Bram Stoker penned his gothic horror Dracula in 1887 and popularized the modern vampire myth—but evidence now points to those myths originating in England, not Eastern Europe as many believe. Unexplained burials, identified as ‘deviant’ and ‘cursed’ by their contemporaries, were detailed in Stoker’s original research notes and drafts, discovered by his great-grandson in the family archive.
Oxford professor John Blair follows clues in medieval burials in England that may offer insight into physiological reasons for the formation of the myths. The cases hint at a deeply-held belief that the dead could rise and bring fear to the living… A belief that predates the Eastern European lore and is forcing a reexamination of the modern vampire legend.
The vampire of popular culture exists to thrill and entertain – a titillating metaphor for transgression – while the vampires from history were a response to a very real fear. How connected, then, is the true story of the vampire to our modern day Dracula?