Every Age Creates the Vampire that it Needs
Enlightenment is a cultural and philosophical movement of the Western Europe of the17 century. The followers of this movement offered a new vision of reality. Since that time, the rational thinking overpowered the traditional beliefs and stereotypes. Enlightenment became a revolution in the human thinking. The ideas of this philosophical stream continued to develop the society, politics, and culture. The most famous philosophers of that age were Francis Bacon, Voltaire, John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, and physicist Newton. These philosophers criticized the bases of that time and provided new more scientific explanations of different phenomena that were viewed as something supernatural or mythological.
The Faith in Vampires
During the Enlightenment, the faith in vampires became even stronger; the reason for that were the attempts of scholars to argue the existence of vampires and their ability to live a long life and not die. They started providing numerous researches in order to dispel the myths and stories about vampires that again became popular among the people of the Eastern Europe. The followers of the Enlightenment who supported the idea that every phenomenon in the world can be explained from the rational point of view could not stay aside from the stories about vampires. Vampires contradicted the new philosophical ideas; thus, the stereotype of vampires had to be dispelled.
Nevertheless, the increasing interest towards vampires made the situation worse, and people of the Eastern Europe became even more superstitious. The new stereotypes about vampires made people suspicious towards each other. They started viewing every strange person as a potential vampire. For example, the pale color of face, the ears of strange size, or too long teeth could be quite significant reasons to think that a person was a vampire.
Eastern Europe was actually the cradle of the myths about vampires. The most famous legend and the most widespread theory of vampires’ existence refer exactly to the Eastern Europe, especially to Transylvania. Count Dracula was a bloody ruler of that place and the source of many stories in which he was illustrated as a man who killed people and drank their blood.
Antoine Augustine Calmet and His Research about Vampires
The famous French scholar and theologian Antoine Augustine Calmet gathered all the information about vampires and reviewed it in his tractate in 1746. In his work, he provided the analysis of vampires that illustrated their existence from both points of view. He did not prove the existence of vampires; however, he also did not deny the possibility of such theory., Despite his criticism, Voltaire perceived the tractate as the statement that vampire could exist. The French naturalist Tournefort, after the exhumation of the suspected vampire, did not believe in the legend about vampires. However, he mentioned that the superstitions among the local citizens were very tangible.
Church and Vampires
The church denied the existence of vampires, because it contradicted its basic principles. However, it proposed different methods that could be used as a weapon against vampires. For example, according to a widespread belief, the cross or the holly water could harm the vampire, and the wooden stake could even kill a vampire if one punch it into the vampire’s heart.