Stephen King on the Return of Scary Vampires

Making the Vampire Scary Again

Every time I consider this whole vampire/zombie phenomenon, I think of Keats's line for "Ode to a Nightingale":  Half in love with easeful death.

While I know people will think I take it far too seriously, such are the signs of societal ills--deep and serious sicknesses that know of no cure save the one that we push farther and farther away with every passing day--becoming present.


  1. From Julie:

    But hasn't every age had its boogie man? Don't we need this scariness to help us turn away from the bad in the supernatural and into the light? (Without worrying about the silliness of "sparkly vampires" or the grossness of chain wielding maniacs, as both are extremes.)

    But Dracula and Frankenstein both tell us something of ourselves. So do Salem's Lot and World War Z, it seems to me. And All Hallow's Eve goes much further back than any of those stories cited ...

    Just wondering ...

  2. Julie,

    Oh, I agree about the good purposes of the supernatural and have no problem with it in fiction and otherwise. I love fiction of that sort.

    My concern isn't with the supernatural, vampires, zombies, or the like--it is with the desire to become one of them. It's great to have the spooky things, but the subtle romanticization of what is at best nihilistic (zombie--after all they aren't evil in the sense that they did something to become this crawling wreck of humanity) and at worst, evil (in the case of the genesis of Vampires, there is a postive refutation of good involved, in many cases--and when not, it is allowing ourselves to be seduced). So I just wanted to say--I'm not opposed to these elements on principle, I'm concerned about the unprecedented way in which they are embraced and the desire of people to become like them.




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