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The vampire has long been a belief in many cultures. Stories have been passed down through the ages about these creatures for many thousands of years, through out many different places in the world. There are vampire stories that date back to the times of Classical Greece, Mesopotamia, and even ancient India. In most of these stories the vampire is depicted as an ugly, evil creature that preys on the lives of their previous family members, and fellow villagers. They are seen as wholly dead, and only rise to take the lives of the living and return to their graves. In these stories they do not live among humans, converse with humans, or in any way associate themselves into the human world.
The short story "The Vampire" by John Polidori is one of the first stories to assimilate the vampire into the human world, and paves the way for our own modern idea of the vampire. In his short story his character Lord Ruthven lives with in society, sleeps in a bed, and is able to mesmerize his human audience. In essence he is even more dangerous than his predecessors since he has the ability to blend into society. Lord Ruthven is still evil and through out the story corrupts young innocent girls for his own pleasure, however he does it under the guise of a normal man. He hides his evil side from the world in order to obtain what he wants. A true predator lying in wait for his next victim. The men and women he meets are fascinated and intrigued by his appearance instead of appalled and it makes their curiosity rise, such as it did to Aubrey, that it attracts people to him, instead of frightening them away.
The vampire was no longer a mindless creature that haunted you in the middle of the night creep through your windows while you were sleeping. Now the vampire could be in the same room as you, and you wouldn't even know it. They were still evil creatures, but also beautiful, intelligent, and resourceful. Instead of a complete monster, the vampire began to take on a more human persona.
Once this story was published it paved the way for more vampire authors, including Bram Stoker, who used Polidori's idea of the more human vampire. To this day many of the stories that are published about vampires portray them as more human than monster like. Some even picture the vampire as a hero, a monster with a heart. Instead of the reader being frightened by a monster, they can relate to the character, learn with the character, and fall in love with him.
So then one may ask which vampire persona is scarier? The vampire monster whose only thought is to destroy and kill, or the vampire human, who can think and act and blend in with the world. At least with a vampire monster you know that it is coming, with a vampire human you would have no idea until it is to late. .