not skip the formalities and just take a couple big, crunchy bites to get down to the center. The center, we will assume, is the gooey, chocolaty weirdness that makes up the tenets of traditional vampire lore. The hard candy that we’ll chomp our way through is mostly Hollywood.
Vampire stories have shapeshifted on us over the centuries. Is this the result of natural evolution, or is it by design? You can be the judge. The sign-posts seem to read as follows, in reverse chronology:
In the 1970s to the present…
…books and movies have presented us with vampires that are more and more…well…human. In many cases, they are even characterized as heroic. This latest trend, wherein vampires are more sophisticated, more likeable, probably began with the nearly synchronous publications of Stephen King’s 1975 novel, Salem’s Lot, and Anne Rice’s 1976 novel, Interview with the Vampire in which the vampire characters transcend being mere cartoonish, two-dimensional, B-movie ghouls. We’re actually invited to get to know them. Weird when you think about it. And things get weirder still. Hollywood has taken a hard run at breathing new life into vampires, as it were, with big budget film productions and expansions into the teen demographic. There are too many examples to cite, but here are a few to chew on: The Lost Boys (1987 film) gives us Fonzie-cool, teenage vampires that run around in a gang, having cool adventures, with an emphasis on the “we never get old” bit; Buffy the Vampire Slayer(1992 film, plus 1997-2003 television series) seriously blurs the lines between good guys and bad guys, and lures us unto believing (albeit satirically) that teenagers are capable of whooping ass on vampires; Twilight (2005-present novel series, plus 2008-2012 film series) dangerously mixes teenage hormonal lust – sexual lust as well as the lust for belonging – with vampire lore. Here readers/watchers are invited to consider willfully surrendering oneself to vampires. It won’t be that bad. You might even like it.
In the 1920s through 1970s…
…cinema basically reinvented vampires. But they did so in the stereotypical book-was-better-than-the-movie sense. The 1922 silent German film, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, perhaps did the best job of conveying the abject terror we should hold for vampires. Like books, silent films leave plenty of breathing room for the subconscious mind to chew on archetypes and tap into underlying energies. Then Hollywood came along to piss on the parade. Bela Lugosi. Christopher Lee. Great actors delivering the goods in iconic roles as Count Dracula, to be sure – but they may as well have been cowboys wearing black hats, because the audience could rest assured that no matter how scary they were, they were gonna get theirs in the end. By default, motion pictures tend to compress characters down to barest essentials, relying on the excuse that audiences need to be entertained by exaggerated mannerisms, that character subtleties are difficult to convey in a short time. But was this softening, this B-movie re-characterization of vampires intentional, meant to lower our defenses?
In the late 19th century…
…vampire stories were recorded, published, and thus popularized. The most famous example being, of course, the novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker, first published in 1897. Here we find a vampire in a slightly revised form, one that carries forward most of gruesome stuff from traditional folklore, but also draws directly from a known historical figure, namely the Wallachian prince Vlad the Impaler. We’re also introduced to the idea of smart humans who can hunt and defeat vampires (Dr. Van Helsing was the man for the job in Dracula.) The vampires of novels became more real, more accessible for the masses. But in so becoming, there was a decided shift from the energetic realm to the material realm.
Way back when…
…tales of vampires were a part of folklore, oral traditions. This was allegory. Vampires, as characters, were present in old-time stories because they represented something. Something evil. Listeners were invited to take heed.
The historical shift in vampire story-telling paints a pretty clear picture: Even though vampires are demons, ghouls … over time, we’re being taught to like them.
This is a creepy message, for sure.
I’ll admit it could be the natural result of shifting cultural preferences. For instance, if you’re penning a novel or script-writing nowadays, you might want your bad guys to be vulnerable and complex and whatnot.
But I’m not buying that line of reasoning. If anything, I’d say that characters in novels have become less complex over time. If you want complex bad guys, go read The Brothers Karamazov (1879). Or heck, sit down with The Tale of Genji (early 11th century).
It may be that vampires are an archetype rather a character type. And as such, they are not a work in progress, subject to the whims of the day.
It may be that us people have lost the reins on our own storytelling. We no longer look to ourselves. Instead we look to corporate machinery. Hypothetical questions: What would happen if you put vampires in charge of our corporate story-telling machinery? What kind of vampire stories do you think they might tell? Do you think they would continue to portray themselves as vicious, soul-less bottom feeders? Or do you think they might try to persuade you to like them?
