The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires, An A-Z of the Undead by Theresa Cheung
The book is a beautifully thick 685 page tome that promises to examine the dark depths of the vampire world, separating the myth from the chilling reality. Undoubtedly if you were attacked by an undead creature you could probably knock it out by throwing the book at it, but there are much better methods included inside.
This is a very well researched and detailed reference book that you will find easy to dip in and out of, enjoying the content at your own pace. Covering every type of vampire fact, fiction, fantasy, myth and legend from the earliest vampire accounts to the latest Twilight film, the book also features tales of mortal blood-drinkers, vampire legends from cultures around the world, the vampire family tree, including ghosts, witches and werewolves and of course tips on how to find, identify and destroy a vampire. Opening the book on page within the H section we read about two 20th Century murderers, Fritz Haarmann, know as the vampire butcher of Hanover who murdered up to 50 people, leaving bite marks on his victims and John George Hay, the vampire of London. The section also features Laurell K. Hamilton, the author of the best selling Anita Blake novels, Hammer Horror films, the Hannya – a vampire-like demon possessed entity from Japanese folklore, Jonathon and Mina Harker – from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and details of the Highgate Vampire case. We could go on but we’d prefer to leave some things for the readers to discover for themselves!
The timeline covered reaches back to 1047 when a Russian prince was described as being an ‘Upir’ (an early form of the word Vampire), as well as covering details of the infamous Vlad the Impaler in 1476 and Elizabeth Bathory who in 1610 was arrested for killing hundreds of people and bathing in their blood.
The A-Z format is clear and concise with illustrations by Andy Paciorek throughout the pages, if we could pick a minor fault, (and it really is minor), it would be that the detailed illustrations could have been slightly larger, sometimes they feel a little lost on the pages. Regular visitors to Mysterious Britain will recognise Andy as one of our contributors, and his illustrations can be seen throughout many articles on the site.
No matter how deep the reader may be interested in the vampire or undead subject, we are convinced they will find something of value in The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires and it would make a great present. Theresa has an appealing writing style and a no nonsense approach that has kept us coming back for more.
So, we reckon you should lift the coffin lid and read everything you will ever need to know about the undead. Fangtastic!
Soft Bound, ISBN No. 978-0-00-731279-5.
Published by Harper Collins 2009
About the author:
Theresa Cheung was born into a family of psychics and astrologers. She gave her first public psychic reading at the age of 14 and has been involved in the serious study of the psychic world ever since. In addition to being a tarot reader, she has lectured and organized workshops on numerology, tarot, dreams, and other aspects of the psychic world. Theresa has contributed to magazines such as Red, She, Here’s Health, as well as MBS magazines such as Fate and Fortune. She is the author of over 25 health, popular psychology, and new age books including The Element Encyclopedia of 20,000 Dreams.