What image flashes through the mind of the human being when he/she hears the word ' vampire '? A tall, pale, night creature with two long fangs, neither living, nor dead, with a taste for human blood, perhaps? And what if we hear the name 'Count Dracula'? The image inevitably gets more concrete; we can see Him - the lord of all vampires - dressed in an elegant dark cloak, a true gentleman with exquisite manners, good taste, and a maddeningly hard to place exotic accent. One can't help but remember the old warning: 'Beware the kindly stranger!' but is nevertheless strongly attracted to him.
Most people would shrug and say that they are not interested in this supernatural rubbish, that vampires do not exist, and neither do werewolves, or fairies. But they would be wrong because vampires do exist in a special niche in the cultural reality of most civilised peoples. The question is where does the notion of the vampire come from and how does it move along the plane of this cultural reality?
This is an attempt to follow the 'journey of the vampire' from the Balkan ethnic cultures to Britain and the USA and then backContinued page 2/13