How many of these blood-curdling vampire facts do you know?
1. Monsters International
Did you know lots of different cultures around the world have their own versions of vampires? Take the Asanbosam from West Africa for example – it has pink skin, iron teeth and hooks for feet. Instead of a owning a castle, it lives in trees and jumps down on people to drink their blood. Arrgh!
2. Count Von Count is… real?
The maths-mad vampire in Sesame Street is actually based on a real vampire myth. According to legend, one way to slow a vampire down is to throw seeds at them, because they HAVE to count them all. Which might just give you enough time to run away!
3. Vampire Disease?
There’s a rare liver disease called porphyria which doctors have nicknamed “vampire disease” because it makes your skin SUPER sensitive to sunlight. It can even give you red teeth, and some people think this is where vampire myths originally came from. But whoOoOoOo knoOoOows?
4. Vampire Watermelons
In some parts of the Balkans there’s a myth that if you don’t eat watermelons before Christmas, they might turn into vampires. Luckily if they do it’s nothing to be worried about – watermelon don’t have teeth!
5. Charles the Impaler
Lots of people know that the story of Dracula was based on the 15th Century Prince Vlad the Impaler, from Transylvania. But less people know that big-eared British Prince Charles is a direct descendant of Vlad! So that’s why he doesn’t like when people throw garlic at him!
6. Count Bad-Crabula
Bram Stoker (the guy who wrote the original Dracula story) got the idea for his character from a nightmare he had after eating bad seafood. He told a friend at the time he’d dreamt “a vampire king rising from the tomb” after eating “a helping of dressed crab at supper.”
7. Bram Stoker’s boss
As well as getting his ideas from dodgy crab meat, Bram Stoker also based Dracula’s personality on his old boss – the actor Henry Irving – who was both theatrical and probably a bit evil.
8. Dracula vs Batman
In 1992 DC Comics wrote a story about Batman fighting Dracula in the streets of New York. It must’ve been hard for the bats to choose what side they’re on!
9. Vampire bats!
There really are blood-drinking bats, but out of 1,300 species of bat, only 3 drink blood. 1 species will go for humans if they get the chance, but they usually drink the blood of pigs, cows and birds. Occasionally though they’ve been seen attacking… …Penguins!
10. Are gingers vampires?
The Ancient Greeks believed when ginger people died, they’d turn into vampires. They were so worried about this that the bodies of redheads would often be burned instead of buried, just in case…