Taking Death Away from the Undead by Jeaneen K. Kish

Taking Death Away from the Undead: The Metamorphosis of the Vampire from Folklore to Now

incantation_GrisetIf as Dale Townshend argues in his essay “Gothic and the Ghost of Hamlet” that the gothic ghost is a physical representation of mourning and the Elizabethan period’s inability to deal with a lost mourning period, then what does it say about our society’s need to have not only all types of horror and the undead surrounding us, but vampires in particular? In our society, we have a tendency to run from death. Not only do we try to fight our own eventual demise with numerous medical innovations, but we no longer have the strong mourning rituals of past generations that connect us to those who have departed and force us to face our own eventual passing. During the medieval and Early Modern era, Catholics were known for their elaborate funerary practices and religious rights concerning souls in Purgatory. In the Victorian era, the newly deceased were laid out at the family home where other family members could spend time with the body and in essence say goodbye to their loved ones. Now, we remove the bodies to a funeral home, where we can escape from their presence for all but a few hours. Not only do we physically remove ourselves from the dead, but the lengths of viewings are shortened if the loved ones are viewed at all. A current trend is for people to be cremated before the actual viewing so that the family and friends of the deceased only see an urn of ashes that will be interred into the ground or scattered at a favorite location. Also gone are the long funeral services and even longer mourning periods. No longer do we see people trade brightly colored wardrobes in order to wear black for months or a year or more. In addition, we have lost the strong religious foundation that our ancestors had. So many now do not believe in an afterlife, let alone Purgatory. With all of these factors showing our society’s removal from all notions of death, is it any wonder then that we now have vampires who are also undead in name only? By exploring the progression of vampires from folkloric representations through the first British literary vampires, such as Lord Ruthven and Dracula, all the way to vampires of today, we can see how they altered as our relationship with death changed bringing us to a point where vampires are no longer evil bringers of the plague and death, but bestowers of immortality who do not take life in order to live but instead live on the mercy of others, completely removing them from death. Rather than to mourn and maintain a longer link with the dead, many of the vampires in our contemporary vampire fiction allow us to maintain those links forever so that we need not lose our loved ones or even ourselves. In essence, we are taking death away from the undead; we are making them live forever and us alongside them in an effort to finally conquer death rather than face it as our ancestors did.

As a first step along our journey exploring the metamorphosis of the vampire, we must look at the folklore vampire and the ways in which this vampire was portrayed as well as the implications of that portrayal. Instead of the aristocratic vampire that is often depicted in fiction, the folklore vampire is literately a reanimated corpse with all of the blood, gore, and smells one would associate with that state. Often times this vampire was associated with some type of pestilence and would attack its family members first before moving on to other members of the community. Augustine Calmet in his famous 1751 edition Dissertation on the Ghosts Who Return to Earth Bodily, the Excommunicated, the Oupires or Vampires, Vroucolacas, Etc. explains,

The revenans of Hungary, or vampires, which form the principal object of this dissertation, are men who have been dead a considerable time, sometimes more, sometimes less; who leave their tombs, and come and disturb the living, sucking their blood, appearing to them, making a racket at their doors, and in their houses, and lastly, often causing their death. They are named vampires, or oupires, which signifies, they say, in Sclavonic, a leech. The only way to be delivered from their haunting is to disinter them, cut off their head, impale them, burn them, or pierce their heart. 1

vampire-folkloreIn the work Travels of Three English Gentlemen from Venice to Hamburg, Being the Grand Tour of Germany in the Year 1734, we find a definition of the vampire that explains that “These Vampyres are supposed to be the Bodies of deceased Persons, animated by evil Spirits, which come out of the Graves, in the Night-time, suck the Blood of many of the Living, and thereby destroy them.”2 One must note that when the vampire was unearthed, signs of what were considered to be new growth or lack of decomposition were sureties that the corpse was a member of the undead. Calmut explains that saints also showed signs of not decomposing; however, “they require that a body thus preserved should exhale a good smell, be white or reddish, and not black, offensive and swollen.”3 Corpses mistaken for vampires were also know to have blood near the mouth and many are described as lying in a pool of what appears to the observer to be blood that has filled the coffin. Another difference between these vampires of folklore versus those we find in literature of the 1800s is that they can be from any class. We are often led to think that vampires are aristocratic because many of the early literary vampires held that position in society. The reality of the folklore vampire, however, is that any person can become a vampire regardless of class. What was more important in determining if one would enter the ranks of the undead was the way in which one died or actual personality traits.

