There are no records of vampire autopsy,
few confirmed records of vampire injury1, and no confirmed radiological
records of known vampires. This means that much of our knowledge of vampire anatomy
and physiology is speculation at best, guesswork at worst.
are almost unanimous in describing excessive, even superhuman strength - and yet
the same accounts describe the vampires as anything from 'cadaverous, as if ravaged
by tubercolosis'2 or - equally often - as healthy inviduals, though
unusually pale, and often slim3. I have been unable to find any accounts
describing individuals who appear to be unusually strong.
human muscles consist of both slow and fast twitch fibres; slow twitch muscles
are good for maintenance of posture, while fast twitch muscles are good for rapid
the movements needed in fight or flight. They contract quickly, but tire fast,
as they consume considerable energy.
this leads to the inevitable conclusion that changes have taken place within the
connective tissue of muscle and bone as a consequence of vampirification.
changes within muscle are probably accomodation for working with a higher-energy
magnesium-based blood supply - plus changes to assist in rapid repair after injury.4
is also likely that the proportion of 'fast twitch' muscle fibre is greatly increased
one sense, vampires are just like fleas - They cheat a little.
indeed, all mammals, depend on the quality of their musculature and their physical
fitness for speed, jumping ability, and stamina; while fleas depend on resilin.
is an elastomeric protein found in many arthropods. It is one of the most efficient
elastic proteins known, with an efficiency of almost 97%.
In insects, resilin
has to last for the lifetime of the adult, and is used for hundreds of millions
of extensions and contractions.
In vampires, the structure
is interwoven with more conventional muscle, and thus allows some amazing feats
of athletic achievement5.
is analogous to the crossbow.
The string is forced back, either by winding
or by lever, and the energy expended is held in the string; the energy is stored
over the period of winding or leverage, and released in an instant.
does not mean that vampires can emulate the humble flea's ability to jump over
a hundred times their body length; the stresses and challenges are very different
in tiny creatures like fleas, when compared to beings of human stature.
Maudala, a leading vampirism researcher from Belgium (until his disappearance
in 2001), largely agrees with these theories, but has added the 'stored energy
theory'. Discussing the ability of fleas to catapult themselves unreasonable distances
from the stationary, Maudala suggested that vampires have a form of living fuel
cell within their connective tissues that enable energy to be rapidly released,
enabling great strength or speed to be utilized for a short period.5
it may explain the apparent appearance and disappearance of vampires in many eyewitness
accounts, the invariable failure of strong humans to physically restrain elderly-looking
vampires, and other 'mythological' elements reported in vampires6.
vampire's physical abilities also benefit from their diet; rather than be slowed
down by the need to digest a big meal, the vampire derives instant benefit from
blood assimilated from victims; predigested, as efficient as filling the gas tank1.
to bones may be more radical, and it has been suggested that bone is partly -
or completely - replaced with a cartilaginous material. This allows for greater
flexibility and strength, while reducing weight.
These changes would certainly
account for the ability to leap vertically from a standing start - and the ability
to survive falls or leaps from great heights.
G., Poot H., Poot J.K., (Deceased) (1995) Vampire Anatomy: Deductions From Incomplete
Records. Cryptozoology Research 31; 1, 34-39
- Sledzik P.S., Bellantoni
N., (1994) Brief communication: Bioarcheological and Biocultural Evidence for
the New England Vampire Folk Belief. American Journal of Physical Anthropology
94; 2, 269-74.
- Anthauser P.J., (1952) Vampire Attacks in Carpathia,
A study of 238 cases from 1900-1913. Annals of Haematological Diseases 167; 8,
- Maudala P., (1988) Vampirification, Chemicals and Control: Diet
and Delivery. Cryptozoology Research 24; 10, 44-48
- Maudala P., (1993)
The Vampire In Fight or Flight: Shark, Flea or Superman? Cryptozoology Research
29; 7, 23-32
- Jaffe P.D., DiCataldo F., (1994) Clinical vampirism: blending
myth and reality. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law. 22(4):533-44.