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The Science of Vampires

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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  225 ratings  ·  20 reviews
· Are any vampire myths based on fact?· Bloodsucking villain to guilt-ridden loner—what has inspired the redemption of the vampire in fiction and film?

· What is Vampire Personality Disorder? What causes a physical addiction to another person’s blood?

· Are there any boundaries in the polysexual world of vampires?

· How could a vampire hide in today’s world of advanced forens
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Berkley
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The Vampire Book by J. Gordon MeltonVampyres by Christopher FraylingIn Search of Dracula by Raymond T. McNallyVampires, Burial, and Death by Paul BarberThe Vampire in Europe by Montague Summers
Vampire Non-Fiction
15th out of 41 books — 14 voters
Tagged by Joseph M. ChironDracula by Bram StokerInterview with the Vampire by Anne RiceSalem's Lot by Stephen KingPapap's Teeth by Danielle DeVor
Fave Vampire Reads
111th out of 168 books — 123 voters


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Community Reviews

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Gregory
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
...more
Call Me Midge
Aug 25, 2007 Call Me Midge rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any vampire enthusiast
absolutely brilliant. did a paper for college on this book. got an A
Katy
Jun 26, 2014 Katy rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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Chris
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
...more
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
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Rhiannon
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!
Kirsten
Dec 22, 2008 Kirsten marked it as couldn-t-finish
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.
Ryan
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
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Mae
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
Marissa Mcdaniel
Absolute perfection, I loved that she talked about modern day vampires. I couldn't have asked for this book to be better.
Jessica
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.
Steve Wiggins
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
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.
Cherie
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.
Joanna
Just began this book. I got into Twilight, and now I'm going to start reading everything that has anything to do with vampires ever because I'm a dork
Tiffany
Really great book if you want to understand the vampire subculture and haematophilia.
Amanda
disturbing, awesome, same lady who did bio for Anne Rice
Angel R
This book was alright. Nothing that great
Christine
makes the impossible seem believable!
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24645
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.
More about Katherine Ramsland...
The Vampire Companion The Witches' Companion Cemetery Stories: Haunted Graveyards, Embalming Secrets, and the Life of a Corpse After Death Prism of the Night: A Biography of Anne Rice Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today

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“I see science and mysticism as two complementary manifestations of the human mind; as its rational and intuitive faculties.

Capra”
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“It was the discovery of the quantum universe that changed everything, and that universe was so small and so dynamic that it could not be observed directly. Trying to explain their insights, scientists looked at the language of mysticism. At the subatomic level, the parallels between quantum reality and mysticism were striking. For example, the behavior of light: in some contexts it acted like a wave, in others like a particle. Could it be both? Physicists had no concept for grasping this, so they dispensed with Western logic and embraced paradox. (This is important, too, for the notion of vampires being both living and dead.)” 1 likes
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