Not only did the class of the person not matter in regards to turning into a vampire, the actual method of reanimation was not what our contemporary view of the vampire would lead us to assume. In fact contention existed amongst theologians as to whether these revenants were even the actual people who had died or merely corpses reanimated by demons:

While there seemed little doubt in pagan Scandinavia and early medieval Europe that undead-corpses were empowered by the entrapped soul of the deceased, by the later medieval period, many theologians argued that troublesome corpses were instead occupied and reanimated by the Devil, pretending to be the deceased, in the same manner that the Devil might possess and manipulate the body of a living person, that is, unless the corpse was marred by putrefaction.4

When taking into consideration the notion of demonic possession, one must realize the reanimated corpses were not even the embodiments of the family’s loved ones. Instead, they were a mere shell that needed to be destroyed in order to rid the world of one more evil entity. They were not people to love, admire, or even to feel sympathy for; therefore, they did not need to be mourned. The soul that passed on was what the people were connected to. The reanimated body left behind was just an aberration.

As far the people’s relationship with the dead, we can look at it through “A.N. Galpern’s striking observation that pre-Reformation Catholicism was in large measure ‘a cult of the living in service of the dead.’”5 Galpern is referring to the elaborate rituals and prayers that Catholics were required to say for deceased loved ones. Gordon and Marshall offer two reasons why this relationship existed between the living and the dead:

The first was the gradual evolution and eventual formalization of the belief that the majority of the faithful dead did not proceed immediately to the beatific vision, but underwent a painful purgation of the debt due for their sins in the intermediary state (and place) of Purgatory. The second was the conviction, predicated upon the theory that all faithful Christians in this world and the next were incorporated in a single ‘communion of saints’, that the living had the ability (and the duty) to ease the dead’s sufferings in Purgatory. Masses, prayers, alms-giving and fasting were all held to be beneficial to the dead, as increasingly in the later Middle Ages were indulgences.6

While Gordon and Marshall state that these practices were performed during the Pre-Reformation era, Catholics continued these practices and similar ones from then up through today, with the rituals of today being far less elaborate if they are performed at all. Because people were required to pray for their deceased loved ones in order to help that individual cleanse him or herself of all remaining sins and corruption while in Purgatory in order to gain entrance to Heaven, people would be constantly reminded of their deceased family and friends, and this obligation kept the bond between them strong.


Not only was the vampire itself more closely associated with death, but people during this time period were forced to accept their own death more so than we are now. One of the many reasons put forth for the creation of the folklore vampire was to help people from this time period explain the contagious nature of disease, particularly pestilence. The vampire became the embodiment of this form of death that many could expect. In fact, David Keyworth explains that societies look for some kind of scapegoat to blame for any types of problems experienced by them. He further explains “Whereas witches had been a convenient scapegoat during the pre-modern period, in Eastern Europe this role was increasingly fulfilled by blood-sucking vampires, which proved a more tangible embodiment of evil…In effect, vampires became the scapegoat for the sicknesses that were affecting the local populace at the time.”7 Here we see that people were so inundated with disease and death that they created monstrosities such as witches and vampires to explain what was happening. In 1620, “life expectancy was only about thirty-five years.”8 With a life expectancy this low and a high infant mortality rate, we can see how much death surrounded people during this time in comparison to today. One could also argue with a mortality rate this high, that people use the folklore vampire as a way to attain immortality, just as we do today with the literary vampire, and while people have probably always wanted to postpone or eliminate death entirely, during this time period doing so by becoming a vampire was to be avoided at all cost because it was reviled as this harbinger of death. Rather than spending an eternity like that promised by the church if one followed its dictates, the vampire could expect to spend a soulless existence preying on loved ones or being possessed by a demon, both options most people even today would wish to avoid and being a scapegoat for the ills of society is an even worse fate for many. For these vampires, then, their undead state was not one most people would desire. In fact, Paul Barber points out that the vampire’s “condition is intolerable even to him, as is illustrated by the fact that some of his kind – the Greek revenants, for example – can acquire their condition through a curse.”9 What we see here then is that the folklore vampires was not one that the people wished to become like the vampires of today. Purgatory and other funerary practices allowed people to remember their dead and thereby have them still in their daily lives. They did not need to have a loving relationship with a vampire in order to hang onto their loved ones. Also, people expected death and while they tried to stop it or postpone it, they were forced to deal with it more so than we are today, and they did not use the vampire as a method of escaping said death.

