Vampires don't wear tuxedoes, run from crosses, perish in the sunlight, look like debonair barons or gothic- punk bikers.
That's all a bunch of bull left over from when Brahm Stoker and his contemporaries sublimated vampirisim
into a sexual metaphor. They plastered the repressed social mores of the Victorian era onto the vampire icon, obfuscating virtually all the truth. They did get some of the symptoms right: pale skin, weakness, eventually wasting away to nothing. They didn't know what it was then, but we know now. They were describing tuberculosis.
Vampires, before being co-opted by the Victorians, were the embodiment of death, disease, and plague. That's
why the Nosferatu were grotesque. Why do you think that all the things that kept them away were purifiers - the holy water, the stake of pure rowan wood, the garlic? Plague spread from the dead to the living? Think about it and it makes a lot more sense. Vampires are disease incarnate.
Some parts of the modern myth have it right. Kind of. There's more than one type of vampire. They classify
themselves with a complex hiearchy based on the kind of disease that they carry and the virulence of that disease. Supposedly, they consider it their responsibility to monitor us, keep us from overbreeding ourselves into starvation or some other disaster. If that's true then they kept us in check for a long time with lepers and other plague-carriers, but we started to fight back. We invented pennicillin and some of our more successful modern vaccines and they ran scared for a while. Now they're back with a vengeance: AIDS, ebola, and a new strain of West Nile Virus stretching from Florida to southern CA.
That's why I took this job. There aren't many people who really understand how diseases really get started. I
learned all about it from my mother, who learned from her father, who learned from his mother. This knowledge is a gift, and I want to use it to help the world.
My name is Marianne Helsing, and I work for the Center for Disease Control, field operations division.
Yeah, Stoker got the names right too.