Vampires are all around us. Well, maybe not the real thing, but vampire TV shows, movies, and novels are all the rage. It seems like we all know someone who is fascinated by the prospect of a group of undead people with more class than zombies and an unquenchable thirst for human blood. So, do you believe in vampires?
As strange as it sounds, a YouGov poll conducted in October, 2019 demonstrates that 13% of U.S. adults believe vampires are probably or definitely real. Even more fascinating is that 46% believe in a whole host of supernatural beings including ghosts, demons, and the like.
The difference with vampires is that modern culture seems to go out of its way to give them their own special place in the supernatural world. Demons are pretty generic. So are ghosts. Vampires are as unique as the authors and screenwriters make them.
From Films to T-Shirts
The vampire legend as we know it dates back to 18th-century Eastern Europe. However, the basic concept of vampirism is much older. History records stories of supernatural beings drinking human blood and eating human flesh as far back as the Persian Empire. There doesn’t seem to be a single event in world history we can point to as the starting point.
In 2020, much of our fascination with vampires could be the result of Hollywood. Films and TV shows have glamorized vampirism since the silent films of the 1920s and 30s. Decades of filmmaking and TV have created a whole market of vampire T-shirts, coffee mugs, and even children’s toys.
Visit the Five Dollar T-Shirts website and you will find no shortage of vampire items. Go to your local Walmart beginning in early September and you will see all sorts of vampire toys, costumes, and decorations for Halloween. Even the children’s television show, Sesame Street, has a lovable vampire named The Count.
Mystery and Horror Combined
Our fascination with the vampire legend is inexplicable on the one hand, but completely understandable on the other. For some people it is all about the mystery. There is a certain fascination with the idea of being undead for eternity. After having passed from this life to the next, the vampire gets to live eternally in a unique and private world he/she alone controls.
We cannot escape the fact that human beings have a certain affinity for horror as well. We know the word itself implies things that make us uncomfortable. But for some strange reason, there are many people who actually enjoy the discomfort of being frightened. That is why horror films are so popular.
Finally, is the possibility that human beings are innately aware of the supernatural. Even among those who refuse to acknowledge the supernatural realm is a confirmation in the human spirit that it does exist. Believing in vampires is a license to acknowledge the supernatural without delving into religion or spiritualism.
Vampirism Invades Pop Culture
If one needs any proof that the legend of the vampire is alive and well in 2020, he or she need look no further than pop culture. You can buy a vampire T-shirts and coffee mugs; you can turn on cable television and watch all sorts of movies and TV shows dedicated to the vampire concept.
Vampirism has become so mainstream that we apply it to other things as well. We talk about our bosses sucking the lifeblood out of us at work. We talk about vampire people or animals that prey on the weak. In the end, most of us accept vampirism in concept, even if we do not believe the creatures actually exist.