If we next move onto the literary vampires, we can see that they also come at a time when society’s view of God and the afterlife was changing. The late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are associated with the death of God, so to speak. The Enlightenment really started this trend with religions notions such as Deism and the belief in the clockmaker God. Historian A. N. Wilson explains that amongst the Victorians “unbelief was widespread…Doubt had been the unspoken secret of sophisticates in the 1820s and 30s, the modish belief of the periodical-reading middle classes in the 1850s” and within the working-classes “religious practice (except among Irish immigrants) [was] all but unknown, and indifference to religious ideas all but total.”10 With this death of God, we see the religious rites becoming less important than what they once were. Not only did faith in God and religion diminish, in the Protestant religions, in which the Church of England falls, Purgatory does not exist thereby allowing souls to go straight to Heaven after death and eliminating the need for survivors to pray for the eventual salvation of the deceased. In fact, “the work of mourning, though once considerably more elaborate, has been shortened, pared down and cut short.”11 Rather than elaborate affairs that lasted for days, the Victorians began to settle into performing more abbreviated yet still elaborate events. They would put on detailed spectacles during the funeral itself, and afterward, they would go into mourning for two months to one year or more depending on their relationship with the deceased. They would wear black crepe, which for women could be changed to gray and lilac closer to the end of the mourning period. Even jewelry maintained the black mourning color through the use of jet. Family members were not to go out into society and were most certainly prohibited from partaking in a ball or any type of social event that would not allow them to maintain a solemn demeanor. While most British citizens were Anglican at this time and did not have Purgatory, they still maintained a connection to their dead through this mourning period. Although it was not as strong as that required by praying one’s ancestors into heaven, it was still a connection that created a relationship between the two, even if it was, in most cases, more abbreviated. And it is this relationship that is most important because as Laurence A. Rickels in The Vampire Lectures so eloquently put it, “With vampirism it’s mourning that’s at stake.” 12 According to Michael Parker Pearson, in his study “Mortuary Practices, Society and Ideology: An Ethnoarchaeological Study,” “the Victorian era [was] when burial ritual was a forum for the display of wealth and status.”13 So rather than the dead and the living being that community that was necessary for one another that existed during earlier times, the Victorians had a society that used their dead and mourning process more to benefit the social status of the living rather than the eternal comfort of the dead. What is happening is a more selfish view, and while it seemingly maintains a strong connection with the dead, in reality the society is removing itself further and further from that notion. Even the location of the cemeteries reflects this belief or lack thereof. While cemeteries were previously closer to the living areas, during the Victorian era “the dead were no longer buried at the centre of society but removed from their immediate association with the church to a location separate from the focus of the community.”14 Their physical location, therefore, outside of the community, is a reflection of the dead’s psychological relation with the living.


