In the short story Bucket of Blood, a vampire asks for the help of a peasant man to get him to different houses around the village. Some village doors are adorned with a cross, meaning they are locked. When reaching a door that has a padlock but no cross the vampire is able to unlock the door and go right in. Inside the home is a young and old man. The vampire places a bucket under them and kills them one by one, allowing the blood to drip into the bucket so that the vampire may drink it. When the men are found dead, the villagers assume it was the vampire and dig up his grave to find him in a pool of blood. They impale him with an aspen stake.
Let's Go Back to the Beginning Edit
The term vampire originated in Eastern Europe and was interpreted as "umpirs" or "vordalaks." (Dr. Caffee) There are several interpretations of the word vampire. According to Wikipedia, "A vampire is a being from folklore who subsists by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of the living." There is not a standard definition that can be used to define a vampire. In fact, Dr. Caffee explains that vampire has 3 basic definitions, "1. a supernatural creature; the reanimated body of a dead person believed to come from the grave at night to suck the blood of the living, 2. one who lives by preying on others, 3. a women who exploits and ruins her lover" (Dr. Caffee.) Not one of these definitions is exactly like the other. Here is what the "professional" have to say, "an imaginary creature said to be a dead person returned to life, who sucks blood from people at night." As you can see, these definitions are up for interpretation. Is a vampire supernatural or imaginary?
The Characteristics Edit
When the word vampire is said, there are so many differences in what makes up a vampire that comes to mind, one person thinks a vampire possess these traits while the other person makes see something completely different. Dr. Caffee explains that traits of the first vampire, documented, was from the 11th century. These vampires were said to attack domestic animals, suck blood, and only have power at night. To kill the vampires you need to put a wooden stalk through the heart and burn the body (Dr. Caffee.) In media, vampires can have these characteristics, more or less. They are all up for interpretation, check out this Fandom of Dracula to see all the differences.
Wrap Up Edit
The context of what a vampire is and isn't can change from literature to film. As in the story above, the vampire fits the characteristics of the first documentation of vampires from the 11th century. When looking at different interpretations of vampires, you can see that it changes based on the context in which the story of the vampire is being told.