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The First Vampires?

Well it turns out that the first vampires might not be Dracula or Elizabeth Bathory. And the first vampires might not have acted anything at all like the images we’ve dreamed up vampires to be today. One of the most adamant arguments on this site is that real vampires need to drink blood. And up until today, I would have agreed with you. But then I came across this piece of information about vampires in Eastern Europe in the mid 1600s. These creatures, which are thought in some parts to be the true first vampires, seem to come to be what they are more out of the way they died and such, and that the focus of the stories is that they come back from the dead.

It was during this time that communities throughout Eastern Europe and Greece started seeing some sort of paranormal phenomenon. It wasn’t vampire-like activity per se, but rather things that you would expect from a poltergeist, such as dishes flying, drawings slamming shut, etc. After these happenings, panic broke out among the people.

It’s also important to note that these communities were made up of mostly people from the Eastern Orthodox faith. This is of particular importance because it was this faith that believed strongly in the rituals of death and associated the way a person died and how they were buried, had a lot to do with what happened to their soul once they were gone. The Eastern Orthodox people who were experiencing the terrifying incidences explained their experience as being attacked or seeing something that seemed human yet unnatural and hadn’t decayed. There was also a strong believe attached to the Eastern Orthodox faith that if the soul wasn’t set free properly, the physical body would be unable to decompose. This was to reflect the state their soul was feeling, rather than what was really physically happening. And because of their faith, believed these to be souls that had come back due to a wrongdoing in the death ritual, or a spot on the person’s soul. Those in the same areas however that weren’t of the Eastern Orthodox faith said that the creatures did seem to be decayed to them.

It wasn’t thought that these first vampires came back to drink anyone’s blood. It was common knowledge that they came back to eat and drink but they would feast on either animal or human, whichever they came upon or fancied. These first vampires of the Eastern Orthodox faith were also thought to have a very healthy sexual appetite. If they were married when they had died it was thought that they came back to be with their spouse, or that they would bother strange men and women to sleep with them. And just like our storytelling still goes today, these vampires were also very beautiful and hard to resist.

These vampires weren’t thought to live on generation after generation however. It was widely assumed that once a vampire appeared on the scene in these areas, they would have only a certain amount of time before they were eventually eliminated or just died out.

This particular piece of history surrounding what could have been the first vampires applies only to the Eastern Orthodox people of the is area during this particular time. Like all vampire mythology and vampire history, this is one piece of the puzzle and applies to a specific group of people.

– Kate

draculaeastern orthodox vampireselizabeth bathorythe first vampiresvampire historyvampires in eastern europevampires in greece

kate • January 10, 2010


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  • Briana

    This is terribly written.

    • kate

      Ouch. Thanks for keepin me on my toes but, top right. Seriously.

      • Moonlight

        I don’t think it’s poorly written. I think the person didn’t like the info and took it out on you, laaaame. We share the info, not create it. People need to realize that.

  • Eric

    I think it was well written, and the biting critique comes from someone wearing black clothes, too much make-up, attending would be orgies.. who has only recently realized, vampires, if real wouldn’t be the pretty.. godlike figures Hollywood has conjured to seduce our imaginations recently, they would be brutal.. short lived corpses, shades.. shadows of their selves, this harsh.. irrefutable truth burns the would be, teen/tweenibopping vampire that thinks licking their friends paper cut is risque to the very core of their imagined superego, their world of Vampiric friends even invent things such as reincarnation to justify self proclaimed vampires dieing in the same manner as the Humans they feigned superiority over, in the end.. this only shows individual weakness at a level that would be fatal for any being that had to conceal itself from 7 billion potential foes, all the while minding sunrise and sharp objects near the chest cavity..

    So yeah.. fake vamps, trolls.. whomever, stop craving that ego mass stamp of approval, its an imaginary stamp, and there is no need to lash out at authors whom take an objective approach to the subject of Vampires rather than granting you that oh so needed dose of grimacing, non objective auto approval that you haunt chat rooms and raves for, so regularly.

  • http://www.vampires.com VampyreFerrahJingle

    Well that is mean Eric, i wear black clothes, and over do my eyeliner every day, and love to suck my blood from my cuts(but never my friends, ew, who knows where their hands have been or whatever, no offense friends)nad etc,but I apprecaite this post. Has it occured to you that maybe Briana is actually a prep(opossite of goth) having a sucky day or maybe really is mean or probably thinks she helping in some stupid way.
    Other than that I guess those are good words to say to people who really do deserve that. Still DO NOT ALWAYS ASSUME!!!

    Anyways thanks Kate for posting this, it’s nice to know more vampire history and how vampires might have stepped into our world in a different way maybe.I also think you wrote this nicely, ignore the negative and look at all your positives:D

  • Kitty

    To be honest, the paragraphs were a bit too long for me to read this early in the morning without a cup of coffee, but then again I’m a lazy reader without coffee anyway. That’s the only critique I can come up with for this peice.
    It’s quite interesting, and bloody frightening at the same time. Coss if this is how vampire culture etc. may have started out, just think how the vampire-stuff (Yeah, such technical words) may ‘evolve’ in years to come O.O

    • kate

      Thanks Kitty, I figure that if I find info interesting, other people might too. And thanks to you too, Vampyre Ferrah Jingle! Such nice words!

  • http://raginggail.wordpress.com/ Jim Ryan

    I have to admit to being a little disappointed. When I read the title, I thought the piece would be about the Ekimmu, which were the vampires that plagued the Sumerians some 6,000 years ago. (cf. http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Ekimmu) With many more examples of the undead preceding the 1600s, the title’s a little misleading.

    I’d also recommend that when you post histories and other information articles, it helps to cite sources in the piece. This way, you can share the work of your research with others and demonstrate your authority in a subject. Just a small tip from a frustrated historian… :)

    • Moonlight

      Posting sources isn’t necessary on a blog. We get our information from everything from websites to books. Sometimes I use 3 or 4 books for research and posting each and every book every single time would get a bit tedious.

    • kate

      The title also has a question mark in it because as the post states, in some parts of the world, people believed these vampires to be the first ‘true’ vampires. Not everyone thinks these are the first vampires, and I’m sure that there are others who wouldn’t consider the Ekimmus as the first either.

  • VampiresFTW

    Well, I think this article was very well written. Thanks for the info! I’m trying to piece together where and when vampires came from. This help =D THANKS AGAIN!

  • annimi

    The article was great, Kate. :) (I’m so poetic, check me out!) As for all the argument over the writing, –I’ve never had a problem with it, and I’m a connoisseur, and an expert, as it were, on Kate’s Writing 101.

    • kate

      That’s true enough, Anni lol. Thanks!

  • http://vampires.com helena salvator

    Well written! Lots of info and super interesting!!! I <3 Vampires!!!…and Taylor Lautner! haha :)

    • kate

      Thanks helena! I appreciate it, and am glad that you enjoyed it!

  • Josephina

    I think everything on this site has helped me with my search. Thank you so much for writing all this information.