The Vampire Disease

topic posted Mon, February 16, 2004 - 11:27 PM by  Unsubscribed

A rare hereditary blood disease, which causes the inability of the body to reproduce heme, the component of hemoglobin, which is the major component or red blood. Lack of heme causes a porphyriac to experience blood cravings, causing the sufferer of this disease to attack people or animals for their blood in desparate attempt to replace the heme their body could not generate. A driven porphyriac would do this without knowing why he/she had done it.

Porphyria causes skin sensativity to sunlight forcing the sufferer to come out only at night. Garlic, which stimulates heme production in healthy people, contains a chemical that worses then painful symptoms of porphyria. The porphyria sufferer would avoid contact with garlic becaused it caused pain, not because he/she was a Vampire.

More severe symptoms caused by this disease are sores and scars on the skin, exessive hariness, the tightening and stretching of the gums and lips causing teeth to appear fang-like. Aslo, in more severe cases, fingers and nose would sometimes fall off. Bloody sores around the mouth caused by stretching and tightening of the lips may give the appearance of a bloody mouthed Vampire that had recently fed from a victim.

This hereditary disease was more likely to occur in earlier times when travel was less common and inbreeding was more common, and their hereditary factor played a larger role. In some cases relatives may have been bitten for their blood simply because they were handy when the porphyria sufferer needed and immediate supply. These donors might later show the same porphyria symptoms and seem to have become Vampires themselves as the result of having been bitten by one. The truth is that they had already aquired the disease at birth, since the disease is hereditary. In this occurance of the disease many members of the community may have developed the belief in the transformation of become a Vampire in a certain village or community where the disease was more common.
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  • Re: The Vampire Disease

    Wed, April 20, 2005 - 2:44 PM
    I have heard that rabid animals is a smaller form of the Vampire Disease.
    • This post was deleted by TOU (Terms of Use)
      • Unsu...

        Re: The Vampire Disease

        Wed, June 15, 2005 - 10:40 PM
        I haven't actually read anything about rabies/vampirism, but let me take a stab at it...

        Back in the days when we actually used caves as dwellings, we had to stay (for the most part) near the front. This was so we could make use of fire without suffocating. Whereas bats would stay near the rear of the cave (especially with noisy hominids in the front), leaving only to feed. Occasionally, a rabid bat would bite a hominid. This poor soul, as rabies progressed, would become increasingly antisocial and start hanging out closer to the rear of the cave, where it's not so bright. He (or she) would be perceived by the other humans as behaving more and more like a bat. And when madness hit, this hominid might bite someone else, passing on the disease.

        Is this anywhere close to what you're suggesting?

        I think perhaps aspects of both of these diseases are incorporated into what became the vampire legends.
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  • Re: The Vampire Disease

    Fri, July 22, 2005 - 10:15 PM

    A Medical Perspective

    Vampires have continued to fascinate us and stimulate our imaginations for thousands of years. Indeed, many humans have been accused of being vampires over the centuries due to the fact that their physical characteristics resembled the traits of these blood-sucking monsters. However, modern science has since shed some light on the vampire myth, highlighting three medical conditions that may well explain why some unfortunate souls were mistaken for these dark creatures of the night.

    • Re: The Vampire Disease

      Sun, October 9, 2005 - 8:50 PM
      Not sure how often this forum is actually read, but I'll take my stab at this.

      Most, if not all, of the "disease-as-vampire" hypotheses are demonstrably bogus. The reason for this is that "real" vampires--those whom folks actually believe(d) in--usually weren't deranged bloodsuckers who slept by day and went around at night with bared fangs looking to suck blood. Almost all vampires had one thing in common: they were dead. The hallmark of vampire belief is that the vampire is hunted it its grave, exhumed, and physically kept from leaving its grave, be that by bodily mutilation, staking the corpse to the ground, or cremation. "Real vampires" were not living people acting sociopathically; they were bodies blamed for the ills of society.

      I'm working on a book on this subject, but in the meantime, you can consult this link:

  • Re: The Vampire Disease

    Thu, November 3, 2005 - 9:00 AM
    Tuberculosis, or consumption, was also a disease that likely helped perpetuate the myth of the vampire.
    The symptoms of the victim - a gradual "wasting away" to death - very close to that attributed to the classical vampire.
    • Re: The Vampire Disease

      Sat, November 5, 2005 - 7:37 AM
      Archangel is right on the money here. There's a very good book on the subject by Michael Bell called *Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires* that explores this in depth. Highly recommended!

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