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Permanent Shelf-Life

It freaks us out. Anything out of the norm freaks us out, the degree to which it freaks us depending on just how far outside the norm it takes us. Things that are unnatural, or seem to be, can really put a fright in us, even if it’s something really GOOD. There’s a reason why, in all those Bible stories when an angel shows up, the first thing it says is, “Don’t be afraid.” Even when the angel is delivering “good tidings, of great joy” (as we are coming up on Christmastime it seems appropriate to quote from the Christmas story) the actual seeing of the angel is enough to provoke heart attacks in anyone already plagued by cardiovascular disease. Things unnatural scare us. It’s just instinct, I reckon.

Bodies decompose. That’s natural. That’s why we bury our dead instead of propping them up next to the grandfather clock or storing them in the closet. In ages past, when people would come across a dead body that had NOT decomposed, it freaked ’em out. If the body had been dead a long time–say 350 years–and it hadn’t decomposed, it REALLY freaked ’em out. Like those bodies of saints that have miraculously remained uncorrupted, or the remains of this French noblewoman in Rennes. It’s easy to see how such an occurrence could fuel the belief in the vampire. Today, such a discovery might lead more to scientific curiosity than blind panic, but it still fascinates. And, on some deeper, more primal level, it thrills. Even today, when we all KNOW there’s no such thing as vampires—we wonder…

By TheCheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.

Denn die totden reiten schnell!

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