Thanks to Keanu Reeves, we all know Bram Stroker’s novel, Dracula. It’s one of the most famous literary works in the English language. He may have invented Count Dracula, but Bram Stroker certainly didn’t invent the idea of vampires. Where did vampires come from? Why did humans think of bloodthirsty batmen before Batman? Why is Batman not a vampire? (Okay, we don’t have any good answers for that one.) 

The idea of blood-sucking demons extends back to pre-historic times. Although obviously mythical beings, the myths were inspired by real-life elements. It seems most of vampire history is rooted in distrust of women, but there are also elements of disease or just the weird things you find when you keep digging up dead bodies. (Which we at Cracked strongly advise against…especially if you’re not prepared to see the results.) 

So here’s to our favorite blood-sucking myths and their final evolution of Robert Pattinson’s Twilight.

Ancient Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet

EGYPTIAN GODDESS SEKHMET The myth goes that the Egyptian god Ra sent his wrathful daughter Sekhmet to destroy humanity because the Egyptians didn't properly pay him respect. She drank the blood of humans, and when Ra changed his mind, he stopped her by dying 7,000 jars of beer red. She drank the 'blood' and became subdued. CRACKED

Source: Tradition

The Scottish Folklore of the Baobhan Sith

SCOTTISH FOLKLORE BAOBHAN SITH These creatures were said to be found in the Scottish Highlands and take the form of beautiful women in long green dresses (which hid their feet's hooves). They killed and drank the blood of hunters. Should they kill a woman, she'd turn into one of them. CRACKED

Source: The Scotsman

The Bloody Countess Elizabeth Bathory

HUNGARIAN COUNTESS ELIZABETH BÁTHORY During the 15th to 16th century, the countess is said to have bathed in the blood of virgins to remain young-looking. She and her servants were accused of killing between 100 and 650 girls. CRACKED

Source: CNN

Medieval Ableist Myths about Porphyria

PORPHYRIA People who suffer from the condition can have skin sensitive to the sun and body waste that takes on a purplish (bloody-looking) tint. In extreme cases, it can cause gums to receed to make the teeth look larger and even result in losing ears and nose. CRACKED

Source: BBC

18th Century Victims Who Were Buried Alive

VICTIMS WHO WERE BURIED ALIVE In 18th century Europe, there were reports of bloated corpses with fresh blood around their mouths. One theory is that people who were presumed dead (due to limited medical knowledge) and buried alive might have bitten themselves out of hunger. CRACKED

Source: BBC 

Maybe It's Vampirism, Maybe It's Contagious Disease

CONTAGIOUS DISEASE In the 1700s to the late 1800s, ignorant of bacteria and viruses, people blamed the recently deceased's spirit of killing their family members. So the community would open tombs to discover natural decay like bloating and bleeding from orifices and accuse them of being vampires. CRACKED

Source: Smithsonian 

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