Seriously… why are we so drawn to vampires? And now zombies- OK, maybe we aren’t attracted to zombies, but we are drawn to them (and no, please don’t start a conversation about bath salts here). And werewolves- OK, technically not undead but… OMG! what draws us to these creatures of the supernatural?
I really want to know.
I’m not immune, I like a good sexy vampire as much as the next person, but I don’t understand why. So I looked it up- that’s what the internet is for, right? Answering the random questions that pop into my head, right? And I found this article- “Why We Love Vampires: The Psychology Behind the Obsession” by Dr. Belisa Vranich, who is apparently a clinical psychologist. While not a peer reviewed journal (something we strive for in the psychology field), I’m much more likely to take something from the Huffington Post as legitimate and worth my time than I am from many other “news” sources. So let’s take a gander at some of the points she made-
1. Vampires are loners, but not lonely. OK, yeah… the guy on the edge of the crowd- doing his own thing and not caring about what anyone thinks- is sexy. He’s comfortable with himself. Confidence like that is hot and you know it.
2. Vampires are minimalists. I can do without a lot of stuff (not that you’d believe that if you saw everything I own) but I’d say that vampires, et al, have lived long enough to know what is truly important. Do you really need to hang onto every little thing if you are immortal? Probably not. What’s more important to hold onto is probably that one photo of your family, or a scrap of lace from the first victims dress, or whatever. And as the article suggests, vampires don’t rely on gadgets- they aren’t like Batman, using every toy in their arsenal in order to do what they do- vampires pretty much carry their weapons with them 24/7.
3. Vampires are slick and cool looking. Well… considering the lack of reflection (unless you are in a really bad vampire universe- I rented this opera once with some girlfriends (it turned out to essentially be porn, by the way) called “Vampyr” and the vampires had reflections. It was very annoying) it would be helpful to have mastered a way of creating your appearance to look your best. I would think that it would be easiest to figure out one look and just do that all the time- look at “Spike” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he had essentially one look for his entire run. Probably got a little boring for the actor but it was part of who Spike was.
4. Vampires have fangs. Yeah… Freud’s oral fixation theory. ‘Nuff said.
5. Vampires are smart. Again, this depends on the universe- are we talking minion or master? And how old are we talking? A new born vamp is only as smart as the human it formerly was but say , a 200 year old vampire has gained a lot of experience and exposure to things- thus increasing their knowledge (not their intelligence since IQ is static). I’m not touching what Dr. Vranich said because I don’t like my vamps to have all those fancy smancy abilities.
6. Vampires are powerful. Yes… strong without looking like a freak. That’s hot. And yes, agreed- the healing factors etc add to the appeal. It would be awesome to know that you’d walk away from things without being hurt (or being too badly hurt).
7. Vampires are fearless. Again, I think this depends on the universe. And the person who the vampire was a human. There are certainly a lot less things to be afraid of if you are a vampire but there are still things that could be scary- sunlight, for one. I would hate to be a vampire in Alaska.
8. Vampires only care about themselves. This one… yeah, I don’t think that’s appealing at all. It would very much make me want to stake the vamp. Maybe it’s just me.
9. Vampires are sensitive. Oh, but the ones in her example were too sensitive! Again, I’d stake them for whining. I think it’s safe to say I like my vamps to care about others and be emotional, but also (wo)man-up. No sparkling or non-sex having vamps for me!
10. Vampires are the archetype of bad, bad boys. I agree. However, based on the last two points she made, I’m not sure how Dr. Vranich got here. I would say that the powerful loner with the oral fixation were defining properties to make up the bad boy but the sensitive narcissist sort of canceled the other characteristics out. Am I wrong?
Well… this didn’t really answer- for me- why we love the undead. Clearly, I’m going to have to do some more research on this topic. Anyone have any thoughts about this? I really am curious about what draws us to these characters.