Infolklore, the idea of the vampires has existed for years. They havebecome one of the most famous characters in modern culture. Whetherreal or not, these monsters or supernatural beings from movies, TV,and book culture, are classified as horror genre. They are mainlyproduced with the intention of invoking fear in its audience. Theblood sucking creatures first appeared in the 18th-century poetrywith the publication of The Vampyre (1819) written by John WilliamPolidori. The vampire literary representation has evolved with time,causing less monstrosity and religious connotations. Throughout theyears, the vampire continues to grow and change dynamically and thusone can assume that it will still be there for years to come. Thehistorically feared creatures have become something the public seekout for entertainment purposes. The audience is attracted to thevampire`s ability to mirror human darker side, and at the same timecause fear and thrill to the readers. This paper will explore whypeople are obsessed with the vampire and its representations.
Hollywoodwelcomed the idea of vampires cordially and turned it into filmstars. In the beginning, the vampire was commonly given a picture ofthe villain, a force of pure evil. However, with time, the audiencetends to be bored with tales of pure evil and started craving forbreathtaking new stories with more profundity. Consequently, themodern era vampire characterized with human moral qualities tangledwith evil urges. In fact, the new vampire is more like human and hasa softer side compared to the old one. An example from recentcultural history is : Encounters with the Undead (2006) byDavid J. Skal.
Whypeople are obsessed with vampires
are not a new phenomenon that the public has become obsessed with.The first reason people have become obsessed with it is because thesociety is infatuated with the unknown and the mortality fear. Theaudience is obsessed with the heightened fear and uncertainty thatwill happen in the next plot. Subsequently, the audience is relievedat the end when the illusion ends. For instance, a tragic story makespeople have this uncontrollable urge to watch it and makes mostpeople gravitate towards it. Since the vampire is a former humanbeing who unwillingly turned into vampires, forced to roam the nightand inflict pain on other human beings, the audience wishes for thevampire to have a soul and heart to other human beings. Thisexcitement that the audience experience through this horror fictionbreaks the boredom and the routine of normalcy. As a result of thisparticular response created by this type of horror and the level ofaddiction to the psychological response, the vampire continues toremain popular (Laycock 51).
Laycockfurther states that gaining immortality has become an abidingaspiration for all human beings. This idea of immortality and eternalyouth is highly compelling to the youths who feel that they neverwant to age or leave the adolescence stage. The vampire is immortal,and thus, this topic evokes the imaginations and dreams of many. Inthe vampire culture, a changed human never grow old and remains thesame age for the rest of their existence. Thus, the main reason theybecome highly fascinated by them (Laycock 51).
Vampireemergence and popularity in American popular culture has turned intoan obsession for young people in today`s society with the mediahighly capitalizing its popularity. The obsession is deeply rooted inthe values of the society such as beauty, wealth, and power. In herarticle, Belrose states that it is clear how the youth have beenpreoccupied with the emotion, mystery, romance and beauty associatedwith vampire culture (Belrose). are pure evil creatures thatare indifferent, repulsive and unwanted. They have supernatural powerand are usually intelligent. The new vampire also signifies amisunderstood troubled soul who fights hard to harm others. are monsters which normally start out as humans. Nonetheless, theyoften fall victim to an already existing vampire, and, as a result,they transform themselves into vampires. They are portrayed asloners, sleep in the coffin, drink blood and live forever. In herarticle Neary argues that despite the fact that these things mayappear strange, relatively many people find it exciting and cool. Itoffers horror escapism from the real-life excitement and fantasy.Many people identify with the loneliness and alienation faced by thevampire. Indeed, they become obsessed with the vampire because itrepresents freedom from the control of society regarding sexualityand morality the outcast from humanity. In the end, the audience ofhorror experiences relief and this may serve as a lesson on how tosurvive despite the struggles to conform in the society (Neary).
Thirdly,Vampirism is a natural item of fascination. The vampire holds anattraction to those people who feel powerless, marginalized andstruggle with unwanted feelings. These people identify with thevampirism and wish they possess those supernatural powers to revengeand cause pain to the society. Thus, the vampire portrays an innerstruggle in different forms. The vampire has been welcomed into thepopular culture and made a modern day protagonist who is oftenplagued with conflict, distress and despondency (Mellins, Maria, andSoulStealer 63).
Itis undeniable that the vampire phantasmagoria has become popularespecially among Gen-Xers and younger. The young people have becomeobsessed with the vampire as a result of the transformation. TheAmerican culture influence has assisted in transforming vampires froma solitary disorganized killer into highly organized and complexpredators that taken over the current vampire media. The love forvampires has evolved over the years to suit different societycultures and different times. For instance, in some societies,vampires are seen as romantic heroes. It’s argued that vampireshave evolved from monsters to more human like with feelings andability to love and to be loved. are loners, and in theirquest to be accepted in the society they have demonstrated theirsupernatural powers of fascinating love stories where they alwaysemerge heroes. They exercise their intense emotions, passion and alsothey are prone to extreme suffering more like humans (Waltje 96).
Anotherreason people are obsessed with vampires is that it is arepresentation of what the modern society is afraid of death,danger, power and sexual desires. The contemporary society isconsistently possessed with vampires because it touches on the publicconsciousness. The vampires represent the ever-changing public eyebecause of their nature. According to Belrose, the development ofvampires represents the constantly changing attitudes of humanbeings, fears and behaviors (Belrose).
Finally,vampires have become a national obsession today because they are arepresentation of a metaphor in real life. According to Waltje,psychologically they signify powerful conflicts. In his book, Waltjeasserts that the return of the repressed, such as loved ones, cancause conflicts centered on hate, guilt, love and denial of death. Onthe other hand, the vampire is a parasitic being that depends onhuman beings for their nourishment, yet, kills them. Could they be ametaphor to symbolize how human beings are drinking each other dry?Perhaps, this developing allegory clearly shows that something is notright and that there exist moral conflicts in the world. Furthermore,in the contemporary world, the vampire is used as a convincingmetaphor for various topics such as general selfishness, narcissism,homosexuality, drug addiction, and AIDS (Waltje 96).
Inconclusion, obsession can be a mental disorder that can dominatehumans, steal their will and drains all the pleasure out of life.Consequently, people become numb, and the mind keeps replaying thesame images. We are still waffled between the love people have forvampires and alluring metaphors of life and death of thisbloodthirsty monsters. are so fascinating for many reasonsthat humans have become obsessed. According to psychology assessment,humans always view them as minimalists. They do not rely on gadgetslike guns, super powerful cars, and paraphernalia for their power.They do not need bulletproof gear and will never run out of bulletsor gas. It is so fascinating that humans feel it like a safe cocoonaround a vampire.
Arguably,the vampires continue to be popular therefore, the traditionallyfeared creatures have become something the public seek out. Theirability to endure all disasters is just beyond human evolution.Although it may be hard to predict the future, with the continuedgrowth and change one can assume that it will still be there foryears to come.
Belrose,Gracejune. " in Popular Culture." TeenInk.N.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2016. .
Laycock,Joseph. Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism.Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2009. Internet resource.
Mellins,Maria, and SoulStealer. VampireCulture.London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. Internet resource.
Neary,Lynn. "The Modern Vampire: Bloodthirsty, But Chivalrous." NPR.20 Nov. 2008. Web. 4 March 2016.
Waltje,Jörg. BloodObsession: , Serial Murder, and the Popular Imagination.New York: Lang, 2005. Print.