LIFE Vampires

LIFE Vampires

LIFE Vampires

United States
Meredith Operations Corporation
13,70 €(IVA inc.)

en aquest número

16 min.
our long fascination with vampires

The most consequential night in the history of fright occurred in June of 1816 at Villa Diodati on the banks of Lake Geneva, where the Romantic poets Lord Byron and Percy Shelley were vacationing with Shelley’s 19-year-old fiancée, Mary Godwin, her half-sister Claire Clairmont, and Byron’s physician and traveling companion, John Polidori. Confined to their villa by two weeks of torrential rain, they began telling ghost stories to amuse themselves. Three years earlier, Byron had written “The Giaour,” a poem that warns of a corpse who, “as Vampyre sent,” is torn from its grave to “suck the blood of all thy race.” On this particular evening in Switzerland, he suggested that each traveler should produce a supernatural tale as entertainment for the others. At midnight, Dr. Polidori recorded in his diary,…

7 min.
how vampire bats live and thrive

To be fond of bats, the late humorist Will Cuppy said, one has to be terribily fond of nature. “He was right,” says Juliane Diller. “I’m fond of both.” Diller is a biologist who wrote her doctoral dissertation on bats. Recently retired as deputy director of the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich, Germany, she now spends much of her time overseeing Panguana, the oldest biological research station in Peru, where she grew up. Spanning 4,000 acres in the Amazon basin, the private conservation area is home to 56 species of bats. By contrast, Diller says, there are only 27 species in all of Europe. Panguana is inhabited by all three species of vampire bats: the common vampire, the white-winged vampire, and the hairy-legged vampire. The common vampire generally preys on…

10 min.
the book of dracula and beyond

Bram Stoker was a Victorian writer of alpha energy, beta character, and gamma judgment. He wrote 17 novels, romances, and works of nonfiction. Sixteen of them have largely been forgotten; most are excruciating reads. But in 1897, he published Dracula—the most durable classic of fang fare the English language has produced—and over the last 124 years, it has never been out of print. This tale of an innocent, unassuming Englishman who stumbles into the deadly world of the undead ushered in the 20th century, maintains the horror writer Stephen King, whose 1975 novel ’Salem’s Lot features a small-town antiques dealer who is the harbinger of vampirish evil: “We had such an influx of knowledge that everything was wrong. In the worst of all possible centuries, people would do anything… Dracula…

3 min.
how to repel a vampire

Is there a foolproof way to fend off a vampire? The classic repellents are crucifixes, rosaries, and holy water. Wreaths of garlic festooned on doors, hung around the neck, or rubbed around windows and entrances will also do the trick. In 1998, Dr. Juan Gomez-Alonso, a neurologist in Vigo, Spain, hypothesized that rabies could help explain the supposed aversion of vampires to garlic. Vampires, he said, were really victims of a type of rabies called furious rabies, a disease usually transferred to humans by an animal bite. The symptoms: retracted lips, clenched teeth, frothing at the mouth, hyper-sexuality, and vomiting of bloody fluids. Dr. Gomez-Alonso found that almost a quarter of men suffering from rabies tended to bite other people. “That almost guarantees transmission, as the virus is carried in saliva,” explains…

21 min.
the greatest vampire of all

Even on a bright spring day, the funeral chapel known as the Grotto at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California, has the forbidding quality of a cave of bloodthirsty bats. Embedded in the grass near the entrance to this man-made cavern, in a city of the dead awash with crosses, is a stark gray and black marker bearing the name of America’s foremost vampire: Bela Lugosi. “To die,” he mused as Dracula, “to be really dead, that might be glorious.” As it turned out, Lugosi died not one but dozens of premature deaths. This year marks the 90th anniversary of Lugosi’s most famous film, Tod Browning’s Dracula, which defined the creepy legend for generations of moviegoers and set the boundaries that other films and books have either swooned toward or…

6 min.
celluloid sensations

CHRISTOPHER LEE When Lee wrote his autobiography in 1977, he called it Tall, Dark and Gruesome. The angular, athletic British movie actor appeared as the Transylvanian count in at least 10 outings, most of them produced by Hammer Films and all of them in red contact lenses. His fanged breakthrough came at age 36 in the title role of Terence Fisher’s Horror of Dracula, the 1958 flick that first pitted Lee against Peter Cushing as his nemesis, Doctor Van Helsing. Lee’s Dracula reveals himself to be a crisply charming blue blood who’s far too natty to have come out of anyone’s unconscious. MAX SCHRECK, KLAUS KINSKI, WILLEM DAFOE As the verminlike Count Graf Orlok in F. W. Murnau’s classic silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, an unauthorized 1922 adaptation of Dracula, the…