Vampire – Who Said That?!
This one is largely of interest to the hardcore vampire buffs and the scholars. Casual fans probably won’t care, but it’s a part of the job for me to educate as well as entertain. To “enlighten.” Everyone take a seat, then, for today’s lesson. (The first lesson of the day that doesn’t have anything directly to do with Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, that is.) We are discussing when the word “vampire” first appeared in the English language. Researcher Anthony Hogg, a practicing “Vampirologist,” has managed to trace the use of the term back to the newspaper THE LONDON JOURNAL published in March of 1732. (The word appears in its alternate form, “vampyre.”) The report stated that “certain Dead Bodies (called here Vampyres) had killed several persons by sucking out all their Blood” in certain provinces in Eastern Europe.
Turns out the WHITEHALL EVENING POST may have beaten the JOURNAL to the punch. Or, more appropriately, to the bite. By TWO whole days! This hasn’t yet been officially verified, so we’ll have to wait for confirmation, but the piece in the POST is taken from a manuscript dubbed MS.2801, written by an unnamed author who reported on “Strange events, accidents and phenomena.” Thus, while we can trace the introduction of the word into English (in print) to a pretty specific point in time—within two days of it—we can’t at this time offer concrete credit to its originator.
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!