In 1922 a German film Director named F.W. Murnau released a silent expressionist horror called ‘Nosferatu’. At the time, the vampire film was considered so disturbingly scary that the Swedish Government put out a 50-year ban on the film in order to prohibit its screening. While the ban was eventually lifted, the film’s run of bad luck didn’t end there, when it came to light that the horrific vampire tale was an unauthorised adaptation of the classic vampire story, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. While names and details included in the original novel were changed by studio heads, Stoker’s heirs decided to sue. In the end, a court ruled that all copies of the film were to be destroyed, however, a few prints of Nosferatu lived on. In what can only be described as a miraculous resurrection, the film was eventually recognised as a cinematic masterpiece.
Now, the classic is expected to return to screens with a modern twist. Robert Eggers Director of ‘The Witch’ is teaming up with Warner Bros. Pictures and Studio 8 to recreate this beloved horror.
In an Interview on Indiewire’s Filmmaker Toolkit, Eggers discussed his plans for the film, saying that his take on the classic will go back to the origins of the folk vampire. In light of the news, Bloomeration has put together a list of strange folk vampire facts for you to sink your teeth into.
Five Strange Folk Vampire Facts:
1. Bread and Blood
In Russian folklore it is said that a mixture of flour and the blood of a person believed to be a vampire can ward off potential danger. Baked into bread the grotesque snack is said to protect against vampire attacks. If you can stomach it.
2. A gross vampire deterrent
As a defence against a female vampire, or ‘Mora’, people in Yugoslavia believed that rubbing themselves in strong-smelling substances would deter evil spirits. Substances included the traditional garlic rub, green nutshells, or… cow dung found in a hawthorn bush. If I were you I’d stick with the garlic.
3. How to kill a vampire
In the modern age, wooden stakes are depicted as being the gold standard method to kill vampires. I mean, if Buffy uses them it must be true. However, in ancient folklore, this wasn’t the case. While vampires were staked in the heart, it was merely a means to keep them pinned to their coffins. If you’re looking to pick a fight with a vampire, traditional methods state you should decapitate them, and then place their dismembered head between their feet, so that they can’t find it.
4. No rest for the wicked
Eastern Europe in the 18th-century was rife with deadly plagues and disease. Without the kind of medical advances we have now, the European people were forced to get their hands dirty in order to discover what was causing the people around them to die. So, they decided that the best course of action would be to dig up the graves of the deceased. When they did, they discovered something alarming. The cold lifeless bodies appeared to have grown out their hair. But, It wasn’t just their hair that had changed, their fingernails were longer, their bellies appeared larger and bulging, and the corners of their mouths pooled with blood. While this is a normal process of human decay, the European people believed that something much more sinister was going on. They believed the corpses were coming back to life at night for a midnight snack.
5. Vampires around the world
No matter where you are in the world you can’t escape the vampire. Here are some of the creepy vamps you might run into during your travels:
Indonesia: In Indonesia, there is a creature called the ‘Penanggalan’. While this creature might seem like a normal woman by day, during the night she detaches her head from her body, leaving her spinal cord and internal organs dangling from her neck. The creature will seek to devour newborn babies by breaking into houses. If she is unsuccessful she will settle for sticking her long tongue into sleeping occupants, and draining their insides from afar until they eventually meet their untimely death.
Greece: In Greece, legend has it that a creature called ‘Callicantzaro’ appears during the twelve nights between Christmas and Epiphany. The creature has a black gnarled face, red eyes, and a mouth filled with sharp fangs. Anyone who was born between Christmas and Epiphany was said to become the horrifying creature, which tore apart and devoured anyone in its sight. While these December babies had a worrying destiny, they wouldn’t be evil for long, tragically, legend stated that holding the infant over a fire until its toenails were singed would prevent them from becoming the horrific blood-sucking beast.
Poland: In Poland, a creature called the ‘Upier’ would not only drink copious amounts of blood from its victims, it loved the substance so much that it also bathed, and slept in it. The creature is said to have a thorny tongue that would pierce your neck and suck you dry.
Robert Eggers’ resurrection of Nosferatu is expected to hit screens, October 31, 2017.