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If we strip away all the modern character development B.S., there are some seemingly timeless vampire-isms that have stuck around. Maybe they provide some useful clues for us to see the vampire archetype for what it really is. There certainly are a ton of them – and maybe that alone should tell us something…
Lore: Castles, counts, capes, nobility, Transylvania, etc.
Interpretation: Entitled bloodline rulers and elites – particularly those traceable through European nobility – are evil.
Lore: Blood as a vital life force, cannibalism, Satanism, etc.
Interpretation: Literally speaking, there are those among us who ritualistically drink human blood in order to maintain their vitality and connection to dark energies. Symbolically, other fluids can be substituted (At the Last Supper Jesus asked his disciples to drink wine and pretend it was his blood – one of many clues that Christianity is little more than “Satanism Lite.”) On the energetic level, someone’s “life force” can be stolen by a spell-caster, psychopath, narcissist, etc.
Immortality / Un-dead / Coffins
Lore: Vampires are very difficult to kill, immortal for all practical purposes.
Interpretation: Pure Death Cult stuff here, wherein embracing death symbols (skulls, coffins, etc.) opens a portal to immortality. Immortality can mean bloodline immortality rather than a single individual living forever. The difficulty in killing vampires may relate to the real difficulty in stopping their ancestral (noble) bloodlines from continuing. But there is also the notion that it can be done if you know the secret methods/tools.
Lore: Vampires can take other-than-human forms, most famously: bats.
Interpretation: As described above, vampires as characters have certainly shapeshifted over time. But there may be a more literal interpretation: Demons can possess any material object or creature. And powerful demons can jump around at will.
Lore: Known to be repulsive to vampires.
Interpretation: Perhaps the energetic signature of garlic is indeed repulsive to vampires. Or, in the most literal sense, perhaps when someone consumes garlic, it makes their blood taste terrible. If either is true, it seems like this is a great thing to know!
Wooden Stake through the Heart
Lore: One method of killing a vampire.
Interpretation: This sure sounds like a Grounding Ritual. An earth element jabbed straight through an energetic field generator.
Sunlight and the Christian Cross
Lore: Exposure to sunlight can kill a vampire. The sight of a cross is repulsive to a vampire / Touching a cross burns a vampire.
Interpretation: These are tricky ones. Demonic entities actually worship the Sun (Saturn), so they would be empowered rather than weakened by it. So perhaps “sunlight kills” simply refers to exposure, as in “bringing something out into the open, out into the light of day.” Does this mean that exposing a demon publicly for what they really are is a way to potentially kill them? That sure would be nice! I think the cross thing might be a bogey, something that’s meant to give people a false sense of security and protection against dark forces. I say this because Christianity, being a watered-down Sun (“Son”) worshiping cult, would hardly be upsetting to agents of evil. In fact, the cross, as an overt symbol of human sacrifice, would likely be quite pleasing to them.
Lore: Vampires can create (sire) new vampires by sucking some blood from a victim, but not enough blood to kill the victim, and then allowing the victim to feed from them.
Interpretation: Victims of vampires (I’d say that’s all of us, to one extent or another) do not become vampires themselves unless they themselves start to behave like vampires. Makes sense.
Incubus / Succubus
Lore: Vampires can be sexy and seductive. They’ll slip into your bedroom at night and tease you a bit before sinking their teeth in.
Interpretation: There is a strong connection between sexual energy, Magick, and overall host-victim energy exchanges. Sexual desire and lust can be easily manipulated, bent toward the dark side.
Lore: Vampires can’t be seen in mirrors or other reflective surfaces.
Interpretation: This one seems a little odd at first glance – no pun intended. After all, the whole idea of demonic possession is about an entity without form attaching itself to a physical body. And one of the primary characteristics of a physical body is that it can be seen. So perhaps this one is a simple misinterpretation. Saying that vampires do not reflect may simply mean that they have no remorse, no empathy.
Lore: Vampires cannot enter your home unless they are explicitly invited inside.
Interpretation: In most cases, victims must take some responsibility for being victims. Dabblers and bumblers in the Dark Arts, be warned!
Vampires are real. And we’d be wise to look out for them, steer clear whenever possible.
Do vampires have pointy teeth and creep around in dark alleys at night wearing capes? In most cases no. Instead they walk among us as ambassadors of dark energies. On the low end of the spectrum they take form as narcissists and other passive (and potentially unwitting) energy suckers. On the other end of the spectrum they are fully and demonically possessed entities that may appear to be humans, but are most certainly not.
There is real Dark Energy in this world. Ignoring this simple fact does more harm than just allowing it to continue unchecked – it allows It to grow, amassing even more power. It must be recognized and dealt with accordingly.