Vampire Myths – Vampirism Disease or Porphyria

My family wonders if I might be a vampire. My pale skin and dark eyes are very sensitive to the sun, my bedtime is 3:00–4:30 a.m. or when I see the sun coming up, and I eat steak with a raw, cold center! I can’t really be a vampire because they don’t exist. So where do the myths come from?

Kup Kollar Dracula book

There are many different vampire myths from around the world and theories to explain them. One such theory involves vampirism disease, called porphyria, which is a hereditary blood disorder that disrupts the production of haem, a major part of red blood. About 1000 years ago this disease was common in small villages in Transylvania, located next to Romania.

Porphyria sufferers are extremely sensitive to light, which causes burns and abrasions, so they prefer darkness. The repeated skin damage causes tightening and shrinkage. When this occurs around the mouth along with gum recession, the canine teeth appear more prominent and look like fangs. Porphyria causes depression and affects the brain, producing peculiar behavior. Eating garlic makes the symptoms much worse. This rare disease is difficult to diagnose but treatable.

If you find vampires fascinating, read the book “The Annotated Dracula” by Bram Stoker (author),  Leonard Wolf (editor). Use a Kup Kollar (cup sleeve) on your take-out cup the next time you’re reading in a coffee or tea shop. It will keep whatever you’re drinking hotter, longer!