NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. XXIX, No. 3, September, 1973
A REAPPRAISAL OF THE VAMPIRE
Louis Winkler and Carol Winkler
BY FAR, the most extensive twentieth century work on the
history and accounts of vampires is due to Montague
Summers. Vampirism at its pinnacle emerged in the
latter part of the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth
centuries. The vampire was principally found in his most highly
developed form in Greece, Hungary and the Slavonic countries.
This is the era and locales with which we will principally
An exceptionally popular fictional vampire, Dracula, was
created by Bram Stoker in 1897. A literary analysis of the historical
basis for the character of Dracula, which extends back to
the fifteenth century, is given by Grigore Nandris.
The etymology of the word vampire is not certain. It is probably
derived from the Magyor word for vampire, which is vampir.
Many Slavonic words, however, are also similar.
Characteristics of vampires vary considerably so as to suit the
people in their time and place. Numerous primary sources of
descriptions of vampires are found in Summer, Nandris, and
Lewis Spence. The characteristics submitted here, as being representative,
are influenced mostly by Summers....
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