What IS a Vampire?

Interview with the Vampire. Anne Rice, I love you.

This day and age we seem to constantly be fed (no pun intended) the supposedly glamorous lifestyle of vampires. From Dracula, to Twilight, to Lesbian Killer Vampires (not kidding), we seem to suddenly be re-obsessed with these creatures of the night. What is it about them? Is it their sex appeal? Their darkness? Their power? Their ever lasting life? Or hell, maybe you’re just team werewolf all the way.

I’m mainly just amazed how these blood-sucking creatures have shaped in the media. They went from…

This:

To this:

So, how did the vampire go from a truly terrifying, blood-sucking, monster…to a teen heart throb with no fangs? I believe the “romanticized” version of the vampire first began to appear around Dracula’s film era. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula is depicted holding Helen Chandler’s character in a loose grip, staring hungrily down at her neck. While it is more deadly than the typical teenage vampire now, the sight is still seen as somewhat erotic.

The vampire’s victorian, classical beauty that is well known today seems to have come from Anne Rice’s vampires. They are depicted as pale, beautiful creatures of the night. They are incredibly tempting, yet…still dangerous. Anne Rice’s vampires are still violent and brutal, but at the same time they still show bits of emotion. An example would be Louis’ reluctance to drink human blood and Claudia’s strong desire to age like a normal woman.

From there the vampire culture seemed to split into three directions.

One path was the punk, gothic vampires. They’re depicted as sexual deviants with pale skin and black hair who drink human blood in the comforting darkness of some metal-blazing bondage club. This seems to be the main, popular depiction when it comes to the underground vampire scene.

The other, more popular, path are the romantic vampires. They’re depicted with pale skin, and are the definition of perfection. They yearn for one love and will do basically anything for them; even if it means making some ultimate sacrifice.

Now, my personal favorite, is the strictly modern vampire. You see them mainly on True Blood, coming in all shapes and sizes. Some are fat, skinny, pretty, ugly. They’re seducing, yet very dangerous. And, all the while, they have  a human side to them. They’re like Anne Rice’s vampires…vamped (no pun) up a bit.

So I ask you, what do you consider to be a true vampire?