The Origin Of Vampires – The Rabies Theory

On January 25, 2014 by Tim Newman

Origin of Vampire Myth - Rabies - Dracula

Dracula: everyone’s favourite goofy lethario. Enjoyed by millions across the world as a blood thirsty, pervy murderer. Kuodos to you Bram Stoker and all of your Transylvannian tales. It’s just a story of course, but a neurologist with the wonderful name of Dr Gomez-Alonso has a theory explaining why the legend of vampires has stayed with humans, quite possibly since prehistory.

The good Doctor was watching a vampire film when it hit him like a bolt from the blue. He suddenly realised the similarities between the way Vampires behaved and the symptoms of the disease rabies.

Around 25% of rabid humans have a tendency to bite each other, they are also hypersensitive to light and smell (e.g. garlic), Gomez says:

Men with rabies … react to stimuli such as water, light, odours or mirrors with spasms of the facial and vocal muscles that can cause hoarse sounds, bared teeth and frothing at the mouth of bloody fluid.

The Rabies victims don’t sleep well due to the disease frigging with the bits of the brain in charge of sleep/wake cycles, hence associations with night stalking; and a rabid bite from a human, like a vampire’s, can pass the affliction on, making sense of that particular part of the Vampire story.

Origin of Vampire Myth - Rabies - Nosferatu

We will never know whether we can blame rabies for the dawn of the Vampires, but it’s a nice, neat case. Gomez did his homework and found from history books a correlation between early tales of vampirism and outbreaks of rabies in the Balkans. For instance in 1721-1728, a butt load of rabies exploded out in Hungary, at around the same kind of time vampire tales started to rear their minging heads.

The association of vampires with wolves and bats can also be explained by the fact that these creatures are incredibly susceptible to this particular disease and can receive/spread it about.

Origin of Vampire Myth - Rabies - Horny

I’ll leave you with another clincher for Dr Gomez-Alonso’s theory:

Hypersexuality may be a striking manifestation of rabies. Literature reports cases of rabid patients who practised intercourse up to 30 times in a day.

I’m sold, I don’t know about you.

History Collection

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