The Transitioning Vampire
The Umbilical Serum
Is the umbilical serum coursing through the veins
of a transitioning vampire the ultimate cure for
vampirism and all human ailments?
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Last Updated 27 September 2022
Watching the Vampire Diaries has had me asking many philosophical questions about vampirism, so I created the following lore and evaluations.
Lore: Some believe the umbilical serum of a transitioning vampire is a cure for vampirism, and although many vampires have attempted to tap into that source of magic, it has yet to cure one of them. It has, in clinical trials, cured humans, but only those who could afford the resource. The serum has cured cancer and other incurable diseases, even ageing.
First, a pet gripe I have with the three vampiric novel and television series this paper currently addresses
Why, when a well-adjusted, self-sufficient woman/girl would all of a sudden allow her power to be stripped from her, because the boyfriend/vampire needs to control her life? Also, the Vampire diaries at one point, it directs younger people to download an app that reveals exactly where their friends are, right down to the classroom.
This is stalking. Having been a victim of a stalker, I found this introduction confronting and frightening.
Girls of all ages, do not give up your power. Manipulators work extremely fast, and before you know it is even happening, they have control of your money, who you can associate with and distance you from your family.
An app that reveals your location is dangerous and has, during the 2000s, been adopted by abusers who know where their victim is at all times. Be smart. You are strong, and just because he looks good, remember, he has fangs and will drain the life out of you.
Okay. I am done.
Trials and Evidence
Only trace amounts of the umbilical serum can be detected, and extracted, during the transitioning process. If the window of opportunity is missed, or the extraction is performed too early, or too late, it will kill the recipient, vampire or human.
It is, therefore, my conclusion, that it is unlikely the serum is a cure for vampirism, though further testing is required. Results in the human populace, however, they have been performed, surveys or blind studies, have been encouraging, with big pharmaceutical companies working diligently to replicate the serum. Thus far, all clinical trials have failed.
A survey of those who told this researcher they were part of the vampire community was conducted. They said there were rumours of abuse, and misuse of the vampires in the trials, with some theorists suggesting vampires were being created for the sole purpose of extracting the serum for wealthy donors.
“Those vampires are then disposed of in the furnace,” one community member said, though I cannot prove, nor disprove, these allegations.
A clinician, A Wolf, has stated that to gain the best results, “if vampires did exist, any umbilical serum would likely be introduced directly into the bloodstream of the recipient for the greatest effect” (2022). When Wolf was asked if he would take the serum if offered, he responded with a resounding, no. Clinician, A Centaur, suggested that “if there is a vampire community roaming the night, or walking in the sun, that extreme caution should be used when approaching” (2021). Centaur went on to say, “if true, catching this fictitious fairy tale anomaly would take more than holy water and silver, it would take an army, especially if they are day walkers” (2021).
From this study, I can conclude that, although vampires are thought of as myth, their presence in the human world should not be altogether relegated to fairy tales and lore. Too much has been penned by artists throughout the centuries to dismiss their presence entirely. Stories, even fairy tales, are based on truth, no matter how small that truth might be.
Vlad the Impala committed atrocities, certainly, and his story continues to fuel stories even today. However, early depictions of vampires in cinema are of undead mortals with fangs and claws who live in the dirt and castles. While the iconic castle can be a sign the tales of vampires hail from Vlad, there is no certainty and no historical documentation about vampires throughout the ages except through fables and tales.
Fairy tales are the stories people tell, and the infamy of vampire lore, has travelled through time by word of mouth, and can still be found between the pages of storybooks.
Popular Television Series: There will be a sparkling omission from this evaluation
True Blood vampires (TB), for the most part, adhere to stereotypical depictions throughout modern literature. Vampires are unable to walk in sunlight, they drink blood to survive, silver hurts them, holy water and wood stakes/bullets also cause harm, and a big plus for the makers of TB, their vampires live in the ground.
There is one aspect of the TB vampire that fails, and that is the instigation of a sexual act with another vampire. The series implies all male vampires wear no underwear, or pants, and have walking erections of steel.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer maintains the sun aspect and the imbibing of blood for sustenance, though they do infer vampires can eat food but prefer blood. With that inference made in one episode, it is only the Spike character, played by James Masters, who ate food. The series got away with that aspect of the vampire, primarily because it was Spike. Spike was willing to do whatever he wanted.
