Friday, October 18, 2013

The Vampire Infliction

If you know me or you've read my blog, you know that not only do I love vampires, I also study the myths and legends surrounding them.  Every now and then, I turn to a book I have called THE VAMPIRE ENCYCLOPEDIA by Matthew Bunson.  The book is filled with all sorts of interesting little tidbits and lore on my favorite type of monster.

In his book, Bunson presents a list of traits that have been said to lead a person to become a vampire.  Keep in mind, the vampires of legend and lore are generally considered to be fearsome monsters, not the sexy seductive creatures that are so prevalent in today's horror genre.  Also, most lore - being based off of the beliefs of people long gone - often seems to be outdated with regards to today's knowledge of science.  Bunson says:

"Becoming a Vampire

Methods by which a person can become an undead, as documented from traditions and customs of folklore.


  • Born at certain times of the year (new moon, holy days)
  • Born with a red caul, with teeth, or with an extra nipple
  • Born with excess hair, with a red birthmark, or with two hearts
Conceived on a holy day
Weaned too early
Suckled after weaning
Born the seventh son of a seventh son
Death without baptism
Received a curse
Mother did not eat enough salt during pregnancy
Mother stared at by a vampire while pregnant

Actions in Life Leading to Vampiric Transformation

Committing suicide
Practicing sorcery or witchcraft
Eating sheep killed by a wolf
Leading an immoral life, i.e., prostitutes, murderers, and treacherous barmaids
Saying a mass while in a state of mortal sin (for priests)
Being a werewolf

Death or After-Death Causes

Death at the hands of a vampire
Wind from the Russian Steppe blowing on the corpse
Having a cat or other animal jump or fly over the corpse
Having a shadow fall on the corpse
No burial or improper burial rites
Death by violence or murder
Murder that is unrevenged
Having a candle passed over the corpse
Having one's brother sleepwalk
Death by drowning
Stealing the ropes used to bury a corpse
Being buried face up in the grave (in parts of Romania)"

Today, this list seems a bit over-the-top.  Pretty much anyone could be a vampire with all of these superstitions.  But it is a list made up of the beliefs of people from various cultures throughout history.  I find the information to be very interesting.  How about you?


  1. Creepy. I hope my mother ate enough salt...

    1. Lol Mardra! According to this list, I'll be coming back as a vampire....

  2. We're Catholic...I'm hoping the garlic and crucifixes work!