Why Do We Love Vampires?

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Vampires are the fad that always comes back. They might go out of style in art and literature for a while, but they always come back.

Writers and readers have fallen in love and back in love with vampires again and again. I’m no exception. But why?

After a few literary criticism classes, I’ve learned storytellers and readers have a fascination with what we fear and what we want. The thing is, vampires represent both.

1. What We Fear

  • DeathDying is the only way to become a vampire. For humans, vampires are the only thing to top us on the food chain.
  • TorturePain is an integral part of vampire lore. The pain of being fed on, the pain of the transition, the pain of a vampire’s hunger. It’s terrifying.
  • PowerlessnessVampires are powerless to stop their blood-sucking urges and humans are just as powerless to fight back.
  • LonelinessAs Stephen King said, “Alone is the most awful word in our language and hell is only a synonym.” Vampires are typically isolated to some extent and their aching for companionship is something we see again and again.

2. What We Want

  • ImmortalityWho wants to live forever? Quite a few people, actually. Our fear of dying makes the prospect of immortality a kind of Holy Grail. Who wouldn’t at least consider that offer?
  • PleasureFrom the euphoria for a vampire during feeding to the heightened intensity of sexual experience, vampires can feel pleasure on entirely new levels. It’s all intensified and compounded.
  • PowerVampires may not be able to stop their urges, but good luck keeping them from what they want. Strong enough to move buildings and charismatic enough to charm the pants off just about anyone, vampires are the ultimate apex predator.
  • PassionVampires experience everything IN ALL CAPS. Because of their heightened senses, the world is an exciting place. They do nothing in halves. When they love, it’s all-consuming. When they hate, centuries-long blood feuds ensue.

In short, vampires are just too cool not to be around forever. From a storytelling standpoint, they represent so many wants and fears, even opposites at the same time. I can’t think of any other mythological creature that has this level of duality.

It’s creepy, come to think of it.

Why do you think people love vampires?

3 Comments

  1. This is a great post – and dang you point out some interesting things. Like. This is kinda deep haha.
    I used to be really into vampires (Twilight hat me all heart eyes as a teenager!!) but I find that I have completely moved on from paranormal. It doesn’t really appeal to me if a book has vampires anymore. But I do like other immortal incessantly beautiful beings, like elves. And they won’t threaten to drink my blood haha
    Esther @ Queen of Fantasy recently posted…July Recap Slash Freakout Slash What I am I Doing With My LifeMy Profile

    1. Unless they’re Sarah J. Maas’s elves. 😛

      And yeah, I get deep if I’m allowed to talk for any length of time, LOL

  2. I’d agree with all this! They seem really quite intriguing, and the folklore can be FAB. I am not super into vampires books, but I have read some amazing ones, like Certain Dark Things which was so full of folklore and different species of vampires that it was absolutely awesome. And I do think people are always going to come back to vampire novels because of the dark aspect.😂 We like our books dark and risky!

    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…10 Existential Crises Bookworms Are Having Right Now (And If Not, Time To Schedule In A Breakdown!)My Profile

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