By Lauren Paulsen, Contributor
It’s near the end of October and Halloween is just around the corner. All Hallow’s Eve: the night when monsters come out to play. The strange thing is that we’ve started to think about monsters all throughout the year and not just in this autumn month, with the most popular monster being vampires.
Vampires are everywhere these days. There are movies made about them, whole television series centred on their existence, and tons of novels about them. One thing they have in common is that they are no longer portrayed as horrible, blood-sucking fiends. Yes, they still suck blood but strangely, people are attracted to this, finding it sexy and alluring. Most modern-day stories make vampires out to be tortured souls who fight their inner demons and fall in love with a human. Modern cliché.
I don’t understand this complex attraction to vampires. I mean, they’re dead! Or, undead, if you prefer. Frankenstein is dead too, as are skeletons, ghosts, and mummies. So why is it that vampires are the popular ones? I doubt the corpse part turns people on.
Like a zombie, they’re pretty much just animated corpses, yet zombies don’t have the same appeal. You never see characters having sex with a zombie. It has to be the bloodsucking. Why is it made out to be such a sexual thing? Besides the fact that I wouldn’t want to sleep with a corpse (necrophilia, if we’re getting technical), why in the hell would I want them to suck my blood? I’ve lost a lot of blood in the past, and it’s not pleasant—it makes you feel like utter crap.
So what’s with people these days? There are tons of other monsters out there; why are vampires so popular? At least some other monsters are alive. What about werewolves? They turn into wolves! How freaking cool is that? Heightened senses, speed, and a penchant for the full moon? Maybe the hairy isn’t your turn-on, so what about a witch? No longer are they old hags with beaked noses and tons of warts. And they have magic. What’s sexier than magic? Why aren’t these other monsters getting the same recognition as vampires?
Vampires aren’t the only monsters out there, and yes, they are monsters. Vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight; they burst into flames! Now, I can see the allure of the supernatural, and maybe some romance to it. But there are tons of other monsters out there! It would be great this Halloween if people could give more recognition to the other monsters. They can’t stand up for themselves, after all.
Vampires, zombies, aliens, oh my! Why we love our classic monsters
By Elliot Chan, Contributor
Mythology, folklore, and campfire stories have fuelled some of humanity’s most frightening monsters, but few of them have made an impact on pop culture the way vampires, zombies, and aliens have. Television, cinema, literature, and even public events are dedicated to these popular monsters. There is no killing our love for them. They will haunt us forever.
Monsters, like technology or any other form of entertainment, bridge the gap between generations. People live, age, and die, but our fears are immortal. Take a look at the vampire; is there a reason why contemporary culture still finds these castle-dwelling bloodsuckers relevant? Well, since the early 1800s, vampires have evolved from the caped Count who “vanted to suck your blood” to the Twilight series’ heartthrob we all know today. The vampires’ versatility is the reason they are so popular in entertainment. The fact that they not only transform into bats, but also take on human attributes makes them so dauntingly endearing.
While vampires are always different, zombies are always the same. So why do we have these undead obsessions? Hidden deep in our primal brain is the knowledge that one day, all will end. The plethora of apocalyptic possibilities is a rainstorm in our heads. We can shield ourselves from it, but we can’t stop it. Plagues and epidemics might seem like a concern for the dark ages, but even with our wealthy medical care we are not immune to diseases. With popular shows like The Walking Dead enforcing people’s fears and adding to the realism of such trying situations, there is no wonder that zombies are so frighteningly infamous.
We are not so different from the monsters we create—especially those that really make us cringe and shiver. Those that force their way into our lives are the ones that stem from a strong possibility of existing. All quality monsters are mysteries, and there is no bigger mystery than aliens. We can play ignorant and imagine a lonely universe, but to most people the idea of life beyond Earth is not only plausible but expected. With all our science and technology, the question is not whether or not there are aliens, but whether or not we will find them—before they find us.
It’s not an accident that certain monsters are more popular than others. Each one triggers a unique reaction in the human psyche. By analyzing these fictional fiends, we are able to dig deep into our instincts and understand the creative link between fear and fantasy.