During this time period, subsequently, the literary vampire as we know it was born. The most famous vampires of this time are Lord Ruthven from John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819), Carmilla from J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (1872), Sir Frances Varney from James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney the Vampyre, or, the Feast of Blood (1845), and Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). While there were other representations of the literary vampire written during this era, these vampires are the ones that have had the greatest impact on the vampires that would come after. Within all of these vampires, we see echoes of the folklore vampires, but they also diverge from their ancestors in order to reflect the concerns of the time, in this case the Victorians’ relationship with the dead and death. At first glance these vampires seem much like their predecessors. They are reanimated corpses that must live off of the blood of others in order to survive. The people they drink from are not willing “donors,” nor does everyone survive the encounter. The ones who do survive are often kept alive for reasons serving the vampires. For example, Dracula keeps Mina alive as a punishment for her actions in helping the men hunt him and also to use her in the future.15 In this way, we still have the undeniable evil nature of these vampires.

The reader can also see the burgeoning disregard for the dead within these works. In Carmilla, a strong example of this situation is found when looking at her father’s reaction to the news of a death. Carmilla is expecting a visit from another young woman, Mademoiselle Rheinfeldt, the niece of General Spielsdorf. While out walking, Carmilla’s father says that he is glad she never met Mademoiselle Rheinfeldt at which point Carmilla expresses surprise at such a sentiment. Her father’s reasoning is justified as thus: “’Because the poor young lady is dead,’ he replied. ‘I quite forgot I had not told you, but you were not in the room when I received the General’s letter this evening.’”16 The father was unable to keep the memory of the dead young woman in his mind long enough to tell his daughter about it. In fact, the news was so unimportant that he did not seek her out to inform her of it after having read the letter. From this example, we can see how little the dead meant to this era. This lack of relationship between the living and the dead then is what the vampire begins to repair and the need for the dead in our lives that the vampire fulfills.

One of the major ways we see these vampires begin to change is through the some of the characters’ reactions to the nature of these vampires. Instead of being entities that are irredeemable and that must be destroyed at all costs, the reader begins to see sympathy expressed for the beings. In Varney the Vampire, Flora tells her brother Henry that the “interview which took place so strangely between us [Flora and Varney], indeed I know not, tended altogether rather to make him, to a certain extent, an object of my sympathies rather than my abhorrence.” 17 Dracula as well becomes a sympathetic character through Mina’s plea: “that poor soul who has wrought all this misery is the saddest case of all. Just think what will be his joy when he too is destroyed in his worser part that his better part may have spiritual immortality. You must be pitiful to him too….” 18 In this way, we see the emotional attachment between the living and the undead becoming stronger. No longer is it solely a hunter and prey relationship. It now becomes a case where the metaphorical mouse wishes to forgive the cat because the cat has no choice but to eat the mouse in order to survive. When viewed in this manner, the reaction of the mouse seems almost silly, but it is exactly what these humans are beginning to feel for the vampire. The relationship to the dead is what can open up this response for us to better understand the reaction of Mina and Flora, and through them, the readers.

In Dracula, we can see the interaction of religion and science, and through that interaction understand how the relationship between the living and the undead reflected the loss of religion and mourning. When closely examining the male characters of the novel, the reader finds that they embody the ideals of science and rationality. Dr. Van Helsing, however, combines both scientific rationality and religious spirituality, and it is this combination that is finally able to overcome and destroy Dracula. A strong connection to Catholicism exists in the novel, with the use of crucifixes and hosts that actually are the embodiment of Christ, through transubstantiation, rather than just a metaphor for his body. These references to Catholicism remind the reader that the characters in the novel of British and American nationality do not mourn their dead in the way that the Catholics would. They have lost, as stated earlier, that connection. It is only through regaining such a relationship through the reminders of Van Helsing, that we see them able to destroy Dracula because they no longer need him to explain eternity; they do not need to hold onto him. We see the same circumstance happen to Lucy. The men all fought hard to keep her alive; they were unwilling to let her go into the beyond, because they loved her and for them the beyond would have been questionable, the unknown, and not a place to willingly allow a loved one to pass into. The rationality of science easily causes people to see nothingness beyond death because of their inability to find scientific proof of that existence. When Van Helsing takes the men to Lucy’s grave in order to destroy her corpse, he uses a Host to seal the mausoleum. When Lucy appears, she goes after Arthur, only to be repelled by Van Helsing’s “little golden crucifix.”19 She then runs to her tomb only to be caught between the crucifix and the Host.20 Through these means then, the men are able to restore her to the tomb and seal her in so that they can return the next day to destroy her. The instructions for her second death consist of Arthur driving a stake through her heart while “we [the other men] begin our prayer for the dead – I [Van Helsing] shall read him, I have here the book, and the others shall follow – strike in God’s name, that so all may be well with the dead that we love, and that the Un-Dead pass away.” 21 Not only is Lucy trapped by representations of the Catholic faith, but when she is put to rest, the men pray for her soul, just as Catholics would have done to move the souls of loved ones through Purgatory. In this way, the characters are showing the need for this relationship. Without it, the children whom Lucy bit would too become vampires, and Arthur, in his desire to continue a relationship with her, as evidenced by his continued attraction to her when she was trying to seduce him as the “Bloofer Lady,”22 would also be cursed to the same fate. It is the prayers for the dead then that establish the “proper” and safe relationship.

