How Wolf Spirits Turned Into Vampires

How Wolf Spirits Turned Into Vampires

From spirit to undead, Eastern folklore melded with Greek beliefs to create Dracula.
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When we think vampire, we think Count Dracula, and we have Bram Stoker to thank for that. During the vampire mania of Europe in the 17th and 18th century, folklore became grossly exaggerated and the vampire of the Victorian era was born. However, if you want to look at one of the first mentions of traditional vampirism, you have to go to Greece.

th to 17th centuries. Refugee folklore melded with local beliefs to create new monsters. Enter the Greek vrykolaka.

The very term vrykolaka is derived from the Romanian viraculac which roughly translates as ghoul, ghost, or demon. In fact, most Eastern European countries have a very similar name: in Serbian vukodlak, in Polish wilkołak, and Lithuanian vilkolakis. The Turkish word uber meaning witch is also similar.

It was an evil spirit or entity of supernatural origins which could possess a human form, but most often took the form of a wolf or dog. Think werewolf. This is where vampirism and werewolves intersect. They were correlated with the eclipse, a demon hound devouring the sun for an eternal night.

The Greek vrykolaka had roots in these stories. At its start, it was supernatural. Inhuman. A demon or specter, malevolent ghoul. But it wasn’t flesh. It appeared in the daylight. It didn’t drink blood. It harmed humans, yes, but by suffocating them. It was believed a vrykolaka would sit on a victim, smothering them or crushing the breath from their chest. No blood.

Then something changed. This Slavic/Romanian demon became human, the dead has risen. A revenant. That’s because the Greeks blended the viracolac with their own beliefs. And there were three. One: Blood contained power, a life force if you will. Two: a body could be brought back to life. Resurrected. And finally, three: supernatural beings drank human blood.

You can see the common vein of thinking here; a demon could possess a body, drink the life-force of the living, and become flesh. Look at the Greek tragedy, the Iliad. “Odysseus fills a pit with sheep's blood to feed the shade of the seer Tiresias. Once the ghost has drunk the blood, he is able to speak.” Blood gave the supernatural power. This was common knowledge to the Greeks, same as we believe vaccines cause autism.

So, how is a Greek vampire born? The most common way is an improper burial. But one could “turn” into a vrykolaka after death through suicide, a violent death, or a sinful life. A person is murdered. A family buries a relative quickly after dying of disease, not waiting for the priest and risking its spread. An alcoholic dies, he returns thirsty for more ale… and the blood of his neighbors.

These bloodthirsty revenants became a real crisis for the Greek peoples. The Isle of Santorini became a hub for exorcists and vampire slayers. The profession was as common as scribes and healers. It was believed a vrykolaka couldn’t swim across the sea. So, to protect the mainland, bodies believed to have turned were sent by boat to the Isle.

This blending of supernatural lore with Greek beliefs birthed the vampire. The malignant revenant of someone once dead began as a demon who wanted to steal the sun and smother people. And the superstition of the vrykolaka persists today. “The vrykolakas is said to knock on the doors of homes, and if the residents do not answer right away, the creature will pass on to the next residency.” A Greek will answer only if you persist with a second knock.

Cover Image Credit: Graham Ridgewell

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The 10 Best Things About Rhode Island

Who said RI is not Awesome!
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With Rhode Island being such a small state people wonder what is so great about it. There are so many attractions that lead people to "Little Rhody" from the Newport Mansions to the RISD Art Museum. RI's beautiful beaches are also a plus for the locals who live here year round. But what is the best things about Rhode Island? With so many great things to choose from here is what I thought was the best things Rhode Island has to offer.

1. Del's Lemonade


With its numerous flavors and iconic cup imagery Del's is a Rhode Island staple. My personal favorite is mixing watermelon and lemon together!

2. Caserta's Pizzeria

Located on Providence's historic Federal Hill. If you are looking for a good slice of pizza Caserta's is the place to go.

3. Providence


It is basically the smaller version of Boston! No really, and that is where the city gets all its charms from.

4. Scarborough Beach


Forget Newport, this is the prime place to catch some waves. Personally, I think the water is better and Narragansett tends to be a litttle less touristy.

5. PPAC (Providence Performing Arts Center)


When you are too poor to catch a Broadway show so you go see the national tour instead. PPAC has become an awesome venue in recent years with lots of different plays, musicals and dance troupes coming to perform.

6. The Cliff Walk


Preferably after the tourist season because then you can actually walk on it. The Cliff Walk offers some breathtaking views and a little adventure.

7. Waterfire

There are a lot of Waterfire's during the summer and early fall so you can always catch one. Plus, it is free and provides great pictures.

8. Party Pizza


Some make think it is a disgrace to pizza everywhere, but it is still good. Nobody really understands why party pizza exists, but we never question it. Especially, after you stuff five pieces into your mouth.

9. Crook Point Bascule Bridge



It has become somewhat of a local monument for the locals. My friend and I always do a bit of site seeing around here.

10. Allie's Donuts


Home of the Donut Cake! Allie's makes probably the best donuts around here and that is not an understatement.

And there you have it! While, I think these are 10 best things about Rhode Island there is obviously so much more. If anything RI's quirky local eateries, beautiful landscape, as well as up and coming attractions are what make it special. Rhode Island has so many things to offer it is hard to choose. Personally, I think the food is the best, but my New York/New Jersey friends beg to differ.



Cover Image Credit: wwp.greenwichmeantime.com

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Stop Trying To Make Life So Black And White

Consider that you being right doesn't make someone else wrong by default—and vice versa.

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Life isn't black and white.

Perhaps that sounds like an obvious statement, but nonetheless, it still needs to be said.

Furthermore, life isn't just one giant grey area—it's several shades. There are so many twists and turns, so many unknowns and layers, that it's impossible for something to be 100 percent one way or the other.

At least, that's how my mind works.

It's difficult for me to stand stubbornly behind my own viewpoints without first listening to someone else's. For me, looking at things from their perspective is second nature. I could be spitting angry at someone, but I can't walk away from them because their perspective is glaring me in the face.

"Yes, what they did was wrong, but I get why they did it," is a line often uttered. This stance, of course, has its drawbacks. It has kept me in toxic situations far longer than it should have. It has allowed all sorts of people to walk over me like a common doormat. It has built up resentment in me for not having my efforts reciprocated.

It has also opened my eyes.

Democrat, Republican, Christian, Atheist, Religious, or Non-Secular—let's find common ground. Let's understand each other because, at the end of the day, we're all human. We all want to be loved and understood.

Maybe the first step is hearing each other. No, I don't mean listening until you can rebut, I mean really hear them. We all have our worldviews for a reason.

Why do you think the way you do? Probably because of how you were raised. Probably because experiences molded your mind and opinions.

We all have different walks of life. We each grew up differently than the other, so it's only natural that we should view the world through different lenses than our neighbor.

Next time, before you pass judgment on another person, consider the fact that maybe they aren't wrong. Also, consider that you being right doesn't make them wrong by default—and vice versa. Life is too layered for us to be right or wrong. Two people can be saying different things and both provide valid points.

Life isn't black and white, it's high time we stopped trying to make it that way. Besides, a picture is infinitely more interesting when it's shaded in and has more variety.

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