Dracula vs. Cujo
One dark and stormy evening, Spanish neurologist Juan Gomez-Alonso was
watching a vampire movie when he realized something strange; he noticed
that vampires behave an awful lot like people with rabies. The virus attacks
the central nervous system, altering the moods and behaviors of those
infected. Sufferers become agitated and demented, and, much like vampires,
their moods can turn violent.
Rabies has several more vampire-like symptoms. It can cause insomnia,
which explains the nocturnal portion of the legend. People with rabies
also suffer from muscular spasms, which can lead them to spit up blood.
What’s stunning is the fact that these spasms are triggered by bright
lights, water, mirrors, and strong smells, such as the scent of garlic.
After watching the Dracula movies a few more times, Dr. Gomez Alonso
felt compelled to continue studying vampire folklore and the medical history
of rabies. Eventually, he discovered an even more profound connection
between the two phenomena: Vampires stories became prominent in Europe
at exactly the same time certain areas were experiencing rabies outbreaks.
This was particularly true in Hungary between 1721 and 1728, when an epidemic
plagued dogs, wolves, and humans and left the country in ruins. Gomez-Alonso
theorized that rabies actually inspired the vampire legend, and his research
was published by the distinguished medical journal Neurology in 1998.
The Madness Of King George
Dr. Gomez-Alonso wasn’t the first scientist who tried to pin vampirism
to a real illness. In 1985, Canadian biochemist David Dolphin proposed
a link between vampires and porphyria- a rare, chronic blood disorder
characterized by the irregular production of heme, an iron-rich pigment
found in blood. The disorder can cause seizures, trances, and hallucinations
that last for days or weeks. As a result, people with porphyria often
go insane. (Britain’s Kin George III, the one who inspired our founding
fathers to start their own country, is thought to have suffered from it.)
Porphyria sufferers also experience extreme sensitivity to light, suffering
blisters and burns when their skin is exposed to the sun. Another symptom
of porphyria is an intolerance to sulfur in foods. Which food contains
a lot of sulfur? That’s right, garlic.
In addition to explaining away vampires, medicine also has some answers
for werewolves and zombies. In The Werewolf Delusion (1979), Ian Woodward
explains that rabies may have also inspired the werewolf myth. Rabies
is transmitted through biting, and the dementia and aggression of late-stage
rabies can make people behave like wild animals. Now, imagine that you
are living in a village in medieval Europe and you see your friend get
bitten by a wolf. A few weeks later, he starts foaming at the mouth, howling
at the moon, and biting other villagers. Suddenly that story your grandmother
told you about the Wolfman sounds like a decent explanation for what’s
Dawn Of The Dead, Revisited
From: Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero
Zombies may also be creatures of science, at least according to Costas
J. Efthimiou, a physicist at the University of Central Florida. In 2006,
he attempted to explain the mysterious case of Wilfred Doricent, a teenager
who died and was buried in Haiti, only to reappear in his village more
than a year later, looking and behaving like a zombie. Efthimiou concluded
that Wilfred was not the victim of a curse, but of poisoning. In the waters
of Haiti, there is a species of puffer fish whose liver can be made into
a powder, which has the ability to make a person appear dead without actually
killing him. Wilfred may have been poisoned with the powder and then buried
alive. According to one of Dr. Efthimiou’s theories, once underground,
Wilfred suffered from oxygen deprivation that damaged his brain. When
the poison wore off and Wilfred woke up, he clawed his way out of the
grave. (Graves tend to be shallow in Haiti.) Brain-damaged, he wandered
the countryside for months until he ended up back in his village.
After Dr. Efthimiou published his explanation of the case, Dr. Roger
Mallory, a neurologist at the Haitian Medical Society did an MRI scan
of Wilfred’s brain. Although the results were inconclusive, he found
that Wilfred’s brain was damaged in a way that was consistent with
oxygen deprivation. It would seem that zombification is nothing more than
The last word my dear, the last word. REALIST. We sinner souls see reality, not a bunch of man made stories over 2000 years ago. Mind you, a cart was made out of wood and some metal, drawn by horses back then, now days it is made out metal, class, plastic and leather. Runs on its own power. Now compare that mentality and understanding of nature and life back then, with today's modern science. How much that book would differ from the original?
Backwoods Retard Hicks: 0
Now, edc3, did you actually read and comprehend the article, or did you take one look at the title and start epic-troll-failing? You're talking as though you think this refers to bloodsucking vampires, howling werewolves, and brain-eating zombies. That's not what it's saying... Or was it just too many words for you? Did you not feel like having mommy read it for you?
I love that... "Cuntry"... Brilliant. Truly brilliant.