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The Science of Vampires

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  275 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The concept of the vampire has evolved from Bram Stoker's supernatural creature of the night to the pop culture anti-hero of today's TV shows, hit movies, and bestselling novels. Where were these legends born? In what ways have they evolved? How much is actually true? This revealing book answers these questions and more:

€ Are any vampire myths based on fact?
€ What is Vamp
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Penguin Group (USA)
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Dec 28, 2008 Gregory rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A good book, if a bit scattered and disorganized. Ramsland really covers three topics, whatever the title might actually imply about the book's focus. First off, she discusses the cultural history of vampires, from Eastern European folklore, to Bram Stoker's iconic re-invention, to the dawning of the vampire as Romantic anti-hero. She also discusses the modern development of the vampire into a sort of New Age god, and its implications in modern spiritual circles.

Secondly, she talks about the sc
Call Me Midge
Aug 25, 2007 Call Me Midge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any vampire enthusiast
absolutely brilliant. did a paper for college on this book. got an A
Jun 11, 2011 Katy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the vampire obsessed
Book Info: Genre: Non-fiction, exploration of mythology/legends/lore
Reading Level: Adults
Recommended for: The vampire obsessed

My Thoughts: Honestly, I was a bit disappointed in this book. Oh, there's a lot of information, and lots of other books that are referenced, but I wanted something more scientific, and this was more the exploration of the myths and legends with a sort of “what if?” theme, and the cultural phenomenon of vampires and those trying to emulate them. If you're vampire obsessed
I have never read one of these "science" of books before. (Yes, I read Science of Discworld but that is a real science book). This was at one of those really, really cheap bookstores. It was under $5.00.

Which was still too much for it.

Here's a list of problems.

1. Nothing new in terms of analysis of Dracula. In fact, I'm not convinced Ramsland even read Dracula.

2. Nothing new about vampires in general. In fact, Ramsland quotes from many other books, which you are better off reading. Check out Va
Lori Schiele
A unique and quite fascinating book written with the assistance of a battery of professionals: medical doctors, neurophysicists, physicists, forensics, psychiatrists, etc on how vampires could be actual "living" entities. It shows, through the use of science, how each of the "special abilities" of vampires can be explained in scientific terms. An absolutely fascinating book. I wish there were more like it to explain other (previously considered) "mythological" beings.

For anyone interested in va
Mar 31, 2011 Rhiannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this. Just do it. Especially if love macabre facts as much as I do. If you are strictly about the vampire fiction, then I guess I'll give you a pass and say that perhaps you should not read this as it may bore you. This takes real life facts about death and dying that, one, explains the suspicions people had in earlier centuries about people being vampires or preyed on by vampires, and two, how perhaps vampirism could exist in the modern scientific world. Fascinating stuff for me!
Dec 22, 2008 Kirsten marked it as couldn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
This started out as an amusing concept, but the author couldn't decide whether it was going to be tongue-in-cheek, or a serious look at the concept of vampires, how it's evolved through the ages, etc. This resulted in frustration, as I tried to figure out what was bad science done tongue-in-cheek, and what I was supposed to be taking semi-seriously.
Angel R
Sep 05, 2008 Angel R rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was alright. Nothing that great
Feb 26, 2010 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oct 16, 2012 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Oh my long lasting love of vampires has finally panned out to more than just the fiction/horror shelves. I, first and foremost, have to applaud Katherine Ramsland's sheer force of will, vampire myths and tales have been around since the Egyptians, and just plodding through all that information takes more sanity than I even have.

Anyone who may question the actual science of this book need only to look at Ramslands credentials: a masters degree in Forensic Psychology, another masters degree in Cli
Evelyn Eve
Apr 10, 2016 Evelyn Eve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a speculative piece than anything else, I suppose "This Could be Vampires" wouldn't be as convincing of a title for a book of this nature.

I have never really cared for any of the interpretations of vampire in media or literature in the past. Recently, however, I have acquired an interest of sorts in the different interpretations and explanations behind them. As a sci-fi/fantasy/horror writer, I suppose expanding my pool of knowledge couldn't hurt.

This book touches on the history of the v
Jun 30, 2013 Mae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs-678
While never actually postulating the vampires exist, Ramsland does trace the evolution of the vampire myth and introduce theories as to a) how natural phenomena could explain the myth(s) and b) how the myth(s) might work in forensic science. This is an excellent work of non-fiction and should be placed in the hands of a student who love vampire mythology and has a love for science. It can be selected for the collection on the basis of Value to the Collection as we have no other non-fiction books ...more
Jun 03, 2010 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampire-reads
35 books/2010

My bestest buddy bought this book for me because I love me some vampire fiction. I was excited AND dubious, because the words "science" and "vampire" were together in a title. I was afraid it might be cultish and silly and perhaps filled with too much science lingo. I was wrong! There is a bit of science talk which I sort of skimmed, but it's pretty anthropological with insights into Dracula and other literary bigwigs.
Hannah Givens
More "how vampires might come to about in the future" rather than a present- or past-based focus. Still informative, the marketing just didn't quite come across properly to me. Also, there's an odd preoccupation with Dracula, when I'd rather hear about earlier legends or just talk about possible future developments, one or the other...
Steve Wiggins
Dec 24, 2013 Steve Wiggins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little gruesome in spots, but a good introduction to what science reveals about vampires. More remarks can be found here: Sects and Violence in the Ancient World.
Alex Bledsoe
Aug 21, 2008 Alex Bledsoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and broad-ranging discussion of how vampires might work if they were real, from folklore to modern role-playing. The science isn't so deep it gets dull, and there are lots of interviews and first-hand accounts to keep the author's voice from growing monotonous.
Bill Bleuel
A little all over the map. Tries to cover too much ground with little depth. Interesting material, but didn't feel completely thought out. Another draft or two.
Marissa Mcdaniel
Absolute perfection, I loved that she talked about modern day vampires. I couldn't have asked for this book to be better.
Mar 08, 2009 Cherie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The vampire lover and science nerd in me collide!!! From history to religion to science, this book is fascinating!!! I have never looked at vampires the same way since.
Patricia rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2010
Joshua L. Parmley
Joshua L. Parmley rated it it was ok
Dec 20, 2013
Kelly Beckett
Kelly Beckett rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2012
Sara McMinn
Sara McMinn rated it liked it
Feb 18, 2011
Sketching rated it did not like it
Jan 09, 2008
Allison Quaid
Allison Quaid rated it it was ok
Sep 29, 2012
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Oct 03, 2011
Julie Marie
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Mar 03, 2016
Maria rated it it was ok
Dec 17, 2012
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I've loved books since I was 3, and the library was a highlight of my childhood. I've been fortunate to be able to find great joy in what others have written and sometimes to give this to readers. I follow my own muse, because it leads me on interesting adventures. If others benefit, so much the better.
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“I see science and mysticism as two complementary manifestations of the human mind; as its rational and intuitive faculties.

“In its timeless capacity to embody the human condition, the vampire is a poignant metaphor describing the psychosocial experience of the pariah - the outsider. The vampire is the Other that used to be human. The diseased, the mentally challenged, the homeless and hungry, ......are all vampires in a way; the other who used to be human, the invisible who casts no reflection among us.” 2 likes
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