The Evolution of the Vampire – From Monster to Hottie

Our obsession with vampires dates back to ancient times.  Many ancient civilizations like the Assyrians, Babylonians and other orient cultures included the bloodsucker in their mythology.  Although variations of the vampire exist in different cultures, the similarities outweigh them.  The vampire has evolved throughout history from a despicable killer- monster (fueled by mass hysteria and the recordings of a few historians, also fueled by mass hysteria) to the romanticized image of the beautiful and mysterious being that is capable of feeling love (plus he has a healthy bank account).  We have given back a soul to this vile creature.  We have humanized him again, and we have accepted him in our circle.  There is a big gap between Nosferatu, Dracula, and Edward Cullen.  So, how did vampires become hot?  How did we manage to switch from fear, disgust, and repugnancy, to acceptance?  Simply put, by looking in the mirror.

The things that we feared most about a vampire, turned out to be the ones that we desire most.  A vampire represents our aspirations and where we are headed as a society.  Our technological advances are geared to promote a futuristic society that values beauty, power, money, sexuality, and immortality (or at least longevity).  All these are evolved characteristics of the modern vampire.  Think of all the products out there that are dedicated to the attainment of these vampiric qualities.  Pretty much every product or service advertised is designed to target one of those.  So, we have commercialized Dracula, we have made him what we dream of becoming.

On the other side, as we become more spiritually oriented, he has become immune to crucifixes and holy water.   One characteristic remains unchanged – his dissatisfaction, the longing for something he cannot have, the constant pain of the separation from the object of his desire.  And that is the unifying quality that as humans, we share with him, making the vampire redeemable.  Throughout history we have take him from damnation to redemption.  We have saved the vampire, but at what price?  In one way, we have sucked his identity and given him ours.  We have made him human.  We have given him an image in the mirror (our ideal of beauty, power, sex, love, money, life).  Our aspirations as a society have become his reality.  We have become like him, and he has become more like us.  Taking all said into consideration, what’s not to love?