What is a Vampire?
Let us begin with the dictionary definition:
“Vampire: noun (vam·pire)
1: the reanimated body of a dead person believed to come from the grave at night and suck the blood of persons asleep
2a : one who lives by preying on others
b : a woman who exploits and ruins her lover”
Really, Mr. Webster? That definition 2b is a little outdated, isn’t it? But we’ll focus on the first definition. It’s basic but it’s limiting, too. What about energy vampires? Would they fit under the definition of 2a? What about Charlie Manx, the villain of the new series NOS4A2? Is he a vampire? He doesn’t drink blood. But he syphons the life force from children in order to keep himself young. I’d say that sure qualifies. And given the title of the show, and of the novel that inspired it, I’d say author Joe Hill agrees.
Are humans who drink blood vampires, then? Only if they’re women, apparently! Seriously, though, I’d have to say no, because I don’t believe human blood-drinkers, or sanguivores, aka sanguinarians, have to drink blood to survive. Even those who claim to require it to maintain their health—and I have no reason not to believe them—will readily admit that they use it as a supplement. It does not comprise their only means of sustenance.
Also note, by the first definition provided, that if a vampire were to only attack people during the day, it would not qualify as a vampire! It says plainly that it will “suck the blood of persons asleep.” If it sucks the blood of a victim while the victim is awake, it’s not a vampire!
Methinks Mr. Webster was a little lazy with this one.
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!