Vampires

Spookdaddy

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Would that actually work? If your hands are wet a lot, as a bosun's surely would be, I would imagine that you'd have trouble keeping a nail - plus all that hanging off ropes would leave you more likely to lose them too?...
Rubbish for tying knots, too. You could probably manage without using a ring or little finger, but the other three are more or less essential - the thumb and index finger especially so. I work a lot with rope myself, and I can't help but feeling that long thumbnails would make life really quite difficult.

That said, didn't a Guantanamo inmate slash his own throat with a sharpened fingernail? Doubt they were allowed around rope though.
 

GNC

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Pinky Brown, the scheming thug from Graham Greene's novel Brighton Rock, keeps his thumbnail long to conceal a razor blade under it, all the better for slashing throats. Maybe Greene was inspired by pirate tales?
 

tuco

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Would that actually work? If your hands are wet a lot, as a bosun's surely would be, I would imagine that you'd have trouble keeping a nail - plus all that hanging off ropes would leave you more likely to lose them too?

Perhaps I am just blinded by the fact that, as a microbiologist, I spend a lot of time washing my hands and my nails - previously diamond-hard, they used to scare my sister! - disintegrate by the time they get to a couple of mm long.
Good point, I read about it years ago, can't remember the book or even if it was fiction or non fiction, it stuck in my mind because as a kid, while jumping on a bed barefoot I some how managed to cut the back of my calf badly with my toenail !. The leather sheath was worn to stop the nail getting damaged or cutting yourself I presume .
 

maximus otter

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As Royal Navy personnel have been issued with knives, and carried them on their persons 24/7/365 since Pontius was a pilot, l feel that lovingly cultivating a sharpened thumbnail as a weapon would be superfluous.

maximus otter
 

ramonmercado

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Police are taking this seriously, cracking down on the lynch mobs.

Police in the south-east African state of Malawi say they have arrested 140 members of lynch mobs who attacked people suspected of being vampires.

At least eight people are believed to have been killed, including two men on Thursday in the second city, Blantyre.

One was set on fire and the other stoned, according to police.

Two others were arrested for threatening to suck people's blood but police say have no medical reports of any actual bloodsucking.

Vigilante mobs started attacking people suspected of drinking human blood as part of magic rituals in September. ...

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-41692944?ocid=socialflow_twitter
Mad Malawi Mobs Murder "Vampires".

At least a dozen people accused of being vampires have been killed in mob attacks in Malawi, prompting the president to address the nation to try to dispel rumours of a blood-sucking cult.

The UN has called on the government of the impoverished southern African state to prosecute vigilantes whose targets have included health workers and foreigners suspected of involvement in the cult. The US embassy has declared affected central and northern districts as no-go areas while petrified armed villagers mount ad hoc roadblocks and search vehicles.

According to local media reports communities are sleeping in groups outside their homes for safety, convinced that vampires will use magic and modern technology to steal their blood and disappear into the night. “We fear we can have our blood sucked if we sleep alone in our houses. We are even failing to go to our gardens for fear of being attacked by vampires there,” Agnes Zimba told Voice of America.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six...pires-as-fears-grow-of-magical-cult-flv32qrmf
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's an interesting angle on explaining our contemporary views on vampires and how those views arose and evolved ...

This newly published Smithsonian Magazine article contextualizes the first widespread historical vampire panic - and certain tropes that persist to this day - in terms of early 18th century semi-superstitious medical beliefs and an incident in a Serbian village.
Decomposing Bodies in the 1720s Gave Birth to the First Vampire Panic

In 1721, London curate Thomas Lewis, concerned about the mephitic stink of decomposing flesh seeping from overstuffed tombs into his church, published a pamphlet, “Seasonable Considerations on the Indecent and Dangerous Custom of Burying in Churches and Church-yards”. The noxious vapors, he believed, desecrated the space, distracting his congregation from prayer. Lewis claimed that the odors also caused diseases like plague, smallpox and dysentery.

Lewis’ view of the dead as dangerous to the living was based in contemporary scientific thinking which, in the 1720s, hadn’t quite broken free of medieval superstition. A few years later, on the other side of Europe, in the village of Kisiljevo, on the outskirts of the Hapsburg Empire, locals similarly blamed a corpse for spreading disease — but via a radically different method of transmission.

