The origins of the vampire are truly a mystery, one that many have tried to solve. Looking into past literature and historical records, it can be seen that ancient Greek mythology may have been the true origin of the vampire. A local Mediterranean tale spoke of a mortal man named Ambrogio, who is “…an Italian born-adventurer who fate brought to Delphi, in Greece”. [2] Giving a brief overview, Ambrogio was not a lucky man, he had many misfortunes with the Gods. His first run-in was with Apollo, who was unhappy that Ambrogio was trying to take one of his maidens from him. As punishment, he cursed the man so that his skin would burn and blister if he were to ever enter the sun’s warmth again. Ambrogio’s luck plummeted further when he gave his soul to Hades in order to be protected from the sun. The third and final run in with bad fortune was when Artemis, Apollo’s sister, cursed him to never touch silver, for it would certainly kill him. However, Artemis took pity on Ambrogio and decided to give him the gift of immortality, strength, and speed. Additionally, he was given “…. fangs with which to drain the blood of beasts…”. [3] Now of course, this isn’t the Dracula we see in today's literature, but Ambrogio still had all of the correct traits and qualities of a vampire.

Greek mythology wasn’t the only culture to have an origin for vampires. In the late 15th century, the Russian “Story about Dracula” was written “…by the monk Efrosin from the Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery in northern Russia in the year 1940”. [4] This story follows a religious path speaking of a young prince who strayed from the Orthodoxy of the church. The document states, “While in prison Dracula ‘forsook the light’ of the Orthodox Church and accepted the ‘darkness’…” [4] While on the subject of Dracula, we can also look at the novel by Bram Stoker. It is thought that Stoker even modeled Dracula after a Romanian Prince just as the Russian monk did. Benjamin Radford from LiveScience stated, “…those looking for a historical ‘real’ Dracula often cite Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (1431-1476), after whom Stoker is said to have modeled some aspects of his Dracula character”.[1] Stoker chose this man due to his inhuman thirst for blood, a great basis for a horror novel.





[5] Stoker, Bram. Dracula. London: Penguin Classics, 2003. Print.

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