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More 'disease' than 'Dracula' – how the vampire myth was born

By Stanley Stepanic, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Virginia
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The vampire is a common image in today’s pop culture, and one that takes many forms: from Alucard, the dashing spawn of Dracula in the PlayStation game “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night”; to Edward, the romantic, idealistic lover in the “Twilight” series.

In many respects, the vampire of today is far removed from its roots in Eastern European folklore. As a…

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