“Everyone knows the phenomenon of trying to hold your breath underwater – how at first it’s alright and you can handle it, and then as it gets closer and closer to the time when you must breathe, how urgent the need becomes, the lust and the hunger to breathe. And then the panic sets in when you begin to think that you won’t be able to breathe – and finally, when you take in air and the anxiety subsides…that’s what it’s like to be a vampire and need blood.”
– Francis Ford Coppola’s journal in “BS Dracula: The Film and the Legend”
If you haven’t guessed it already, today’s post is about blood. Blood is something almost all vampire species have in common, the drinking of it that is. Blood has always been thought to hold supernatural powers, seeing as it’s the keeper of life. Some believed that to drink blood of animals or people would cause one to gain that animal/person’s strengths. To lose blood is to lose vigor, essence and strength… and life. But to receive it through transfusions or drinking brings power, healing and immortality – or so they once believed (some still do but that‘s a whole other topic). So it makes sense that vampires main food source is blood – it’s life.
A vampire’s need for blood has been shown in damn near every myth and every work of fiction. Like in Dracula, Count Dracula starts out as a weak old man but as the story goes on he becomes younger and younger, all due to the blood of the living. In some books vamps don’t need to drink blood everyday, the older and stronger ones only need to feed occasionally or not at all, like in Anne Rice’s novels. In other books if a vampire doesn’t drink blood they become a disgusting immobile mummy-like husk. You also have vamps that don’t just feed on blood alone, but other bodily fluids as well (the Pishtaco).
But how does blood make a vampire function? How do they get power from it? How much must they drink and for how long? How does blood convert to power for a vampire? And on and on and on… a million questions, none of which I can answer. Many have tried to but have failed, I mean, there are countless theories, but they are just that, a theory. The thought is that vampires are a bridge between the physical and spiritual world, life and death and immortality; they can’t be clearly explained and put into a nice neat box. What we do know is that nearly every vampire needs blood to survive, that is one universal idea.