Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Bloodlust – why teens adore vampires

At fourteen I developed a fascination with vampires. My friend Beth had loaned me Monster a book about high school vampires which I gobbled up within a day. The author, Christopher Pike, writes teen horror stories, and he is bloody good. Pardon the pun. His series The Last Vampire, with the uber-sexy vampire heroine Alisa/Sita, was also an obsession of mine. Since my Pike fetish I’ve devoured a stream of other vampire-related novels and I don’t think I’m alone in these reading habits. So, what makes readers, especially teenagers, so intrigued by the day-to-day events of the undead?

Before I discovered my penchant for bloodsuckers, I enjoyed fairy tales and fantasy books about pixies, wizards and elves. So, I guess when I hit puberty it would make sense that I would want to read something which was a bit more “grown up” yet not boring, adult stuff.

Could desiring vampire stories be a healthy way for teenagers to rebel? The books are a transformation from fairies and superheroes to super-sophisticated and powerful creatures who do what they want and when they want. These protagonists go against all the morals and values that parental or authority figures cram down pubescent throats. Hey, reading Pike or Meyer, and feeling as though you’re a part of something racy and rebellious is a better way for teens to vicariously live out such desires than dabbling in unprotected sex or recreational drug use.

But if my theory is correct, why do I still enjoy Vampire books even though I’ve passed my angst-ridden teens? In my early twenties I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Le Stat. The latter was what broke ten years of not touching red meat and resulted in me wolfing down a medium cooked steak at my local university pub, (all that talk of blood must have excited me). Now I’m in my late twenties and I’ve read the Twilight series and I’ve now sunk my teeth into (again, pardon the pun) the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse Vampire mystery series. The latter is 100 per cent pure fun and I highly recommend it if you need a vampy, racy page turner.

In conclusion, my ongoing penchant for vampire tales must be a way to be nostalgic, and rebellious, because when you read about vampires you’re a part of something very, very naughty and forbidden. How delightful indeed!

For interesting links on Vampires, check out:

Follow this link to Ask men’s10 reasons why women love vampires: http://uk.askmen.com/top_10/dating/top-10-reasons-women-love-vampires.html

“Why are vampire movies always big in America”

1 comment:

  1. I've never considered as to why vampire books are so appealing, but your theory makes good sense. From my perspective at least, it might also have to do with the innate sense of the supernatural and death - or undead I should say. People have a fascination with life after death, that unreachable, unknowable existence that we will all experience. Perhaps the undead vampire, physically perfect as he never was in life, is a more "comforting" vision than an unknowable eternity. As they say "better the devil you know" (please excuse the pun ;))