Vampires have been recorded in folk tradition as long ago as the eras of the Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Ancient Greeks and Romans who all had tales of spirits or demons but the entity we are familiar with today originates almost exclusively from south eastern and central Europe.
The creature was a regular topic of fascination for gothic novels, with John Polidori's The Vampyre in 1819 often considered the first and most influential but it was not until Bram Stoker published his cult book Dracula in 1897 that the modern imagination of the Vampire takes hold. Stoker was inspired by two personalities in real life, Vlad Draculea, or Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, and Erzsebet Bathory, a Hungarian Countess with a lust for blood.
The suave and irresistible villain who stalked maidens for their blood by night and lay shrouded in a coffin at day has long been a subject of fascination for story tellers and now the evolution of this undead menace in popular culture is the subject of a new exhibition at the Caixa Forum in Zaragoza.
Covering the development of the story of Dracula as set out in Bram Stokers work the exhibition charts a course through the depictions of Dracula in Western cinema including a fascinating comparison of the original 1922 Nosferatu by F.W Murnau and the 1979 Werner Herzog interpretation The Phantom of the Night.
The original film was almost lost forever as Bram Stokers widow fought the film makers for breach of copyright, won and and saw the film destroyed, one copy survived to become recognised as the foundation of the terror genre.
Perhaps it is the relative proximity of the Dracula mania and the birth of cinema that accounts for the unending fascination the medium has with the character, and it is primarily the cinematic evolution of vampires that forms the basis of our journey through irresistible gothic horror.
The exhibits cover a range of cinematic extracts, beautiful film production stills, publicity posters, concept art and even original costumes, including those of Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst from Interview with a Vampire.
There is also a range of graphic novels, TV productions, music videos and manga works that tackle the Count, including Scooby Doo and Sesame Street.
The collection is a must see for fans of the Vampire drama, even the the teen angst twilight saga is given consideration as well as depictions of political figures in satire.
Entry is 6 euros per head with reduced rates for children or free for Caixa bank account holders and three guests. Entry includes access to the other exhibits and once complete you can enjoy a skyline view from the café on the top floor and the terraza alongside.
Alongside the exhibition is perhaps a unique opportunity to watch a screening of the original 1929 Nosferatu on Tuesday 2nd March at 19.00.
On Thursday 4th March at 19,00 a round table will explore the transformation of the Vampire myth in the 21st century
Then on Tuesday 9th March the 1958 Hammer Horror Dracula staring Christopher Lee is showing in Original English version.
Further events include a screening of The Francis Ford Coppola Bram Stoker's Dracula on Tuesday 16th March and Jim Jarmusch's vampire comedy Only lovers left alive on Tuesday 23rd March.
The exhibition runs until 13th June 2021 so keep an eye out for further events and get your blood lust sated! Click on the image below to explore the Caixa Forum agenda or click here