In July 1725, they summoned the Kameral Provisor, a health and safety official. Provisor Frombald’s usual concern in such situations was identifying the cause of the cluster of cases and preventing a full-blown epidemic. The villagers believed Petar Blagojević, who had died ten weeks earlier, was up and out of his grave and bringing death to their homes. The Widow Blagojević claimed her husband knocked on her door after the funeral, demanding his shoes before attempting to strangle her. Blagojević remained active over the next nine nights, attacking nine more villagers. On waking, each victim reported Blagojević had “laid himself upon them, and throttled them”. After suffering a mysterious “twenty-four hour illness”, they all died

As Frombald detailed in his official report, the village elders had already made their diagnosis: Blagojević was ‘vampyri’, the Serbian word for ‘back from the dead’. Frombald’s only job was to rubber stamp this conclusion. The villagers would take it from there.

So, Frombald conducted a formal autopsy on the exhumed Blagojević. He recorded the appearance (and smell) of the corpse as “completely fresh”. He also noted the appearance of “fresh blood” around the mouth, supposedly sucked from the victims. With such evidence before him, he couldn’t muster any objection to the villagers’ plan of action, repulsive though it seemed. As they drove a sharpened stake through Blagojević’s torso, Frombald witnessed “much blood, completely fresh” gush from the ears and mouth — further proof of undead status, if any was needed.

In his report to the Hapsburg authorities, Frombald accepted “all the indications were present” that Blagojević was indeed a vampire. At the same time, he refused to accept any blame if his superiors felt his conclusion was ignorant. He insisted the fault lay entirely with the villagers “who were beside themselves with fear” and he did what he had to do to calm them down. His report made sensational newspaper copy, leading to the first printed usage of the local term “vampyri”, which would soon filter into other European languages. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/hist...20s-gave-birth-first-vampire-panic-180976097/
 

EnolaGaia

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I saw an interesting essay linking rabies with vampirism.
Rabies itself was spread in eastern europe primarily through two animal vectors: bats and wolves. Hence, the association: someone comes in contact with these, the person becomes rabid, and is now a "vampire"
Symptoms of rabies itself bears striking parallels to vampirism. ...
The following item appeared in the Strange Days section of Fortean Times #119 (February 1999) ...
Was Dracula rabid?

Neurologist Juan Gomez-Alonso of the Xeral Hospital in Vigo, Spain, has suggested a link between vampires and rabies. His thesis appeared in the 21 September edition of the journal Neurology. Watching an old vampire film, he was struck by the "obvious similarities between vampires and what happened in rabies, such as aggressiveness and hypersexuality".

Dr Gomez-Alonso found that 25 per cent of rabid men have a tendency to bite others, often passing on the rabies in saliva, just as vampires allegedly increase the population of the un-dead by biting the living. He maintained that early tales of vampirism frequently coincided with reports of rabies outbreaks in eastern Europe, such as the widespread epidemic of rabies in dogs, wolves and other animals in Hungary in 1721-28, approximately the place and time when vampire legends first became common. Stories of blood-drinking undead occur round the world and probably date back many centuries, but in eastern Europe the frightening symptoms of rabies could well have been incorporated into existing folklore.

The first symptoms of rabies, which include loss of appetite, fever and fatigue, can be confused with those of flu; but the virus soon begins to attack the central nervous system and in the final stages before death it can cause agitation and dementia. In severe cases, called furious rabies, the victim can become violent and animal-like. Vampires generally are male, and rabies is seven times more frequent in men than in women. Rabid men develop insomnia, tend to wander at night and become hypersexual, sometimes getting painful erections that last for days. "The literature reports cases of rabid patients who practised intercourse up to 30 times in a day," says Gomez-Alonso.

The legend of vampires transforming themselves into animals may come from the way rabies affects bats, dogs and wolves in a fashion similar to man. In particular, muscle spasms in the face and neck can give human victims the look of an angry dog. Vampires' aversion to garlic and mirrors could be ascribed to rabid hypersensitivity. "Men with rabies," he said, "react to stimuli such as water, light, odours or mirrors with spasms of the facial and vocal muscles that can cause hoarse sounds, bared teeth and frothing at the mouth of bloody fluid." In the past, he contended, "a man was not considered rabid if he was able to stand the sight of his own image in a mirror." [UPI,R] 21 Sept; New Scientist, 26 Sept 1998. For alternative views of vampirism, see FT47:12, 80:46-47.
SALVAGED FROM THE WAYBACK MACHINE:
https://web.archive.org/web/20050930122857/http://forteantimes.com/articles/119_sdays.shtml
 

Souleater

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The following item appeared in the Strange Days section of Fortean Times #119 (February 1999) ...


