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Vampires are mythological creatures who subsist by feeding on the blood or other forms of life essence of living beings. While vampiric entities have been documented through ancient folklores since as early as the Mesopotamian era, the term “vampire” became wildly popular in the early 18th century, especially following the publication of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, leading to isolated incidents of mass panic and mob trials of those accused of vampirism across Europe.
The earliest known appearance of the word “vampire” in English language can be found in a 1734 travelogue titled “Travels of Three English Gentleme” published in the Harleian Miscellany in 1745. While myths and folklores describing vampire-like monsters have been recorded by numerous ancient civilizations, including the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks and Romans, the quintessential archetype of charismatic and intelligent vampire was largely developed through the teachings of the Christian Church and early works of vampire literature, most notably John Polidori’s 1819 novella The Vampyre and Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, during the 18th century in Europe, particularly in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Since the book Dracula was written by Bram Stoker, the popularity of this myth has exploded, leading to many adaptations in film, and many other vampire legends in movies such as Son of Dracula and games, such as in Castlevania.
- Lord Ruthven, The Vampyre (1819)
- Vamey, Varney the Vampire (1847)
- Count Dracula, Dracula (1897)
- Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922)
- Edward Cullen, Twilight (2008)
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