Monsters and shape-shifters have always held a special fascination in mythologies, legends, and folklore the world over. These beings are part human but under certain conditions transform into formidable creatures that prey upon humans and animals. Interest in these creatures, vampires among them, remains continually strong, as illustrated by the success of numerous movies and books featuring them. From ancient customs to famous cases of beasts and vampires and their reflections in popular culture, 600 thrilling entries provide definitions, explanations, and lists of suggested further reading. This exciting resource focuses on cross-cultural mythology, folklore, historical cases, and the presence of these creatures in arts, entertainment, and pop culture. The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters is a fascinating historical journey through the macabre, led by an author with great expertise in the field.
Of all the creatures in our mythologies and demonologies, the vampire reigns as the most fascinating. Most people knowledgeable about vampires do not start out with the intention of becoming experts. The vampire does, however, have a way of getting into your bloodstream and staying there. At least that is what happened to me many years ago. I did not just wake up one morning and decide to start the world’s first Dracula fan club. It happened over a period of time—and it certainly has been an incredible journey. This is how it happened: In the early 1960s, I was an animation filmmaker living in New York City with my husband, Robert Youngson, who had won two Oscars for his films The World of Kids and This Mechanical Age. We weremovie mavens and went as often as time permitted. Those were the days of Brides of Dracula, Horror of Dracula, and Dracula, Prince of Darkness, which I was particularly drawn to, perhaps because I had loved Stoker’s Dracula so much.