The whole concept of vampires didn’t start with Count Dracula. In fact, they have been around for several years. But were bats the inspiration for vampires?
Bats did not inspire vampires. The earliest vampire stories started in Europe by the 12th century. While bloodsucking bats were only discovered in the 16th century and were only seen in Latin America.
What is a Vampire?
Vampires are known to be mythological creatures that roam at night in search of blood. They are quite the classical of all monsters. These creatures are easily identified through their sharp fangs and supposed pale skin.
They hunt for their victims at night since the sunlight weakens them. According to folklore, they have super strength and the ability to hypnotize their victims. (Source: History)
How Did Bats Get Into The Picture?
In the 16th century, Spanish explorers discovered a species of bats in South America that were literally drinking blood from their prey. The explorers gave these bats the name vampire, which literally translates to blood drunk. (Source: Delta Pest Control Service)
What Diseases Are Linked to Vampirism?
One thing is for sure; vampires are not real. They were mere stories made up during the Middle Ages at the height of the plague.
Victims of the plague would often have bleeding mouths due to lesions. Those who were not informed of this symptom would often think that it was a sign of vampirism. Back then, anyone who had an unfamiliar illness was labeled as a vampire.
Another illness often associated with vampirism is porphyria. This blood disorder causes blistering on the skin whenever exposed to sunlight. It is said that this disease was linked to vampire legends. (Source: History)
Who is the Most Famous Vampire?
Without a doubt, Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula is the most well-known character of all. While there is a dispute on the subject, other accounts say that Stoker based his character off a real person?
The Romanian Prince, Vlad Tepes, inspired the creation of Dracula. While he was characterized as a vampire, Romanians saw him as a national hero who defended their nation against the Ottoman Turks.
Vlad was also known as Vlad the Impaler. He got this name from the way he would kill his victims. Brutal as it seems, he would impale them on a wooden stake.
He was considered a vampire because, according to stories, he would enjoy eating while watching his victims. He would also dip bread in their blood.
Stoker used this as an inspiration to create the famous Count Dracula. He would suck his victim’s blood and could only be killed by driving a wooden stake through his heart. (Source: History)
Are Vampires Real?
Modern science has already put the belief in vampires to bed. However, some people identify as vampires. But this doesn’t mean that they were born with fangs, have no reflection, and can transform into bats.
There are communities of self-identified vampires. They merely follow rituals and modify their looks to get into character. One of the rituals they do follow is feeding on human blood. But unlike the gruesome stories, they arrange their drinking through willing donors in private. (Source: History)