There is something horrifyingly fascinating about accounts of the dead who stubbornly refuse to lie down quietly, but continue to walk as they did in life. They may be called revenants, or vampires, draugr, ghouls, or the Undead. They scare us.
The draught of blood seemed to intoxicate him. He swelled with it. It flashed red and fiery out of his eyes. It crimsoned his ghastly face. It thickened his thin fingers and made his arm round and easy. The monster grew less hideous and more devilish with every drop.
The dead are dead. They cannot hurt us. (We hope.) So why are we so afraid of a corpse?
A tyrannical Russian governor forces a young girl to marry him, then extracts a death-bed promise that she will not marry her former beloved after he is gone. When she is persuaded out of that promise, on the very night of the betrothal feast, she is found beaten and bitten by what she said was the ghost of her dead husband. This went on, night after night, until she was at the point of death….
A grim and grewsome look at people who drink blood and plunge their children into entrail baths–all in the name of health. Comes with a doctor’s warning: “the appetite for blood becomes even stronger than that for liquor, and cases have been known where it has produced mania of the most violent type.” You have been warned.
While a contemporary vogue for vampire fantasy has inspired some people to identify themselves as vampires and to actually drink blood, there has always been a curious belief in the efficacy of blood-drinking, not as a lifestyle, but for medicinal purposes only.