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Vampires in the News

March 14, 2009

As a sort of corollary to Carmilla, here’s an article about the discovery of a corpse in a Venice plague pit that had been treated as a vampire several hundred years ago. In the Introduction to Carmilla, I talk about European vampire superstitions, drawing heavily from the information in Paul Barber’s Vampires, Burial, and Death. I thought it fascinating to read about this additional evidence of the way plagues fostered belief in vampires. It’s particularly interesting (at least to me) that this is in Venice. I tend to generalize vampire superstitions as being a rural phenomenon, but Venice was a sophisticated urban area during the 16th century. That residents of the city were worried about vampires makes me rethink that.

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