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Dictionary/ Terms

All the medical words you need to know that are related to vampirism.

Haematodipsia- A sexual thirst for blood.1
Hedonism- Excessive devotion to pleasure.
Hemat(o)- [Greek] Prefix meaning blood; see also words beginning with hem, hemo, or haemat(o).
Hematemesis- The vomiting of blood.
Hematidrosis- Excretion of bloody sweat. (I have seen this happen to a vampire in at least one novel.)
Hematophageous- Subsisting on blood.
Hematoporphyria- (see porphyria).
Hematospermia- Blood in the semen; hemospermia. (Again, I have seen this as a vampire characteristic in a novel.)
Hemeralopia- Day blindness; defective vision in a bright light.
Hemogeneic- Pertaining to production of blood.
Hemotherapy- The use of blood in treating disease.
Lust murder- The sexual act after the murder.1
Necro- [Greek] Prefix meaning death.
Necrocytosis- Death and decay of cells. (I.e. the medical term for "rotting.")
Necrogenous- Originating or arising from dead matter.
Necrolysis- Separation or exfoliation of necrotic tissue. (This has more application in the accounts of bodies dug up in the middle ages-- and later-- where witnesses testify to ruddy or "new" skin on the supposed vampiric corpse, which later medical persons denote as being skin slippage, or necrolysis-- a normal occurrence in a decomposing body. Find out more about this in Step 5.)
Necromania- (see necrophilia).
Necrophagous- Feeding on dead flesh.
Necrophagy- Parts of a mutilated corpse are eaten.1
Necrophilia- 1.) Sexual attraction to corpses.1 2.) Sexual intercourse with a dead body.
Necrophobia- Morbid dread of death or dead bodies.
Necropsy- Examination of a body after death; autopsy.
Necrostuprum- Body-stealing.1
Porphyria- A genetic disorder characterized by a disturbance in porphyrin metabolism with resultant increase in the formation and excretion of porphyrins or their precursors. (Step 5 has a layman's explanation of this disease.)


1From the book: The Natural History of the Vampire
By Anthony Masters
G. P. Putnam's Sons, pub.
New York, © 1972

All other information provided by: Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Third Edition
By Dr. Benjamin F. Miller and Claire Brackman Keane
W.B. Saunders Company, pub.
Philadelphia, 1983.

One must crawl before they can walk. So here are the terms that you will most likely encounter throughout this site.

Blood Fetish- The need or want to drink, taste, or "bathe" in blood. Usually conducted in a sexual situation. People who drink blood may or may not call themselves "vampires."

Blood Lust- The overwhelming desire to feed. A vampire in blood lust knows no bounds. The vampire will act as if possessed and cannot restrain him or herself until their appetite is sated, even if it means killing where they would not normally. Blood lust is often characterized by a reddening or glowing of the eyes, possible showing or elongation of fangs, drooling, growling, or any other animal-like behavior. Also simply called "the lust."

Child(e)- The offspring of a vampire. Pl., Childer.

Embrace- To make one a vampire; siring.(The specifics of this will be covered in a later page.)

Embracee- One who is being made into, or who has become embraced; childe.

Folkloric/ Historical Vampire- Specifically an animated corpse that has risen from its grave to drain the blood from animals or humans.

Fictional/ Literary Vampire- This vampire, unlike the folkloric vampire, has less limitations on it. Again, it may be an animated corpse feeding on blood, but "vampire" in literature is also used to refer to other creatures of the dark who are predators, such as ghouls or incubi, and it often does not feed solely on blood. Fictional vampires may act as psychic vampires, feeding on energy or emotional states, or may feed on other things, such as sex or flesh.

Ghoul- An animated corpse that sustains its own life by eating, most usually, the flesh of other corpses, but which can also eat humans.

Incubus/Succubus- This creature is something akin to a spirit or demonic entity, and sexually predates on men and women while they are asleep in their bed. Though it is not clear if the incubus prolongs its life by feeding from these sexual energies-- making it a type of vampire-- the victim does die from the incubus's attentions. It is linked to vampires, often confused as one, but because it is not an animated corpse, it is not wholly a vampire, at least historically. Pl., Incubi, Succubi.

