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The cold, dense rain pelts against the frozen pane of glass. Thunder roars and resounds deep in your chest. Flashes of Zeus’s weapon bring only momentary relief from the encasing, living darkness. The monster is there, somewhere, but your frail human eyes cannot find him.

Monsters have existed in fiction since the beginning. Humans are drawn to them, need them. We need them as scapegoats; we need them as fantasies; we need something more evil than ourselves.

My first question is who or what is your favorite monster in fiction? Is it Frankenstein‘s monster, the dreaded vampire, werewolves, ghosts, witches, zombies, wraiths, draugr, wendigo, headless horsemen, Grendel, the reaper, the devil himself? Pick one or two or all of them. Tell me what really makes your hair stand on end.

Now, tell me which vampire story is your favorite. We have so many to choose from. Here’s a small list:

Varney the Vampyre 

The Vampyre

Dracula

Carmilla

Interview with the Vampire

Twilight

Do you hate any of these on the list? Why? Is there one not here that you love more? Which one?

I’ve included links to the ones available for free on Amazon’s Kindle reader. That software is free as well.

I also wanted to talk about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The last time I read this story I was in middle school. I had forgotten what a great tale it was. Most of us can’t wipe Disney’s image of Ichabod Crane out of our minds, but if you haven’t read this one in awhile, I urge you to do so. The language is so rich and compelling you are immediately swept into Ichabod’s world. This is a must-read for an American Halloween.

As for me, I love vampires. I love the wolf in sheep’s clothing idea of the slick vampires that walk among us. There is something so disturbing about the monsters walking among us. Who do you trust? Can you trust them? Vampires are beautiful on the outside but twisted within, demonic. I don’t want my vampires to sparkle in the sun or to be “vegans.” I want that twist, that separation from humanity. This distinction from the rest of us is what draws us to them. We have come to accept their innate evilness because they are beautiful in one of their forms, and we as mortals crave escaping death.

I will leave you with this quote:

“With a sudden rush that could not be foreseen–with a strange howling cry
that was enough to awaken terror in every breast, the figure seized the long
tresses of her hair, and twining them round his bony hands he held her to the
bed. Then she screamed–Heaven granted her then power to scream. Shriek followed shriek in rapid succession. The bed-clothes fell in a heap by the side of the bed–she was dragged by her long silken hair completely on to it again. Her beautifully rounded limbs quivered with the agony of her soul. The glassy,
horrible eyes of the figure ran over that angelic form with a hideous
satisfaction–horrible profanation. He drags her head to the bed’s edge. He
forces it back by the long hair still entwined in his grasp. With a plunge he
seizes her neck in his fang-like teeth–a gush of blood, and a hideous sucking
noise follows. The girl has swooned, and the vampyre is at his hideous repast!”

Prest, Thomas Preskett (2005-01-29). Varney the Vampire Or the Feast of Blood (p. 5). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

Happy Halloween!

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