Psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, in his 1951 classic nonfiction book On the Nightmare, labels the vampire the most “overdetermined” of monsters in terms of its psychological roots–and, we might add, in terms of its richly varied folkloric sources. As Professor Van Helsing says in Dracula, almost every society throughout the world has legends of some kind of vampire-like creature. You can read about many of them in J. Gordon Melton’s encyclopedic reference work The Vampire Book (Third Edition published in 2011). They range in levels of monstrosity from revenants who can pass for human, sometimes returning home to father children on their widows, to the Malaysian Penanggalan, who detaches her head from her body and flies by night in search of prey, with her intestines dangling …more

Source: Article: Varieties of Vampires by Margaret L. Carter |