Archive for June 10th, 2010

Fear of Vampires

Right out of bed.

I look like I'm trying to destroy the world with my mind. Which is fairly accurate for right out of bed.

So this afternoon I stumbled out of bed and picked up my camera, because I vaguely remembered my promise to take a picture of what I looked like just out of bed. So here I am, in all my unwashed, uncombed glory. It looks worse than the picture makes it look, I promise. I do like how the second picture turned out, because I do generally feel like destroying the world first thing in the morning/afternoon. As you can see, I am not what one might call a “morning person”.

But anyway, today I’m going to talk for a bit about vampires. This is mostly inspired by the fact that I’ve been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time ever. All my geek friends love it, so I figured it was finally time for me to watch it so I had some idea of what was going on when they made references and stuff.

The main reason I didn’t watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was on TV was because for as long as I remember, I’ve had a phobia of vampires. We’re not talking “mildy creeped out”, we’re talking “weeping in fear in the middle of the night because someone mentioned vampires during the day and now we’re terrified one is coming to kill us”. I went through a period in late elementary school where I was convinced that every person I knew, up to and including my parents, brothers and our family dogs, was secretly a vampire. That’s right. I was actively afraid of my parents, because they might want to kill me for food. So obviously, this isn’t a rational fear by any stretch of the imagination.

The thing is, I’m not afraid of blood, or needles. I’m not really afraid of pain, or being bitten. Any of the rational fears that could lead to being afraid of vampires, really. I was just terrified of them. I did the classic kid thing and made sure my neck was covered by my blanket every night (because somehow that would keep them out, gotta love kid logic). As if my parents couldn’t just lift the sheet up if they felt like coming in and killing me (or my brothers, or the dogs).

So when I say I have a natural aversion to vampires, this isn’t just me saying “meh I don’t like things that suck blood” or “they’re just so cliche”. This stems from a childhood fear that I still can’t fully overcome, even though I do better now than I used to. I’ve even read a couple books about vampires (Twilight doesn’t count, although I read those too, I’ll talk about the epic clusterfuck of that series another time). I read “The Last Vampire” series by Cristopher Pike, which I mainly liked because of the supernatural and interesting religious imagery elements, not so much the actual vampire bits. I also read the Sonja Blue series, which is about a vampire who hunts other vampires (it’s complicated, but a very good read and pretty original, for vampire fiction). I tried Anne Rice, but her vampires just spent all their time whining about shit, so I got bored with that real quick.

Still, a book is one thing, and a TV series is quite another. I wasn’t willing to watch one all about vampires, even if the majority of the series was actually about random shit like people turning into giant fish or a giant praying mantis pretending to be human so she can mate with and kill young men or a demon that gets released into the internet. I’m still afraid of them. I’m sure I always will be. But part of growing up is facing your fears, and so I went ahead and started watching the series, because everyone and their brother thinks it’s great. And it actually is pretty good.

Of course, that doesn’t stop me from having horrific nightmares most nights after I watch it. *Sigh* But I guess there’s always going to be a trade off.


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