I know, vampires are in vogue these days. Vampire novels have been hot since Anne Rice was cranking them out at the rate of four or five a year, and some were made into movies with big-name stars; and recently there have been teenage vampire movies too. I get that there’s currently something of a “vampire fashion” in entertainment.

But we all know vampires aren’t real — or at least, we should. Despite this, there has been a very real vampire scare at one of the country’s most prestigious schools, as the Boston Globe reports:

Boston Latin School headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta issued a notice to parents and students yesterday quashing rumors of vampires at the school. An odd move for the head of a historic elite preparatory school, but Teta and Boston public school officials declined to elaborate on what triggered the unusual message.

They did, however, adamantly offer assurances that no one at the school has been hurt, arrested – or bitten.

“The headmaster believes that the outrageous rumors had reached a point where she had to say something to families to ensure that all students felt safe and respected,” said Chris Horan, School Department spokesman.

As for the details surrounding this scare, I’ll leave that up to the Globe article. The details, however, don’t matter so much as the fact that a vampire scare happened … in the 21st century and in the United States. Look, folks, this isn’t some remote third-world outpost where witch scares are to be expected. It’s not even in some backward part of the US. This is Boston, fercryinoutloud, and it’s the Boston Latin School we’re talking about!

Really, the people there who truly thought that Boston police were about to arrest a real live vampire, have no valid excuse for having believed it. None.

In case anyone is not clear on the matter, I’ll clue you in: There is no such thing as “vampires” and there never have been. What we think of as “vampires” are merely a literary device invented by writer Bram Stoker; his inspiration was a disparate collection of source stories, none of which were connected with any other until he came along. These included the tale of Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory and the Wandering Jew, and Stoker named his vampire character after the Romanian voivode Vlad Tepes, also known as Draculea. In truth, Stoker’s vampire had no direct historical antecedent.

So no … there are no such things as vampires, and nothing like them has ever existed.

No one in the 21st century United States has even the slightest excuse for thinking they’re real — because they’re not, and we know better. That the staff of the Boston Latin School had to go to great lengths to quell a vampire scare, is inexcusable. Time to grow up, people.

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