Vampires: Dead, Undead, or Something Else

Nothing says Halloween like people running around dressed as Dracula proclaiming “I vant to suck your blood.”

I don’t think that’s the image Bram had in mind when he wrote Dracula but it’s become the vampire caricature we are most familiar with. Especially at Halloween.

In most myths, legends and even in plenty of today’s popular fiction, vampires are described as either dead or undead, sometimes referred to as walking corpses. No heartbeat, no need to breathe, no need to eat food or drink anything other than blood.

Honestly all that doesn’t make a whole helluva lot of sense to me.

For me vampires are different and extraordinary creatures- not dead at all. Just different.

I can understand them being described as dead in the early incarnations. 

Because before the Gothic literature of the 1800s romanticized vampires, early myths and legends portrayed them as monsters- grotesque walking corpses. More like today’s zombies than the sexy, romantic and sometimes sparkling vampires that we often envision them to be.

I see being changed into as vampire as a transformation, not necessarily a true death, though in a way it is, but not like what it is often described as. I see it as a catalyst that transforms a person from human to Other. Changing from human to vampire can be a death of human life and rebirth as a vampire, but not a true death.

I can’t wrap my head around the concept of a vampire being dead because of several things.

One they need to feed to “survive”. If you need to survive then obviously you’re not really dead, are you? 

Another thing- rapid healing abilities. If you can change and heal, how can you be dead?

Dead things don’t heal. Zombies don’t heal. 

Other things I don’t agree with are the cold skin, lack of heartbeat and lack of breathing. I think vampires are evolved and don’t need to breath as often as humans and their hearts don’t beat like ours- and the slowness of their heartbeat and breaths has something to do with the whole immortality thing.

And the cold skin… when they get cold that just means they need to feed, if they are fully fed their skin is just as warm as ours.

That brings me to the need for blood. As I mentioned I see vampirism as a transformation, kinda like a disease that changes the body. It changes the metabolism and the higher functions of the body but to keep these processes going the body burns up its blood supply and constantly needs to be replenished.

The other powers of vampires- the glamour and mind control and all that, even the teleportation and shape shifting that some can do…well that goes into the magic slot.

I think vampirism is one part disease two parts magic.

In many of my stories the vampires defy the normal vampire conventions. They eat, they walk in daylight, they have heartbeats, and they breathe (usually). I try not to describe them as dead or undead and I don’t often stick them in coffins or in the ground.

In my Vehicle City Vampires Series, the vampires are all a little different from each other.

Some have issues with sunlight, some do not, some have silver sensitivities some do not. 

This is because there are many species of Others (fae, demon, shifter, witch, etc) that have interbred with humans over the centuries. When a human is turned into a vampire the dormant powers inside them become active. Most humans will never know they have “Other” blood inside them until the catalyst of becoming a vampire brings that dormant power to the surface. In addition vampires also gain some of their abilities and powers from the vampire that made them, their sire. The result is a species of vampires that have a wide variety of powers and abilities. Which is why they are so hard to track, kill or fight- you never know what you’re going up against when you deal with a vamp.

Books in the VCV Series

Book 2 Coming soon

A 100% human with no “Other” blood inside will not survive the change into a vampire.

In the Vehicle City Vampire series I wanted to take all the myths, legends and variances of vampire abilities, mix them all up and create an explanation as to why vampires are so different. 

I hope that readers will enjoy my take on vampirism.

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