The Real Vampire Essay

“The Real Vampire” by Paul Barber brightly illustrates the fright that eighteenth century Europeans related to lamias. In every faith. we talk about the psyche and go throughing onto another being because decease will ever be a great enigma. While the modern-age lamia has become glorified through the plants of Bram Stoker’s _Dracula_ . Universal’s Bela Lugosi’s portraiture on the large screen. or Stephanie Meyer’s worldwide phenomenon _The Twilight Saga_ . there is ever a history as to where the narrative came from. Barber goes onto describe what a typical Slavic lamia would look like and he’s non the graceful squire that we associate lamias with. Rather. he would look like a scruffy-looking drifter. Accusing people of being lamias can be seen as both a manner of let go ofing social tenseness. or harmful in the manner that they brought intuition on those who were socially marginalized. This essay is traveling to dig into both point of positions in order to acquire a more holistic one.

Europeans in the eighteenth century had to account for deceases due to contagious disease because there were no theories of catching diseases. Plagues and other contagious diseases were non understood because people didn’t comprehend that unwellness and decease were related to bugs and other bacteriums. There was no manner to grok that decease can take people rapidly so lamias gave them a rational account to get by with sudden deceases. Forensic pathology was non officially recognized until 1959 so there wasn’t a method to account for causes of flakey tegument. bloated cadavers with fresh blood. or nails falling away because this was a natural procedure that break uping organic structures go through.

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It besides helped to explicate incubuss and dreams about dead people. The separation theory of the organic structure go forthing the psyche while you sleep. gives some reason that vampires attacked their victims while they were kiping. Some civilizations thought that because of this. it was unadvised to rouse person all of a sudden because while they may be woolgathering. their psyche may non hold a opportunity to return before he wakes up. ensuing in a possible decease. Peoples ever want some comfort in deriving a farther apprehension of the unknown ; but. there can besides be harmful effects that can take to the development of the socially marginalized.

Alcoholics. cocottes. barmaids. and those who had commit self-destruction. were all considered to be societal castawaies. Peoples were besides looking for placing Markss such as babes being born with dentitions. cleft lips. holding a hair or tail-like extension on the spinal column. or an amnionic membrane. These birth defects were a ruddy flag for a possible lamia and these people were falsely accused of being lamias. These people were frequently looked upon with intuition and may hold been: killed. chased out of the small town. treated as inferiors. or had troubles deriving employment. These castawaies were non merely blamed when bad lucks occurred. but one time they were deceased. their Gravess ( and more frequently than non. organic structures ) were desecrated. This is rather dry because the people that were conveying upon the intuition of vampirism were partaking in Acts of the Apostless that a fabulous lamia besides might hold.

Barber ends the essay discoursing the AIDS epidemic and how 30 old ages subsequently. there is non much known on a remedy. It has caused a great trade of fright. terror. and has an associated stigma attached to it ; but. we are non traveling interest people through the bosom for undertaking this virus. We have made great paces in medical specialty and developed an extended apprehension of how the human organic structure works. Today. we understand and can explicate what eighteenth century Europeans were so incapable of. It is in this that we now have a better anthropological position of lamias.


Barber. Paul ( 2010 ) . The existent lamia. In Moro. Pamela A. & A ; Myers. James E. ( Ed. ) . _Magic. _

_witchcraft. and faith: A reader in the anthropology of religion_ ( pp. 332-337 ) . New

York. New york: McGraw-Hill Companies. Inc.


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