NETHERWORLD Monster of the Month: March 2012 Vampires!

by on Mar.01, 2012, under Haunted Houses, NETHERWORLD Haunted House

Vampires – for the most part – begin life as mortals, vulnerable to the same weaknesses as all human beings: aging, disease, bodily harm, and eventually death. Yet after their terrifying transformation into the undead, they are reborn as immortal creatures of the night, albeit with a brand new set of weaknesses. It is commonly believed that this change comes as the result of having been fed upon – and feeding from – a vampire, forcing a short death and resurrection as nosferatu. From that point forward, it’s a life of drinking blood, avoiding sunlight and dodging wooden stakes and beheadings.

NETHERWORLD Haunted House Vampire Brides

However popular this theory is, there have been many beliefs regarding the creation of vampires. According to Slavic legend, if a cat or dog jumped over a corpse it was at risk of becoming a vamp. Russian folklore blames a former life as a witch with causing the change. Chinese tales indicate that a wound not treated with boiling water could trigger an unearthly bloodlust. There have also been a variety of methods for preventing vampirism over the ages, such as burying a corpse upside down to prevent it from rising again. Greek folklore tells of the vrykolakas, in which a wax cross and piece of pottery with the inscription “Jesus Christ conquers” were buried atop the corpse as a preventative measure. A common European practice was to sever the tendons at a corpse’s knees, and place seeds or rice around the grave, as it was believed a vampire would have to count the individual grains before moving on. Obsessive-compulsive disorder apparently goes hand-in-hand with bloodlust!

Although the legend of vampiric activity dates back as far as prehistoric times, it wasn’t until the early eighteenth century that the traditionally recognized term “vampire” came to be, as vampire superstition grew in Western Europe. This fear of the undead eventually gave way to mass hysteria, leading to suspected individuals being accused of vampirism and executed, and corpses being exhumed and staked to prevent any possible transformation to the dark side. And while imagery of the creature varied from human-like to the ghastly, it was John Polidori’s 1819 novella “The Vampyre” that established the archetype of charismatic and sophisticated vampire. This is believed to be a huge influence on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, released in 1897 and considered by many to be the quintessential vampire tome. Soon, the hideous bloodsucking fiend became a suave, seductive tortured soul – more a figure of sympathy than dread.

Since then, the portrayal of the undead has taken on many varied forms. From Anne Rice’s sexy, tormented immortals to the teen angst of the “Twilight” series and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to the elusive, hunger-mad creatures of “30 Days of Night”, there seems to be a style of vamp for every taste – a true testament to the longevity and popularity of this intriguing legend. With popular television series like “The Vampire Diaries” and “True Blood” captivating audiences, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for the unlife of the vampire, at least as far as the media is concerned.

Atlanta’s Netherworld Haunted House is also keeping the legend of the nosferatu alive – or undead, as the case may be. Commanded by Lord Ghoulich, the vampires of Netherworld rally against the forces of the Netherspawn, hoping to end the Blood Night and forever repay a past betrayal at the hands of the gargoyles – which led to the destruction of many of his kind. Cunning and powerful, he stalks the chambers of Netherworld with his deadly, beautiful Brides, dead set on restoring the balance of power and eliminating the gargoyle race forever. As seductive as they are lethal, the vampires you find here will take your breath away.

And a bit of your blood, as well, if you’re not careful…

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