From Bram Stoker's Dracula to Stephenie Meyer's hugely successful Twilight series of books, writers, artists and film makers have been entranced by the vampiric legend for hundreds of years. In the West, the vampire myth is widely thought to have been based on the life of Vlad the Impaler, a 15th century Wallachian warrior-prince whose devotion to cruelty and killing made the lives of his subjects miserable, bloody and short. However, bloodsuckers of all shapes and sizes feature in many cultures. Vampires explores these diverse myths and legends, their impact upon popular culture and the possible explanations behind such phenomena. The book also investigates the lives of real-life individuals who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of blood, drawing on the vampiric tradition for their inspiration. CONTENTS: 1) The Rise of the Vampire Myth: river demons, house demons, vampire corpses, vampire bats, werewolves2) From Peasant to Nobleman: Dracula, baby vampires, vampire exorcism, vampires and immortality,3) Myths & Legends: The Strix, Strigoi, female demons, Lamia, Lilith, Chupacabra, Psychology & Anthropology4) Vampire Devotees and Serial Killers: Arnold Paole, Mercy Brown, Richard Trenton Chase, Vlad the Imapaler Elizabeth Bathory, Gilles de Rais, Peter Krten, Fritz Haarmann, 5) Vampires of the Imagination: Victorian vampires, Varney the Vampire, Bram Stoker's Dracula, I am Legend, Twilight series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Vampires in popular music

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