The science behind vampires and monsters
November 9, 2012 | 29 comments
Image Credit: Dracula - 1931
Where did our fascination with fictional monsters such as vampires and werewolves actually originate ?
[!gad]It's a question that science journalist Matt Kaplan has set out to investigate. Kaplan maintains that our tendency to crave stories about horror and monsters is not dissimilar to the way in which lion cubs behave when they engage in play fighting - they allow us to face our worst fears without putting ourselves in any genuine danger. Different fictional and mythical monsters have sprung up around this tendency for telling terrifying tales.
Some specific denizens may have had some basis in reality, for instance the concept of vampires may have sprung from symptoms of decay in the newly deceased. Bram Stoker's classic novel 'Dracula' is most commonly associated with bringing the vampire concept in to popular culture, but how did we get from the blood curdling terror of Count Dracula to the modern day vampires of Stephenie Meyer's 'Twilight' saga ?
The suave and sensitive Edward Cullen of "Twilight" may be the norm for vampires these days, but fictional monsters such as Dracula originally sprang from the fear of inexplicable diseases and the mysteries of death in the natural world.
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