A bit of vampire history for your Halloween bash

Seems like prime time for a Hallowed Eve’s bash that’s drip-drop-drippin’ with the gory, the gross, the all-in-bloody-good-fun. Not even the Count himself would have counted on so many — young and old — being so bitten by this O-positive plunge.

This vampire thing goes back, all the way to antiquity. Old blood indeed. The trail begins in ancient Persia, where someone discovered a vase depicting a man struggling with a blood-sucking creature. The Aztecs, too, got in on the sanguineness, convinced that offering a victim’s blood ensured fertilization of the Earth.

In Europe vampires pop up all over the place, with bloodthirsty goddesses in both Greek and Roman myth. During the 11th century, witches and doctors alike prescribed virgin blood to cure all sorts of ills. The bubonic plague was even thought to be the work of vampires. Unfortunately the panic of infestation prompted folks to bury the plagued before checking to make sure they really were dead, so the not-yet-dead had little choice but to claw their way out of graves, emerging scratched and bloody. Which nailed down the notion that vampires rose from the dead.


How vampires rose from myth to modern obsession

Compared with the neck-biting ecstacies of Twilight and True Blood, the vampires of Hollywood’s past are downright chaste. Not a drop of blood was shown in the original Dracula of 1931, and it wasn’t until the Hammer studio films of the 1950s that the screen flowed crimson.

Now two of horror’s top film historians take a look at the cinematic roots of the vampire phenomenom.

In Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration a revision of a 1990 title, author Gregory William Mank explodes many of the myths about the Hungarian-born Lugosi, the screen’s first Dracula.

More here

Top 50 Vampires: The Ultimate Score Sheet

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Fall vampire books provide a bloody good read

If it’s spooky Halloween-time reading you’re looking for, consider this sampling:

— Any of the titles in the series of novels by the five biggest names in “urban fantasy,” as the subgenre is known: Kim Harrison (the “Hollows” series), Jeaniene Frost (“Night Huntress”), Vicki Pettersson (“Signs of the Zodiac”), Christine Feehan (“Carpathian”) and Sherrilyn Kenyon (“Dark Hunter”).

More suggestions here.

Gotta love the vamp news. I certainly do. How many of you are going as a vamp for Halloween? And how many of you are just vegging for the night and watching scary movies? I am doing the latter.