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The 18th century enlightenment saw an increased awareness of science which contradicted previous superstition and folk belief, however despite the scientific discoveries a juxtaposition of the existence of the folk beliefs persisted, especially in the belief in supernatural creatures such as vampires. In fact the early 18th century can be said to have codified and solidified the vampirism myth in the public imagination. Recorded from ancient time, it was during the 18th century that an influx of vampire superstition entered into Western Europe from Eastern Europe, resulting in a mass hysteria (called the ‘18th-Century Vampire Controversy’) accusations of vampirism exploded and corpses were staked through the heart, or the heads were removed. The first published work to collect vampire accounts was M. Michael Ranft's wonderfully titled, ‘Traktat von dem Kauen und Schmatzen der Todten in Gräbern’ (Treatise on chewing and smacking of the dead in graves), published in 1734.


Tractat. Vampyrs. 1734

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