This then leads us to our look at contemporary vampires and what they tell us about our society and our relationship or lack thereof with the dead. What is so puzzling about the portrayal of the contemporary vampire is our reaction to what is in essence a corpse. If we look at Julia Kristeva’s Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, we see her explanation that “the corpse seen without God and outside of science, is the utmost abjection. It is death infecting life. Abject. It is something rejected from which one does not part, from which one does not protect oneself as from an object. Imaginary uncanniness and real threat, it beckons to us and ends up engulfing us.”23 Looking at the vampire through this lens, we should find it to be the ultimate abjection; rather than a desirable object, we should feel revulsion and rejection. Instead, we feel a desire for the reanimated corpse. The reaction that people had to the folklore vampire follows along the lines of how we would expect someone to react to the embodiment of abjection, to an undead body. Even the early literary vampires inspired fear in their readers. But we have somehow removed the fear from contemporary vampires. By not requiring them to kill, we can remove that feeling of abjection in what they are and what they are doing. They no longer “engulf us” as Kristeva says. We can choose to be with them and choose to become them and deny that they are any different than us.


It is these vampires then that I refer to as blood bank vampires. I have read many articles and materials that refer to “vegetarian” vampires, a reference also used in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series: “we call ourselves vegetarians, our little inside joke,”24 but this is a name that I feel does not apply considering they do still consume blood; therefore, blood bank vampires is a more appropriate name because, basically, these vampires gain blood in various ways that do not entail the killing of human beings. Some consume animal blood, either by killing the animal or getting the blood from a slaughterhouse or butcher. Others consume human blood but either drink blood taken from a blood bank or willingly “donated” by humans, and still others consume a blood alternative, like the vampires in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries series. These vampires have been occurring in our literature for decades now. One of the first examples is Louis from Ann Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. He tries to avoid drinking human blood at first: “I’ve indicated to you I would not then kill people. I moved along the rooftop in search of rats.” 25 Even though he is unsuccessful in his abstinence, it is an attempt that Dracula would never have made, therefore, ushering in a new type of literary vampire. We see this trend continue to develop through vampires like Nick Knight of Forever Knight, Mick St. John of Moonlight, Ian Daniel “Aidan” McCollin from Being Human as well as a host of other works, and while some of these vampires do continue to struggle with the desire for human blood, many now are able to maintain that diet rather than giving in to the cravings. In this way, these vampires have been removed from death or even humanized, as what they do to eat is nothing more than what we also do. It is one step in the metamorphosis created by our lack of mourning.

So here we have a progression from all vampires being perceived as evil to now allowing them to be good because they no longer hurt the human race through their hunger. Instead, as humans, we can willingly help them survive without being nothing more than chattel to them. It becomes a win-win situation for our culture. Even though the vampires are the undead by nature, only their own death is what now links them to that name. In all other ways we have removed our vampires from death. Therefore, we can still love the vampire after death. Unlike the spouse of folklore vampires, who could only expect to be killed by the deceased spouse, the spouses of contemporary vampires can live in peace knowing that their love will survive death because the vampire will not kill the living spouse. In fact, the only time in these works that the “good” vampire brings death to a loved one is when that loved one wishes to become immortal as well. We could then argue that the vampire is bringing eternal life rather than an actual death. This eternal relationship is one that we lost when moving away from the church and away from Purgatory, but is one that vampires can replace for us. Because we no longer pray for souls of our dead, we need them so we use the vampire to fulfill that need.

