Tracing the blood-curdling origins of vampires, zombies, and werewolves

Published October 25, 2022

8 min read

People have lived in dread of monsters since time immemorial. Who wouldn’t be terrified of flesh-eating beasts? Or bloodsucking night stalkers? Or zombies reanimated from the grave? This is the stuff of nightmares, though typically there are good explanations behind the horrors. Or are there?

Belief in vampires is nothing new. Tales of these nightmarish creatures—whose single bite of their pearly fangs turns their victims into cold, heartless beasts of the dark—date back to at least the Bronze Age. The Assyrians in 4000 B.C., for example, dreaded the edimmu, vampire-like spirits.

(The bloody truth about vampires and their origins.)

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