Curiosity Matters

An Exploration of Branding, Design and Cultural Trends

Vampires & Witches - Who were they really?

Just read a post on CNN that graves with iron stakes driven through the hearts were found in Bulgaria. So basically these people were thought to be vampires and they were killed in a horrible way because of it. This reminds me of The Messenger, which I finally saw a few days ago. As I'm sure we're all familiar - Jean D'Arc is thought to have heard voices from God that guided her on how to defeat the British while the British cruelly occupied French territory. Her visions helped the army to defeat the British but because of political desires to please the English, she was burned at the stake, accused of being a witch. We've all read about "witches" being burned and now "vampires" being killed this way. One theory is that the women accused of being witches were midwives and healers, possessing more knowledge about how to heal than the male doctors who commonly resorted to blood letting. Accusing them of being witches was a way to restore power to the doctors. History is literred with tales of people being falsely accused of being some sort of mythical creature for the sole purpose of those in power, staying in power.

So I'm curious - if we establish the fact that no, these people were not witches or vampires - then what were they? Were they people who just happened to be stronger than your average citizen? Or strikingly more attractive? Did they live longer than the average person? Were they smarter than the established power? Did they choose to believe in science over religion? Or were they autistic - having trouble interacting with people but possessing an extraordinary knowledge or memory in one particular subject? Or were they schizophrenic, multiple personalities? It would be interesting to learn the scientific reasons to these longstanding myths. Any ideas?

And some more food for thought - what has been going on in the last 5 years in American culture that has gotten us suddenly so obsessed with the world of vampires and witches? Is our life so difficult now with the ongoing recession that we need to transport ourselves to another world ?