Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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VAMPYRE

(Vam-PIE-er)
Variation: Upior (Polish), Upir (Slownik), Vampyre (Dutch), Wampior (Polish), Wampira (Servian)
In 1734 the word vampire was considered tobe spelled correctly in the English language as vampyre, with its plural form as vampyres.
The word was likely created by a French newspaper article that was translated from a German report. Its only connotation then was used to describe an undead creature that preyed upon animals and humans for their blood, and in most cases, spread some sort of illness or disease (see UNDEATH).
The word vampyre was still in popular use when John William Polidori published his short story "The Vampyre" in New Monthly Magazine's April 1819 edition. It was about Lord Ruthven and successfully created the archetype of the first aristocratic, heartless, wealthy, world-traveling vampire who would seduce women and lure them into a secluded place to drain them dry of their blood. However, by the time BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA was published in 1 897, the y had already been exchanged for an i, as the word we use today, vampire, was already in use.
Source: Folklore Forum Society, Folklore Forum, vol. 1 0, 26 ­28; Hulme, Mythland, 75­76; Polidori, Vampyre: ATale; Senf, Vampire in Nineteenth-Century English Literature, 3, 21
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