02 November 2009

Full Moon

"As the moonbeams, in consequence of the luminary rising higher and higher in the heavens, came to touch the figure that lay extended on the rising ground, a perceptible movement took place in it. The limbs appeared to tremble, and although it did not rise up, the whole body gave signs of vitality" (Rymer, chapter 5).

In the early vampire fictions, the moon called the vampire from the ground and restored animation to its corpse. "Because the vampire is a nocturnal creature," it was expected to have "special relationship to the moon" (Melton 469). Moonbeams contained restorative powers, and the magic salve of lunar light healed all wounds.

In John Polidori's story The Vampyre (c.1819), "the vampire was killed in the course of the story" (Melton 469). After the "first cold ray of the moon that rose after his death" struck his body, the vampire revived (Polidori).

James Malcolm Rymer built vampiric healing on the same principle as Polidori in Varney the Vampyre (alternatively attributed to Jonathan Preskett Prest; published 1845-47). In this penny dreadful (a pulp-fiction story that was published as a series of short articles), the moon is so pivotal to healing that vampires "always endeavor to make their feast of blood, for the revival of their bodily powers, on some evening immediately preceding a full moon, because if any accident befalls them, such as being shot, or otherwise killed or wounded, they can recover by lying down somewhere where the full moon's rays will fall upon them" (Rymer, chapter 4).

Your logical question is: Does it work? And, for that I say: Bah. I've never been the type to howl at the moon imploring it to save me from my ailments. Full moon equates more light than normal, and superior luminescence encourages humans to risk nocturnal strolls. I harbor no ill-will against the moon goddess, but I'll leave the lunar worship to the wolves.

After Bram Stoker associated the moon with Dracula's "command over the wolves", "the moon became much more associated with werewolves" than with vampires in fiction (Melton 469).

Salud y vida,

Melton, J. The Vampire Book.
Polidori, John. The Vampyre.
Rymer, James Malcolm. Varney the Vampire.


  1. This is such a cool page. You should make a link and fan page for Infectious Bite. It would be cool AND get more advertising. Just a small suggestion :D

  2. Hello Sarah, and thank you for your suggestion. Infectious Bite does have a fan page; you can find it here: http://bit.ly/Anpkq [long version: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Infectious-Bite/118639087908?ref=ts ]