SALVAGED FROM THE WAYBACK MACHINE:
https://web.archive.org/web/20050930122857/http://forteantimes.com/articles/119_sdays.shtml
I just saw on 'pawn stars' someone sord a mid victorian vampire protection kit, wanted to share the photo and thought here was as good a place as any, if there is aomewhere better please feel free to move it, btw the caliber of the guns is .50!!! And the bullets are silver
vampire-defense-kit.jpg
 

Souleater

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The box has the name Phillip Burne-Jones engraved on it, a victorian artist whos most famous painting is..you guessed it..vampire
download (1).jpeg
 

Souleater

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The whereabouts of the painting is also currently unknown!!!
 

Frideswide

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I just saw on 'pawn stars' someone sord a mid victorian vampire protection kit, wanted to share the photo and thought here was as good a place as any, if there is aomewhere better please feel free to move it, btw the caliber of the guns is .50!!! And the bullets are silver
that's a nicely done one!
 

Frideswide

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If you have spare $25,000 it can be yours its for sale atm
wow! I'd rather make my own I think, especially at that price! But it is very nicely done...

And I'm saving up in case @feinman decides to do a Green Man ring at some point.
 

IbisNibs

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I just saw on 'pawn stars' someone sord a mid victorian vampire protection kit, wanted to share the photo and thought here was as good a place as any, if there is aomewhere better please feel free to move it, btw the caliber of the guns is .50!!! And the bullets are silver
View attachment 33811
wow! I'd rather make my own I think, especially at that price! But it is very nicely done...
It looks like it would make a likely crafts project kit at your local arts and craft supply store. Like those bead-it-yourself jewelry kits that are sold in stores.
 

Kondoru

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I just saw on 'pawn stars' someone sord a mid victorian vampire protection kit, wanted to share the photo and thought here was as good a place as any, if there is aomewhere better please feel free to move it, btw the caliber of the guns is .50!!! And the bullets are silver
Was there a vampire problem in Mid Victorian times?
 

Souleater

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Was there a vampire problem in Mid Victorian times?
Vampires were quite a common theme in vicrorian Britain culmulating with Bram Soters 'Dracula' in 1896, the artist whos name is engraved on the boxs' most famous painting was 'the vampire' pictured above.There is however a theory that the 'vampire' was a metaphor for the influx of immigrants from eastern europe in the victorian period.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Pinky Brown, the scheming thug from Graham Greene's novel Brighton Rock, keeps his thumbnail long to conceal a razor blade under it, all the better for slashing throats. Maybe Greene was inspired by pirate tales?
Pretty silly when going to the loo, scratching an itch, or having a you know what, against the odd chance you need to slit someone's throat.
 

GNC

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Pretty silly when going to the loo, scratching an itch, or having a you know what, against the odd chance you need to slit someone's throat.
I don't think he kept a razor blade under the nail all the time, just when it was... necessary.
 

Naughty_Felid

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I don't think he kept a razor blade under the nail all the time, just when it was... necessary.
So he gets jumped at home by rivals? "Hang on I'll just need to attach Mr Slicy"
 

GNC

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So he gets jumped at home by rivals? "Hang on I'll just need to attach Mr Slicy"
He used the razor for attack, rather than defence. He had a bottle of acid for the same reason.
 

GNC

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So it's a bit silly then?
Maybe it wasn't in the 1930s. It's a nasty little book anyway, and Pinkie was a snivelling little coward by the end, like most bullies.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Maybe it wasn't in the 1930s. It's a nasty little book anyway, and Pinkie was a snivelling little coward by the end, like most bullies.
I was never interested in that part of life in the UK so gave Greene a miss. I've seen the film/tv adaptions though.
 

GNC

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I was never interested in that part of life in the UK so gave Greene a miss. I've seen the film/tv adaptions though.
The Dickie Attenborough one is genuinely great, even with the toned down ending. Didn't see the remake.
 

David Plankton

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The Dickie Attenborough one is genuinely great, even with the toned down ending. Didn't see the remake.
The remake of Brighton Rock had Sam Riley in it, as did -

there's a recent-ish film where the vamps have an extendable/retractable pointy thumbnail for blood-letting, instead of fangs.

Byzantium.
So we have come full circle.
 
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