From the beginning of time, in every world culture, immortal entities are described who feast on the blood of the living and hunt for prey under the cover of night. They are the walking undead who terrorizes communities, stealing loved ones and turning them into their devilish minions. Fearful whispers surround their legend. They are known as Anze in Africa and Bajang in Malaysia. I will call them by a more familiar name, Vampire, and prove to you beyond a dark shadow of doubt that they are not the myth of a nightmare, but in actuality, all too real.
The first credible vampire accounts appear in both the Jewish Torah and the Bible’s Old Testement, referencing the entity Lilith. This is the Vampire origin. They agree that God created Adam and Lilith as she is known as the “First Eve” in Genesis I. Lilith refuses to show deference to Adam and is cast out. It is at this time that Lilith transforms into the creature of the night with the ability to change shape into an animal on command and fly with wings. She stalks men in their sleep with her depraved sexual appetite and kills by drinking the blood of her victims. The Jewish Talmud (3rd to 5th century bce), which is central to religious law and Rabbinic theology, gives this warning:
Rami bar Abba said: An animal does not overpower a person until he appears to it as an animal, as it is stated: “But man does not abide in honor, he is like the beasts that perish” (Psalms 49:13). However, animals do not attack people who are human in their spiritual character. In a similar vein, Rabbi Hanina said: It is prohibited to sleep alone in a house, and anyone who sleeps alone in a house will be seized by the evil spirit Lilith. (Shabbat 151b)
The Bible also gives a warning:
“The wildcat shall meet with the jackles, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow, yea, Lilith, shall repose there and find her place of rest.” (Isaiah 34:14)
Was Lilith the mother of all Vampires to follow? Scholars agree that Mesopotamia was the cradle of modern man. Fourth millennium bce saw the first major empires built in the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. We can trace Lilith’s flight from Adam to her next recorded sighting by Gilgamesh, ruler of the Sumerian city of Uruk, in a poem on Tablet XII around the year 2100 bce. She is depicted as a nocturnal owl who wishes to build a new throne in the base of a tree with many branches. The poem implies that Lilith was looking to expand her realm. Owls, in Sumerian culture, were symbols of fertility.
It is at this point in history that the stories and sightings of vampires spread like a slow moving contagion, creeping from one region to the next, radiating out from Mesopotamia in every direction. Alluring but deadly Empousai and Lamiae plagued the ancient Greeks by gorging on the blood of their children. The Romans brought the Strix, that fed on flesh and blood, to every city in their ever-marching northward empire. Sanskrit writing chronicled undead bat-like human creatures hanging upside down from trees in far off India. The Betsileo Tribe of Madagascar told tales of an outlaw, eating the discarded fingernails of nobels while sipping on their blood. There was no country left untouched