Vampirismis a much-related myth to the issue of corpses and beliefs thatoriginated from western cultures. An in-depth research conducted tounveil the origin of the myth from the western cultures revealed thatmost of the stories were as a result of the death and decompositionof human bodies. In a culture where many people did bury theirdeparted ones shallowly or never buried them at all watched theirbodies as they decomposed. Rituals and religions made people grieveby accepting that the relatives had left, and this was done byallowing their bodies to be viewed for an extended period beforebeing buried, which is a healthier method. In the process of seeingthe bodies, they decomposed and according to the conditions ofkeeping the body they decayed differently. During the decompositionperiod, the living would assume that the evil spirits had taken overthe body since they knew little about science, and they believed indemons and other similar spirits.
Withall these misunderstandings between beliefs and science, vampiremyths came to life. Living people would then live with an extremefear of the vampires due to events that unfolded after a bodydecomposed. When a body decomposes under pressure or heat, gasses inthe body will expand and start swelling it. The blood will startoozing out of the mouth and other parts such as the nose such thatthe body will seem to have been feeding on blood. Therefore, due togasses, the swelled body will look healthier than when it is buried.The gasses that moved out of the mouth would make some noises, andthus, the body looked like it was living. Many questions will thenarise, and thus, the myth that a corpse turns into a vampire.
Inthe past, many stories were told. The tale of the famous Arnold Paoleis one of them. The latter had reported being persecuted by a vampirefew months before his death. Months after he died and was buried,other villages from where he lived also stated that the late Arnoldwas persecuting them. All of the villagers from where he lived whohad reported the incident died. The investigators then decided to digwhere Arnold was buried. They uncovered a body full of fresh bloodthat was oozing from the mouth and other openings. His nails had alsogrown much from when he was buried. With little or no scienceknowledge, they concluded that Arnold was a vampire and had hiscorpse mutilated together with those who died claiming to bepersecuted him.
Apartfrom buried human remains and other dead bodies’ myths, animals arealso connected to the line of vampirism due to strangecharacteristics such as hunting at night and feeding on human bodiesand blood. Wolves, bats, and owls are some of the animals that arestrongly connected to the vampirism myths in the Western cultureseven though they are part of the European folklore. The most commonand well-known creature is the vampire bat. It feeds on blood andusually hunts at night. Although they are always in southern Americain Argentina and Chile, they are well known to live in caves and onlyappear at night.
However,the bats are not a myth since they have been proven scientifically tofeed on blood, a behavior that is known as hematophagy. They areknown to have adaptations such as thermoreceptors on their noses tolocate warm-blooded animals. Their saliva also contains a substanceknown as draculin, which is an anticoagulant, and thus, stops thevictim’s blood from clotting so that it continues drinking theblood. Apart from the bats that have been known to feed on blood,hyenas can also be categorized as vampires since they feed on humanflesh.
Inconclusion, vampirism is a myth that has developed over the years dueto religious beliefs and a firm faith in evil spirits. The lack ofscientific knowledge in the past years has led to the development ofvampire stories. Animal vampires such as bats and hyenas are the onlyknown creatures to be in existence.