Vampire Secrets
Vampirism has Existed for Centuries

Vampire Secrets
Vampirism has Existed for Centuries

The notion of vampirism has existed for millennia; cultures such as the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks, and Romans had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires.

However, despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early 18th century Southeastern Europe, when verbal traditions of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published.

In most cases, vampires are revenants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire.

Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it caused mass hysteria and even public executions of people believed to be vampires.

It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the folkloric vampire, though there are several elements common to many European legends.

Vampires were usually reported as bloated in appearance, and ruddy, purplish, or dark in color; these characteristics were often attributed to the recent drinking of blood.

Indeed, blood was often seen seeping from the mouth and nose when one was seen in its shroud or coffin and its left eye was often open.

It would be clad in the linen shroud it was buried in, and its teeth, hair, and nails may have grown somewhat, though in general fangs were not a feature.

Since Bram Stoker first published his novel Dracula in 1897, the 
world's most popular vampire has made his appearance in 44 languages.

The vampire myth however, is much older than Count Dracula, popping up from Athens to Beijing almost 1000 years before the Transylvanian legend.

Vampire legends have two things in common: drinking blood and returning from the dead.

Long before Jesus urged his followers to drink his blood and eat his flesh, prehistoric man held similar rituals.

From the Bible and ancient Mesopotamian history to blood drinking societies in New York, we reveal the amazing truth behind one of the most terrifying legends in history.

The causes of vampiric generation were many and varied in original folklore. In Slavic and Chinese traditions, any corpse that was jumped over by an animal, particularly a dog or a cat, was feared to become one of the undead.

A body with a wound that had not been treated with boiling water was also at risk. In Russian folklore, vampires were said to have once been witches or people who had rebelled against the Russian Orthodox Church while they were alive.

Real Vampires

Since the dawn of civilization, blood-drinking ghouls have been documented in every major culture around the world.

From the ancient Babylonian Edimmu through Richard Trenton Chase and Jeffrey Dahmer, vampire-like beings have walked among the living.

This program takes you on a terrifying historical journey through the ages, with vivid stories of people like the 16th century Hungarian noblewoman Elizabeth Bathory -- better known as the "Blood Countess" -- who tortured and killed over 600 servant girls, drinking and bathing in their blood.

Other notorious figures include the real-life Dracula, Prince Vlad Tepes -- born in 1431 in Transylvania -- who impaled and killed over 100,000 people; and the German butcher Fritz Harmann whose deadly bite claimed at least 24 young victims -- and who later ground up the body parts to make sausages which he ate himself and also sold to his customers.

These and many other incredible legends are revealed in this feature-length program. Do vampires really exist? Learn the truth and find out for yourself.

MURNAU THE VAMPIRE (2007) Oscar Alvarado´s

This short film is a free adaptation from the original film "Nosferatu" directed by Frederick Murnau in 1922. MURNAU THE VAMPIRE was presented for first time in the BLENDER CONFERENCE in Amsterdam en 2007. In 8 months Oscar Alvarado works in the production of MURNAU THE VAMPIRE, and the entire short (27 minutes) was made only by Oscar. The soundtrack and the musical theme was composed by the italian goth band, "Theatres des Vampires".

The Secret Life of Vampires

This A&E Special Presentation gives viewers a chilling close up of the modern world of vampires.

There's the bewitching young couple who relishes their vampire lifestyle and each other's blood. And Michelle who extols the spiritual side of vampirism as she guides viewers into her own hidden world a vibrant and diverse society with its own rules, conventions, politics, language, customs and as opinionated as our own.

Is being a vampire really all about blood and death, or is it about living life to its fullest? Why do some vampires seek blood, while others sustain themselves on the "life-force" of others?

In a small town in Canada viewers meet a 42-year-old grandmother who shops at Wal-Mart and enjoys gardening. Every Sunday night she gathers fellow vampires around a campfire and talk about local politics, personal issues, and safe sources of blood.

In a TV first, viewers get a first-hand look at one of these meetings. A young New York City vampire, who people are generally afraid of, practices a bloodless vampirism that involves taking the physical or sexual energy from a willing donor.

A devotee named Don Henrie sleeps by day in a closed coffin and hits the town at night to prey on willing energy donors.This A&E Special Presentation asks, "If Vampires are all around us, where do they come from?"

Modern day vampires practice something deeply rooted in the human spirit and history. The link between blood, life, and death can be found in ancient cultures around the globe.

Viewers visit Dracula's birthplace, the ruins of his mountain castle, and his burial tomb. They also visit a small town in Romania where last year panicked villagers, thinking they had a vampire in their midst, dug up corpses and drove stakes through their hearts.

Viewers also learn that most vampires are very fussy about what goes into their body, particularly if they drink blood. And vampires who feed off of each other have a bond of intimacy, sometime sex, sometimes ritual.

One vampire says that once you have tasted another's blood you are bound to them forever. The drinking of human blood is the pinnacle of what most people consider to be true vampirism. Viewers see a demonstration of human bloodletting and drinking.

Dracula: The True Story

The world's most famous vampire has been "undead" for
over a century.

The famous novel Dracula, written by Irish author Bram Stoker, was a mixture of reality, superstition, fearful fantasies and history.

Stoker's role model for the novel was an actual Romanian Prince born in the 15th century: Vlad Tepes or "Vlad the Impaler," so named because of his favorite method of executing his enemies - the horrific medieval torture known as "impaling."

And so "Vlad the Impaler" and the Transylvania vampire Count Dracula, became forevermore, one and the same.

The image of the vampire has been seen in novels, films, plays, paintings, and even a new musical, Dance of Vampires, directed by Roman Polanski.

This captivating new documentary travels to the heart of Transsylvania, in today's Romania, to uncover the historical truths behind the legend of Dracula. Today, vampire tourism in Romania is booming.

A self-described vampire hunter, Paul Daian, believes that vampires lurk in the streets of today's Bucharest and can adopt various forms. A Viennese dermatologist, Christian Honigsmann, discusses his theory that porphyria, a widespread genetic illness in Transsylvania in those days, was behind many vampire superstitions, especially the idea of their fear of sunlight.

And Princess Brianna Caradja, a descendant of Vlad Tepes' talks about her famous ancestor.