Since it is close to Halloween, my thoughts of late have turned toward memories of previous Halloween celebrations. There’s a lot of good times, so maybe I’ll post something later about certain memories. But in today’s post, I wanted to talk specifically about how I became so fascinated with vampires.
My earliest memory relating to the blood-suckers was when I was very little. Not sure exactly, but I was probably around five or six. My dad also loves Halloween (it’s probably where I got it from!), and would dress up as Dracula every year. He did this neat party trick with fangs. I remember talking to my dad, staring into his face, and he responded normally. Then I glanced away for less than a second, and when I looked back at my dad, he had this mad gleam in his eye. Then he smiled and revealed fangs that had not been there before, and lunged forward to “nibble” on me. It was really more like tickling me, but you get the idea. Apparently, he could talk while hiding the fangs in the roof of his mouth. Whenever someone glanced away, he’d push the fangs into place and scare the crap out of them. However, it didn’t scare me and my brother. In fact we loved it and would ask him to do it over and over again. I even remember thinking that my dad really was a vampire and didn’t understand why my friends thought that they were scary!
So, with my dad’s cultural influence, I was exposed to the idea of vampires at a young age and watched plenty of vampire movies growing up.
The time that I actually became obsessed over vampires was in the fifth grade. That was the year that I began to read voraciously. I found a young adult author that I liked, named Christopher Pike. After reading most of his books, I discovered that he had written a vampire series, called The Last Vampire. And boy, let me tell you, I was totally obsessed with vampires after that. I pretended that I was a vampire. After all, I had pale skin, rather long incisors, and my hair and nails grew pretty quickly. (I know that doesn’t exactly scream vampire – but when I was a kid, it was enough of a stretch. :))
Of course, I then broadened my vampire literature and read everything I could about the mythical creatures. I absorbed everything, from the classical Dracula to the Ann Rice books. From all of my “research”, I created my own version of vampires and what they were capable of. I imagined how they were created in the first place and what the culture was like.
I’m happy to tell you that I no longer obsess over vampires like I did as a child. I still enjoy reading about them and other paranormal creatures, but I’m a lot more calm about it. I no longer try to pretend like I could be one of them. Instead, I create characters who actually are vampires.
I know I’m not the only one out there who had an obsession growing up. There are plenty of people who obsess over witches and fairies and werewolves. So what’s your poison? What type of character excited you the most when you were a child? It doesn’t have to be something paranormal. Maybe you were obsessed with ballerinas or Jackie Chan. I’d love to hear about it in the comments!