This one is for all of my beloved little history geeks out there, you asked for more history and folklore and I aim to please (…you now owe me Starbucks and cigars). As the title says, the topic of today’s post is demons, but instead of discussing blood-lovin’ demons I’ll be taking a different approach by looking at the history of demons and vampire and the connection the two share.
Demons are best known as evil entities who roam the earth and various realms, looking to cause misfortune, the fall of humanity and the spread of mass chaos. You can find demons in damn near every ancient civilization or religion, including those of Buddhism, Hinduism, Greece, Rome and Judaism. One of the most highly developed systems of demonic belief was found among the Assyrians and Babylonians of Mesopotamia, which is where the main links between vampire and demons came from. Much of Christian and Judaic demonology came from this ancient tradition.
You see, vampires were ranked with demons as the foremost agents of sin, a philosophy that became official Church doctrine in the Middle Ages. Witchcraft, devil worship, werewolves, vampires and demonology were grouped together as evils to be eradicated by mankind.
Many theologians, particularly those is the Greek Church, believed that demons created vampires by entering and animating corpses. Just as women and men were tortured and burned for being witches or werewolves, so were corpses exhumed, examined and then also set on fire in an effort to rid the body of the infesting fiend. Demons (or evil spirits) turning bodies into vampires is also a common theme in Malaysian tradition as well.
Overall, the distinction between vampires and demons is incredibly blurred. Vampires are known for drinking blood, simple right? Well there are loads of demons that also drink blood, so where do you draw the line?