Real vampires: the diseases that strengthened the myth

Did real vampires exist? In the past, a couple of illnesses caused his patients to be labeled “hell beings.”

Although today they are part of popular culture, vampires were considered sometime like real “hell beings”. This conception, although based entirely on religious notions, gained momentum thanks to the proliferation of two diseases whose symptoms were associated with the general description of “bloodsuckers”. Here we tell you what those diseases were.

Who were the real vampires?

According to historians, the first written references to the existence of vampires were given around the year 1047 in Eastern Europe. However, these were just spiritual figures that could appear in rituals in honor of the dead.

Also read: What is the origin of vampires?

Over time, the concept was transformed and “evil” began to be attributed to human beings. Beyond the various interpretations in folklore, vampires were at some point those who led a life away from society. Also those who were not governed by the religious impulse of the time, who were not baptized either who chose death by suicide. From the popular distortion of the myth, the “real vampires” arose.

Wikimedia Commons

At the time, popular belief indicated that these people they could come back from the dead and become a real risk for the population. For this reason, they desecrated his body and carried out ceremonies in which they took certain traditional measures to “prevent his return”, from drive a stake through the chest or neck of the corpse until cover the body with garlic.

What diseases were related to vampires?

In the mid 1700s, victims of two diseases that hit the European continent they were also marked as vampires thanks to the symptoms they developed.

You are interested in: The story behind the vampires

One of them was the Rage. This viral disease, which is transmitted through bites, caused his patients lost control and develop other signs notably connected to vampire mythology. For example, the inability to drink water or swallow your own saliva (which was compared to the hydrophobia that characterizes fantastic entities) or the irritability to light.

Real vampires: the diseases that strengthened the myth of the vampires "bloodsucker"
CDC, via Wikimedia Commons

Patients with pellagra they also carried the stigma of “bloodsuckers”. The Vitamin B3 deficiency caused sufferers to experience high sensitivity to sunlight and extreme pale skin. In addition, the disease generated dermatitis and dementia problems, so people justified it with issues that obviated the medical.

Fortunately societies have advanced and the threat of vampires revealed by disease has disappeared. Otherwise, those affected by any of the pandemics that have affected and will affect the world’s population would run the risk of being singled out as the carnal representations of the inhabitants of hell.

Keep reading:

Solve mystery of buried “vampires”

The origin of vampires according to National Geographic in Spanish

Horror Legend: Vampires of Celákovice

Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles hit the small screen

Bram Stoker: author of the famous Dracula

Real vampires: the diseases that strengthened the myth – Very Interesting