Why Am I Always the Vampire?
It’s October all over again!
My favourite time of the year is Autumn, mostly because I’m an Autumn baby. I love everything about it. The change in the atmosphere, the longer nights. It’s the
most reflective time of the year for me, the end of another year of my life,
and thus the start of a new chapter. And I simply adore October! Why? Because
it means Hallowe’en is on the way...
Hallowe’en; for most it’s a time to party, to dress up and delve into the slightly more macabre things in life. In a fun way, of course. I’m not immune to this fun.
I’m always being invited to Hallowe’en fancy dress parties, and almost always
people say I should go as a vampire. Why me? Okay, yes, sure, everyone who
knows me in the real world knows full well of my interest in all things vampiric;
books, DVDs, mythology – you name it, I’m almost certainly going to be
interested (although I do draw the line at popular vampire fiction, ala
Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, etc. After all, I do have standards and a reputation to
maintain!). I have dressed up as a
vampire, of course, but the truth is dressing up a vampire is kind of dull.
Especially these days.
The image of the vampire is so sanitised; we’ve moved a long way from the vampire of ancient mythology, they of the bloated blood-filled bodies, and the hairy feet. Hell,
even the suave Lugosi-style vampire is old hat. Now it’s all Edward Cullen,
Angel, Spike and Bill Compton, and let’s be honest here, unless we’re looking
into the origins of these characters there’s not much we can do to dress up.
There’s nothing distinctive about them. Apart from the paler than usual skin
and sometimes fangs, they look much like everyone else. Okay, sure I could
bleach my hair, slick it back, and wear a deep red shirt under a long leather
coat and say I’ve come as Spike, but not really much of a ‘fancy dress’ is it?
There’s always the more obscure vampires, of course. Lon Chaney’s Balfour from London After Midnight, or perhaps Max
Schreck’s Orlock from Nosferatu? Very
distinctive images; although the former would almost certainly be lost on most
people at any given party, and the latter would probably be confused with Mr
Barlow from the 1970s version of ‘salem’s
Lot. So you see, what can you do? When it comes to vampires and Hallowe’en
parties you’re stuck with countless (excuse the pun) Lugosi- and Lee-style
Draculas. Sure, a classic, but rather obvious and boring, too.
Vampires fascinate me; they always have and always will. For every generation a new kind of vampire is created, to slightly borrow from Buffy, although it’s a pity that these new vampires are all much
the same. Very little is new (except sparkles! And as crap as that is, at least
Stephenie Meyer brought something new
to contemporary vampire fiction – okay, granted it’s the only new thing she
brought, but, hey, let’s move on), and all is but a variation on the common
image of the vampire seen everywhere for the last sixty-odd years. On the
surface it’s all fangs and pale skin. Not exactly the most exciting kind of
fancy dress. So, maybe, until we get a more interesting kind of visual vampire,
it’s time to move on at Hallowe’en and come as something a little more
No, you say? Okay, then, but if you see hundreds of Draculas at the end of the month, you just remember what I said. Three words; variety, life, spice. The same is true
for Hallowe’en fancy dress parties.
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