But today, I want to get to the heart of
Why I Love Vampires
I’ve discussed this in plenty of interviews in the past, and the answers, the quick ones at least, are that they’re enrapturing, sexy, scary, and they can be stand-ins for one’s depression, grief, otherness, addiction…etc. The list goes on.
A longer answer, one I’m glad to muse on, is simply that they speak to me. I’m pulled to them, for all the things they can represent in the writer’s work. And there’s so many things one can do with them. I, personally, go the foreboding, darkly haunted vampire, a la Anne Rice’s Louis apparently. (This is what people tell me, I’ve yet to read her work but I’ve watched the film version of Interview with the Vampire ad nauseam.) I’m not averse to the hard-hitting monsters, they can be as well, which I think I’ve shown with my recent short story collection, Easy Prey (see left).
They enrapture me, and I find their need for blood (as that’s what I choose to focus on for my vampires. I am well aware there are kinds of ‘needs’ that drive vampires as passed through the centuries. Those are never the vampires I mention when I say the word ‘vampire.’ Mine always want blood) compelling.
It’s in their suaveness, their depiction across books and film, their brutality, their innocence, their need, their resistance. The sheer dichotomy of what makes a vampire, for lack of a better word, tick, is what will always fascinate me. And I love seeing how different authors and directors and game developers create their own takes on these fascinating monsters.
The Catharsis the Vampire Provides
Believe it or not, I feel there’s a lot we can learn from ourselves by partaking in any media that uses vampires to portray deeper stories.
Horror movies are known to show us what we’re scared of in order to confront them in safer ways (source). We cry during sad movies, pine during romance movies, laugh at comedy, and hide while watching horror.
It’s then, with the vampire’s nature to enthrall while simultaneously causing fright, that we can safely process our feelings of fear about the unknown that they represent. That is death, addiction, greed, and the fear of coming back to life after death/being changed. Especially now, however, vampires are a common way to deal with expressing one’s sexuality (source).
It’s no wonder then, that with the particular catharsis these often enigmatic, immortal beings provide for we humans, that there quite a few people who take to them in more than just a passive, watching-a-movie-way.
These people create their entire identity around vampires: They talk about them endlessly and will cosplay as their favorite vampire when the mood strikes. This is no slight. Everyone has something they cling to in order to manage their life in a way that’s better for them. That vampires can be that outlet for them is remarkable and speaks to the vampire’s popularity as a monster and an option of fans’ catharsis.
A Tentative Conclusion
With such dedication to the monster, it’s clear vampires, centuries-old as they are, will continue to enrapture fans, and partially annoy others, for centuries more to come (pending climate change).
They will forever remain my personal monster of favor, as their ability to live forever (in some stories) is something I covet in my darkest wishes. But alas, one can not reach immortality through a bite or transference of blood (or if they can, they’re keeping the secret magnificently). It’s why, for now, I will continue to write about them in the hopes that, perhaps, I will escape my mortality by living on in the written word.