Hence, what makes us create these blood bank vampires that vary so far from the original mold? The answer lies in our current beliefs regarding Purgatory and death. As stated earlier, there were many rituals and practices that people would do that allowed them to maintain a relationship even past death. Now we bury our dead or cremate them and forget about them. As long ago as 1957, Pearson tells us that “the lawn cemetery, was introduced in Cambridge…and allows easier maintenance of the cemeteries since bereaved families can no longer be relied upon to maintain their individual plots.”26 People are no longer going to the cemeteries, spending time with the dead let alone praying those dead out of Purgatory and into Heaven. We walk away from them so quickly that it is almost as though we are trying to deny their death. If we do not have to see it, we do not have to acknowledge it. We also do not have the same relationship after death. Catholics once had to have masses for the dead in order to help them make their way through Purgatory and find their eternal salvation in Heaven. Now many Catholics either do not believe that purgatory exists or they do not perform the prescribed rituals and prayer, thereby taking away their need to think about dead loved ones and help them on their journey. While Protestants have never had this relationship with the dead, they too are losing what little our society did have. In this way then, we can deny the death of the vampire and make them into nothing more than an immortal human who just happens to drink blood.

Not only that, but it becomes a way for people to cope with the death of a loved one. Pearson explains “Many writers have commented on the effect of this attitude in causing psychological problems among the bereaved who are unable to cope effectively with the death of their loved ones with the aid of imposed ritual sanction.”27 If we do not believe in an afterlife, when loved ones die, we can suffer greatly not knowing what is to become of them or having to face what some say is the reality: our loved ones have become nothing more than a rotting corpse.

So when looking at vampires that have very little separation from humans, that for all intents and purposes are nothing more than immortal humans who just happen to drink blood, we can see that these vampires were created by our society to fulfill a need, a need to stop death and a need to hang on to our loved ones for the rest of our lives in a way that was lost when our society turned to science over religion and began to rationalize away notions like Purgatory. Van Helsing tells the others that Dracula will be “the father or furtherer of a new order of beings”28 if they are unable to destroy him. Even though they do arguably destroy Dracula, he did prove to be a father of “a new order of beings,” a new order of vampire that helps us to cope with the mortality of our loved ones and ourselves in a way that for many, those rational beliefs can no longer accomplish.


Barber, Paul. Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.

Calmet, Augustine. Dissertation on the Ghosts Who Return to Earth Bodily, the Excommunicated, the Oupires or Vampires, Vroucolacas, Etc. 1751. Edited by Henry Christmas. Project Gutenburg e-book.

Gordon, Bruce and Peter Marshall. Introduction: Placing the Dead in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. In The Place of the Dead: Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Edited by Bruce Gordon and Peter Marshall. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 1-16.

Keyworth, David. Troublesome Corpses: Vampires & Revenants from Antiquity to the Present. Essex, England: Desert Island Books, 2007.

Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.

Le Fanu, J. Sheridan. Carmilla. In The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories. Edited by Alan Ryan. New York: Penguin Books, 1987. 71-137.

Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Detroit: Visible Ink, 1994.

Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2006.

Pearson, Michael Parker. “Mortuary Practices, Society and Ideology: An Ethnoarchaeological Study.” In Symbolic and Structural Archaeology. Edited by Ian Hodder. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. 99-113.

Rice, Anne. Interview with the Vampire. 20th Anniversary Edition. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997.

Rickels, Laurence A. The Vampire Lectures. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

Rorabaugh, W. J., Donald T. Critchlow, and Paula C. Baker. America’s Promise: A Concise History of the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.

Rymer, James Malcolm. Varney the Vampire, or the Feast of Blood. 1845. Kindle edition.