Kindred- Vampires.

Living Vampires- This term refers to those people who are very much alive, but who practice vampiric acts, such as blood drinking, to satisfy an emotional need. Some claim, however, they do need to drink blood to sustain their health. People who choose a vampiric lifestlye often also opt to dress in black clothing or formal attire, sleep in coffins, and advoid the sunlight. "Living vampire" is usually applied only to those who wish to call themselves such- people who have only a blood fetish may take offense at being labeled a vampire. Being a living vampire may be labeled as a "club or weekend hobby," a "lifestyle," "occultism," or a "religion."

Psychic Vampire- Specifically a living being that sustains its life, way of life, or own emotional state by draining or feeding from the energy, emotions or life of another being, almost always a human.

Sire- The vampire who embraces another person; the maker of another vampire; parent vampire. (Female vampires can also be called "sires.")

Siring- The act of turning one into a vampire; embracing.

Vampire- 1. An animated corpse that drinks blood to sustain itself indefinitely. 2. A human, creature, spirit or other entity that drains any manner of thing-- blood, energy, etc.-- from humans or animals to sustain its way of life; psychic vampire.

Vampire Demi-god- I use this term to refer to entities who are neither a demon nor a spirit. Demi-gods, or lesser gods, are often god hybrids or low ranking gods. Unlike demons and spirits, they traditionally do not interact with the mortal population, unless it is in legend. (Hercules and the Titans are commonly known demi-gods.) A vampire demi-god is a figure in religion/ mythology that acts in a manner consistent with folkloric vampires. These lesser gods are, I believe, the beginnings of the figure of the vampire, who eventually de-evolved from a god-- splitting then, perhaps, into the other related forms of spirits and demons-- to a very tangible, and formally mortal, corpse.

Vampiress- A female vampire. (Though a "vampire" may refer to either sex.)

Witch/Warlock/Wizard- Accroding to popular belief during the middle ages, witches are the human servants of the Devil. They are either under his direct control, with no will power of their own, or they have entered into a pact with the Devil to do his bidding in return for personal favors. Unlike popular notions of witches (such as at Halloween), witches were not necessarily believed to be ugly or otherwise obvious. The most obvious sign of a witch nearby was a continual string of bad luck in a village, or to a particular family, disease-- especially among livestock-- and unusal events or certain individuals acting strangely. Originally "witch" could refer to either males or females, although most who were burned at the stake were women. Later, it became more common to refer to male witches as warlocks or wizards. (Note, this is a medieval definition of a witch. This is in no way related to the modern definition of a witch as a practitioner of pagan or earth-related rituals, like the Wiccans.)

Zombie- Like a ghoul, this being is an animated corpse, but unlike a ghoul, it is controlled by a witch or witch doctor. It is used as a slave or made to suffer out of revenge by the person controlling it. Traditionally, a zombie does not attack others-- unless ordered to-- and it does not drink blood or eat flesh. It, especially in horror movies, is often confused with a ghoul. The ghoul, zombie and vampire are closely linked, and are often interchanged with each other in folklore.

Other Terms

White Wolf- The supposed be-all and end-all of vampire knowledge. I will try not to get into their stuff too much, as they have many, many books on vampires and role playing in bookstores, and many people have WW web pages. They have done a lot to bring about a new interest in vampires, keeping the tradition of the myth alive, but they have done it in such a convincing way, and have such a fanatical following, that people think that's all there is to know and that the WW myths are the true historical accounts. "Oh, I read all of the WW books, what else is there?" The same with Anne Rice. Just because you read Anne Rice doesn't mean you know all there is to know about vampires. This web page centers on the historical vampire, and the vampires of literature-- based on the trait characteristics from many writers, not just one.


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Additional Information
More Vampire Terms (White Wolf)

Image provided by the Louvre. (Click picture for a link to the Louvre site.)

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