Friday, June 22, 2012

Vampires Along the Silk Road ... and Beyond

Did you know that vampire mythology has been around for more than five thousand years? Neither did I, until I had to do some research into the subject. I hadn't had a whole lot of interest in the blood suckers (or, more correctly, life suckers) since I was about nine or so and I ran home every day to watch Dark Shadows. But then my friend Jacquie Rogers and I decided to give a series of workshops about the myths of well-known fantasy creatures and how they differed depending on where in the world they were. First we looked at faeries and dragons, and then, much to our surprise, there was ... Edward. (Okay, not Edward. Lestat? Barnabas? There are many others. You get my drift.)

I learned a lot. I didn't realize that they were blood suckers and blood drinkers, life suckers or essence drinkers, some alive, some not, the deceased possibly becoming the blood-thirsty creatures of the night because of improper burial procedures. And there were psychic vampires! Who would have thought? And even succubi could even be referred to as vampires, apparently.

And yes, those myths have been found pretty much all over the world, from ancient Mesopotamia and ye old Mexico all the way to Malaysia and Morocco. (But not Japan; the only thing I found about Japan was that they took their vampire myths from the West, not even a borrowing from China, with their myths of the hopping vampire. Odd.) And we had to check them out, too, for our workshop. I think Jacquie had nightmares after all this research. I know I did.

Anyway, we're doing a workshop for starting this Monday. We're both sort of weirded out about the topic, but it was all fascinating. Yikes.

Eilis Flynn


  1. Great post Ellis. I'll have to check out Savvy Authors!

  2. Everytime I think we've done enough research, something more comes up that we have to add into the lesson plan!

  3. Wow, it sounds like there's a lot to learn about vampires. Very interesting.