I’ve given it a lot of thought over the years, and I have some theories and beliefs about what vampires really are and are not, if they actually exist.
I suppose the first thing I should say is that yes, I do believe that vampires may be walking among us. I know for a fact that there are RLVs (Real Living Vampires) but I also believe that there may be a more supernatural being as well. However, I doubt very highly that they bear much resemblance to the vampires of myth and movies.
First off, I have never subscribed to the idea of vampires being some undead, walking corpse monster. I think the living dead idea came from ages ago, before the invention of proper medical science, when people were often buried alive, and people misidentified the signs of natural decay as signs of ongoing life. It is my belief that vampires are alive, like anything else that walks this Earth. Whether they are born or made is still a grey area for me.
I’m not quite sure where I stand on the idea of vampires being non-human or demons. I believe supernatural and entirely non-human creatures could exist, but I’m not sure about the idea of some escaped hell-spawn in a human visage. I do feel that if vampires exist, they are either a similar creature to humans, but not exactly Homo Sapiens, or they are an evolutionary offshoot that evolved faster and better than humans.
I do believe in the possibility that vampires would possess “super-human” abilities, but not to the extent depicted in so many works of fiction. I doubt very highly that they could fly, run too fast to see, levitate or transform into bats. I don’t think they’d have the strength to uproot trees with a single hand. I do believe it’s entirely possible for them to be stronger, faster, smarter and more adept than average humans. Some “normal” people have seemingly impossible strength, intelligence or other abilities, so there’s no reason to think vampires might not actually be the best or the next level of human ability.
As for powers of the mind such as “glamoring”, telepathy, empathy and other abilities, I have no doubt they could possess these. I know that there are already people in the world that possess these abilities. Vampires could easily have perfected these skills, or be born with more proclivity towards them and therefore be naturally adept. If vampires are an advanced species, they could easily have minds more capable of manipulation and higher awareness.
As far as all of the things vampires fear, like garlic, crosses, silver, holy water etc., I think all of that is nonsense. In all my research I have found no real basis for any of these claims. Most of the beliefs tend to stem from a religious background; things the Church believed would ward off evil and demons. Other items are based from local myths and folklore. I assume that a stake through the heart, beheading and being lit on fire would kill anything, so at least those few make sense.
As for the idea of all vampires being sterile and only able to add to their numbers by infecting humans, that doesn’t make much sense either. It would make much more sense for vampires to be able to reproduce normally, if vampirism is a state in which you are born. I’ve considered the possibility that vampirism is a disease of sorts, in which case transmission by blood would be more logical.
Of course, most people wonder why, if vampires exist, we have no concrete proof. If vampires in a super-human advanced sense actually exist, do you think they would want the world to know? Humans have a wonderful way of exploiting or destroying anything they don’t understand. Vampires would likely do their best to blend with society and go utterly unnoticed. If they were to come out into the open, a-la True Blood, the death toll would probably be astronomical.
If vampires and all their abilities became public knowledge, the medical world would want to experiment on them, droves of people would flock to be “turned” and masses of religious extremists and bigots would set out on a global witch hunt to kill them. It is more likely that if they exist, they keep their numbers low, and keep their existence virtually unknown. Perhaps one day humans will be enlightened enough to accept the existence of higher beings, but that time certainly has not come yet.