Lifesblackrose

•September 7, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Lifesblackrose: A journey into the Gothic mind is dedicated to all things Gothic, and is a platform for news and information on films, books, events and research.

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Lifesblackrose welcomes guest material or information on anything Gothic related, so please feel free to get in touch  >o<

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Open Graves Open Minds project

•July 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Currently undertaking PhD research on Lord Byron, John Polidori and the early 19th century literary vampire at University of Hertfordshire on the Open Graves, Open Minds project.

To find out more, or to share information, please contact me via:

Twitter: @lifesblackrose

Email: lifes_black_rose@aol.co.uk

For more information on the project, visit http://www.opengravesopenminds.com/index.html

The Wand of the Enchantress

•February 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Wand of the Enchantress

Alexander Stanhope

“As the Moon rides the skies, full and bright,

Casting shadows o’er lake and ground,

The Enchantress watches, with eyes alight,

And thoughts of sin that roam abound,

Her soul is full, yet draws us in,

Showing what is, and what is not,

Her thirst for us, and all our kin,

Never ceases, never stops,

She pities us and thus gives embrace,

Yet this is only ruse,

Discards our shells from place to place,

And still she is our Muse.”

“Our Enchantress lifts her glowing wand,

And tells us what to see,

Then brings it down with sleight of hand,

Dissolving given dreams,

‘Tis not I’ she pleads, with mocking lips,

‘Tis the other, who looks like me!’

And the web of lies helps to eclipse,

Makes us helpless, so we believe,

And only then, on hope’s blind stage,

Do we find to all man’s cost,

She is Vampire, not beauty’s sage,

Too late! For life is lost.”

Let’s howl at the moon with author, Matt Beresford.

•February 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Raven

•February 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Raven by Alexander Stanhope

 

‘Mine, mine, ever thine,

The Raven calls silently,

Her look, her look, catching mine,

And holding there, fleetingly,

A subtle stare, slight move of hair,

An eye’s glance o’er me,

The gentle rain but fanned the flame,

Of instant soliloquy’.

 

‘What were the words, of unknown form?

Unknown to me and thee,

Thou Raven, sparked, yet still forlorn,

O’ would thou, dare’st thou speak?

And moving on, we linger near,

‘Next each other, despite the space,

Upon me now, the Raven veered,

By circumstance, not choice of place’.

 

‘A pardon, uttered, a smile returned,

A knowing betwixt the two,

A chance to move, the Raven spurned,

As did her quarry, and glanced anew,

Their time together, almost passed,

A final beating of their hearts,

The next glance, they knew, was to be the last,

And from this, they did part’.

 

 

Agnes Murgoci – The Vampire in Roumania (1926)

•February 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

This classic work documents the many and varied superstitions of the Romanian belief in the vampire.

View it here.

 

Love’s Last Adieu

•February 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

 

‘The roses of love glad the garden of life,

Though nurtured ‘mid weeds dropping pestilent dew,

Till time crops the leaves with unmerciful knife,

Or prunes them for ever, in love’s last adieu!’

 

Lord Byron, ‘Love’s Last Adieu’

The Vampyre

•February 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

The Vampyre

 

Alexander Stanhope

 

Canto The First

 

“Through days of old and days anew,

Passing on, not passing through,

Of ruddy pallor or deathly hue,

As phantoms, spectres, demons flew,

Or rotting corpse, corporeal shell,

Seamlessly traversing a heaven or hell,

Their form has changed, their spirit not,

They have haunted dreams that memories begot

And whispered on winds of time,

O’er peaks and plains and desert climes.

 

“Borne of demons, in female guise,

Ensnaring men by gazing eyes,

The Serpent’s kiss of poisoned bliss,

Another falls unto her abyss.

Lamia! As Keats did show,

None could resist nor even know,

‘Her throat was serpent, but the words she spake,

 Came, as through bubbling honey, for Love’s sake’,

For Love is blind and curses fool or faculty,

In equal measures, as did She.

 

“Caligula, too, he bore that mark,

The Tyrant banished to the flame,

And left alone, his hell was dark,

Residing in his shallow grave,

But twas not long ‘til the fiend returned,

And haunting thro’ the palace,

His mortal frame not enough was burned,

Or so the legend has us.

 

“In Middle Age the fiend did grow,

With werewolf, witch and devil,

His plague was wont as blood did flow,

And elevate above the level

Ground, on which mortal man expired,

Tho’ demon lived as yet,

And conjured superstition thro’ fire,

Which enabled man to forget.

 

“In Chaucer’s time the grave refused,

To contain the beast and so abused,

The laws of nature, returned again,

The fiend and brought the end,

Of many folk of village and town,

And caused their turn within the ground,

But they, like he, emerged afresh,

Or so is said, and bringing death,

They brought the circle to the start,

Which only ends when pierced, the heart.

 

“Over seas and over air,

Emerging now from within his lair,

The Vampyre once more rose again,

Though now his form was not the same,

Twas thro’ Byron, or his one time friend,

Which caused further immortal ends,

They gave him blood, well in their way,

And held him there, in full sway,

To prey upon all their kind,

 And live him on through words and lines.

 

Bulgarian vampire tourism

•November 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment

'Vampire' burial from Sozopol, Bulgaria (NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/GettyImages)

The ‘vampire’ skeleton unearthed at Sozopol in Bulgaria in June 2012 has gone on display in the National History Museum in Sofia. The remains were discovered with an iron rod piercing the man’s chest and pinning him to the ground.

Now Bulgaria is seeing a dramatic rise in tourists eager to see the vampire, with the Museum’s profits up 300%. Other East European countries, Romania for example, have also seen a boost in vampire-related tourism, and every year thousands flock to Whitby in North Yorkshire in search of Dracula’s grave (ironic, as Dracula ‘died’ in Transylvania and turned to dust, making burial anywhere rather tricky, let alone at Whitby).

Reports of vampire burials are on the increase, perhaps due to renewed interest in the vampire genre created by True Blood and the Twilight Saga. In many ways this echoes the original tales of the 17th & 18th centuries, where returning soldiers and travellers brought back tales of the curious practice of exhuming dead corpses and carrying out preventative methods – cutting off the head or removing the heart.

The recent archaeological discoveries have shown that this is a much older tradition, with examples of people being buried staked to the ground, heads removed, stones placed in the mouth or large rocks on top of the body. These practices have been going on for thousands of years, and discovering the remains in Eastern Europe comes as no real surprise – it is part and parcel of their culture. It is only in the West that they come as intriguing yet macabre discoveries, but while ever society has an interest in the vampire being the tourists will continue to visit.

Returning to the Bulgarian example, in a recent interview for Time Magazine, Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the Bulgarian National History Museum. commented that ‘when the interest is down, we will bury him’.

Let’s hope they remember the stake.

 

 

 
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