The Surprising History and Folklore on Vampires
In this 4-week course, student learn about the history and cultural evolution to the folklore behind the present day conception of vampires, as well as the Warrior Saints that fight them!
year old learners
US Grade Level
learners per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 4 weeks
50 minutes per class
This class is a historical investigation into the modern myth of the vampire, and its surprising historical precedents -- an exploration your young learner will join ! We begin with a surprising news story in 2021 by Anna Wichmann in the Greek Reporter (see sources for citation): "During World War II, Greece suffered the Great Famine, during which 300,000 people starved to death. The sheer number of dead during the time caused cemeteries to overflow, and many people were forced to bury...
I have a PhD in Religious Studies from McGill University, and this course reflects my research published in two two peer-reviewed academic books (see sources for further details)
50 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
Vampires are scary (though they are not real), and the history of Vlad III "Dracula" and Stephen the Great includes war, violence, and torture. Classroom descriptions of their activities will be presented matter-of-factly without overly sensational or graphic details.
Goodin, David K. 2022. Psychopomp and Circumstance: “The Disappearer” of Breaking Bad as Charon the Ferryman. Theology and Breaking Bad. Fortress/Lexington Academic Press. Goodin, David K. (forthcoming). What We [Actually] Do in there Shadows: Vampires in Orthodox Christianity through the lens of Kostova’s The Historian. Theology and Vampires. Fortress/Lexington Academic Press. Artimon, Teodora. 2015. “The Proto-Myth of Stephen the Great of Moldavia.” PhD Dissertation, Central European University, Budapest. Bohn, Thomas M. 2019. The Vampire: Origins of a European Myth. New York: Berghahn Books. du Boulay, Juliet. 1982. “The Greek Vampire: A Study of Cyclic Symbolism in Marriage and Death.” Man 17/ 2: 219-238. John of Damaskos. “Concerning Strygges [Περὶ Στρυγγῶν].” Patrologia Graeca 94. J.-P. Minge (ed.). Paris, 1857-1866. Lawson, John C. 1910. Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lee, D. Demetracopoulou. 1942. “Greek Accounts of the Vrykolakas.” The Journal of American Folklore 55/ 217 (July - September): 126-132. Matt, Daniel C. 2004. The Zohar: Volume One. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Stern, David. 2004. “The Alphabet of Ben Sira and the Early History of Parody in Jewish Literature,” in Hindy Najman and Judith Newman, eds., The Idea of Biblical Interpretation Leiden: Brill: 423-448. Treptow, Kurt W. 2000. Vlad III Dracula: The Life and Times of the Historical Dracula. Iași: Center for Romanian Studies. Wichmann, Anna. 2021. “Vampires in Greece: From Ancient Greek Creatures to the Vrykolakas.” Greek Reporter (October 31). Available at: https://greekreporter.com/2021/10/31/vampires-in-greece-from-ancient-greek-creatures-to-the-vrykolakas/ Edmonds III, Radcliffe G. 2000. Myths of the Underworld Journey: Plato, Aristophanes, and the 'Orphic' Gold Tablets. Cambridge University Press. Hughes, John and John Arbuthnot. 1719. Charon; or, the ferry-boat: A vision. London: W. Lewis, J. Brotherton and W. Meadows at the Black-Bull in Cornhill, J. Roberts in Warwick-Lane, and A. Dodd at the Peacock without Temple-Bar. Lucian of Samosata. 1700. Lucian's Charon: or, A survey of the follies of mankind. London: Loudon Farrow Virgil. 2010. Aeneid. New York: Penguin Classics