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. 1897. Ed. Nina Auerback and David J. Skal. Norton Critical Editions. New York: Norton, 1997.

Townshend, Dale. “Gothic and the Ghost of Hamlet.” In Gothic Shakespeares. Edited by. John Drakakis and Dale Townshend. New York: Routeledge, 2008. 60-97.

Travels of Three English Gentlemen from Venice to Hamburg, Being the Grand Tour of Germany in the Year 1734. In The Harleian miscellany, or, A collection of scarce, curious, and entertaining pamphlets and tracts: as well in manuscript as in print, found in the late earl of Oxford’s library. Volume 4. T. Osborne, 1745. Google Books.

Wilson, A. N. The Victorians. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003.

1 Calmet, Augustine. Dissertation on the Ghosts Who Return to Earth Bodily, the Excommunicated, the Oupires or Vampires, Vroucolacas, Etc. 1751. Edited by Henry Christmas. (Project Gutenburg e-book), http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29412/29412-h/29412-h.htm.

2 Travels of Three English Gentlemen from Venice to Hamburg, Being the Grand Tour of Germany in the Year 1734. In The Harleian miscellany, or, A collection of scarce, curious, and entertaining pamphlets and tracts: as well in manuscript as in print, found in the late earl of Oxford’s library. Volume 4. T. Osborne, 1745. Google Books. 358. http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=h5ZCAAAAYAAJ.

3 Calmet, Dissertation.

4 Keyworth, David. Troublesome Corpses: Vampires & Revenants from Antiquity to the Present. (Essex, England: Desert Island Books, 2007), 169.

5 Gordon, Bruce and Peter Marshall. Introduction: Placing the Dead in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. In The Place of the Dead: Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Edited by Bruce Gordon and Peter Marshall. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 3.

6 Ibid., 3-4.

7 Keyworth, Troublesome Corpses, 222.

8 Rorabaugh, W. J., Donald T. Critchlow, and Paula C. Baker. America’s Promise: A Concise History of the United States. (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), 47.

9 Barber, Paul. Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), 57.

10 Wilson, A. N. The Victorians. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003), 168-69.

11 Townshend, Dale. “Gothic and the Ghost of Hamlet.” In Gothic Shakespeares. Edited by. John Drakakis and Dale Townshend. (New York: Routeledge, 2008), 89.

12 Rickels, Laurence A. The Vampire Lectures. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 4.

13 Pearson, Michael Parker. “Mortuary Practices, Society and Ideology: An Ethnoarchaeological Study.” In Symbolic and Structural Archaeology. Edited by Ian Hodder. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 99.

14 Ibid., 106.

15 Stoker, Bram. Dracula. 1897. Ed. Nina Auerback and David J. Skal. Norton Critical Editions. (New York: Norton, 1997), 252.

16 Le Fanu, J. Sheridan. Carmilla. In The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories. Edited by Alan Ryan. (New York: Penguin Books, 1987), 76.

17 Rymer, James Malcolm. Varney the Vampire, or the Feast of Blood. 1845. Kindle edition.

18 Stoker, Dracula, 269.

19 Ibid., 188.

20 Ibid., 189.

21 Ibid., 191.

22 Ibid., 188.

23 Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 4.

24 Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2006), 188.

25 Rice, Anne. Interview with the Vampire. 20th Anniversary Edition. (New York: Ballantine Books, 1997), 71.

26 Pearson, “Mortuary Practices,” 107.

27 Ibid., 110-11.

28 Stoker, Dracula, 263.


About Jeaneen K. Kish:

JKishBioJeaneen K. Kish is a doctoral candidate in the Literature and Criticism department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation focuses on the use of madness in nineteenth-century Gothic drama. She is also an adjunct English instructor at Community College of Allegheny County, Westmoreland County Community College, and Point Park University in Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in Studies in Gothic Fiction and Gothic Transgressions: The Extension and Commercialization of a Cultural Mode. She is a member of the International Gothic Association, and will be presenting a paper on Frankenstein at its conference in Manchester, England in August, 2018.

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