Sunday, 22 July 2007

Before the internet

Long before internet connections and hyper text became part of everyday life, state of the art journals on vampires and related topics could look like those in the figure. Journal of Vampirism was published by the Vampires Studies Society and edited by Marty Riccardo who had compiled the bibliography Vampires Unearthed: The Complete Multimedia Vampire & Dracula Bibliography (1983). In the top left corner is the very first issue of the journal from august 1977, and the editor starts the issue on green paper with a quote from Hamlet before asking:

"What is the world coming to when something called the Journal of Vampirism hits the scene? A publication about vampires and other grisly creatures!?! We must plead guilty, for that is exactly what we've created. Furthermore, we've accepted our task as a grave responsibility, in all honesty. We recognize that it is an unusual subject, to say the least, but still one that deserves serious investigation. For example, the large number of old accounts about vampire attacks in eastern Europe and elsewhere fit a consistent pattern -- someone dies, a specter or revenant of the deceased is seen which attacks the living, those attacked become pale, weak and anxious (and may die), the body of the revenant is unearthed and found to be in a fresh, ruddy condition even when buried for a long period of time (with blood sometimes on the mouth or in the coffin), and when the corpse is staked or burned the vampire visitations cease. What does it all mean? Was it pure hysterical superstition, or are there other possibilities that go beyond most rational explanations? That's one of the things we hope to explore in the Journal of Vampirism, which will provide an outlet for many ideas related to various unearthly predators of the dark."

The first issue contains a few articles on superstitions concerning cats, an extract from Varney the Vampyre, a couple of photos from Highgate cemetery in London and various other short texts. In further issues there were a few papers by Jan L. Perkowski.

The other magazine shown is the Journal of Vampirology published by John L. Vellutini in the Eighties, which e.g. dedicated a whole issue to 'The African Origins of Vampirism'.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...