Vampire Diaries vampires also ate food, but the TB vampires did not. At this point, I conclude the most realistic modern vampires, in keeping with the traits of the vampires of old, were those in TB. Each series, however, fails in the look. There was a need to appeal to a younger audience who were looking for love in all the wrong places, and for the most part, they achieve this. If not for the walking erections of steel in TB, the depiction of the vampire would have been more believable. These scenes only serve to take the viewer out of the story.
The attractiveness portrayed is appealing on screen, though not realistic. In a novel, the more vicious the vampire, the darker the description, the better the story.
All the series mentioned depict vampires as sexy, nasty, and likeable villains. The vampires I have created for my novel series, Josephine Marlin, are more in keeping with the old depictions.
They are ravenous, deadly and unforgiving. Mortals are food and their enemy. They adhere to the archetype weaknesses: sun, silver, holy water (although that does not come up) amongst other things. They sleep in the ground and are not sexual, like the tales of Dracula, nor do they have walking erections of steel (TB).
I hypothesise the modern vampire, depicted through to the late 1990s to the 2000s, has been played out. This would suggest for the concept to make a return as it did for thirty years, it would require a reimagining of the early archetype. It would take pure genius to create a vampire book, movie or series to rival Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
After a reimagining, vampires may well evolve to the heights they have enjoyed for the last thirty years, but television and book series such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, is over. While they still maintain an audience, it would be hard to replicate these successors at those levels.
Side Note One
It has been pointed out that I did not include the Queen of vampirism, Anne Rice, nor the three trope:
• One bite each night
• Fed vampire blood on the last night
• Victim buried for three days and nights before rising as a vampire that usually becomes a paramorph for their master, their sire.
Buffy adhered to the burial, as we find out in a later episode where Spike is being controlled by the big bad, but not the acts by the vampire for the three night’s preceding the death. The writers, however, did script an episode where the Dracula character arrived in Sunnydale, and used all the old tropes.
I did not include Anne Rice’s novels in this paper because it is focused, for the most part, on the three vampire series mentioned, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood and Vampire Diaries.
TheVampire Diaries infers that their vampires can fly, affect the elements (fog) and transmogrify into ravens, or, at the very least, control them. The transmogrification and control of the raven by a vampire is only relevant for the first couple of episodes. While the aspect of the raven can be forgiven, the flying is unforgivable. Vampires in the series can either fly, or they can not. A promise to the reader/viewer was made and not kept.
Transitional Umbilical Serum
The umbilical serum is an idea that came to me, as I said, while watching the Vampire Diaries, and is something I will likely use in short urban fantasy stories, maybe in a novel. I viewed it as a wasted resource that was referred too often. Not the serum, but the transitioning. TB vampires transitioned under the earth, as did Buffy vampires, and the Vampire Diaries (VPD) forewent burials altogether. Its creators decided on a dirt-free method of vampire creation.
A new vampire had to have vampire blood in their system when they died, and then after a few minutes, or hours, they came back to life. For twelve hours, the new vampire is in transition, giving them the choice of a painless death, or drinking blood to complete their transition. However, the writers inadvertently exposed the umbilical aspect of the transition process and missed it.
VPD also decided on two types of vampires, a typical feeds for food vampire, and a ripper. The ripper has no control over themselves, and their choices can have devastating consequences. During the first college year for VPD, the secret lab could have been used to see if the umbilical serum could be extracted and an investigation into what properties it held.
This is where I conclude my evaluation. You can be sure something else will become an idea, or pet peeve, that I will most certainly share with you in the future.
Side Note Two
In the Vampire Diaries, there is a moment when the hybrid, a werewolf crossed with a vampire, is taken out. The hybrid’s blood is the only cure for a vampire who had been bitten by a werewolf. Why did the intrepid heroes not extract a few bags of the hybrid’s blood before storing his crusty corpse in a box? It was the only thing that could cure the bite.
Something to think about…
Seasons Seven and Eight of The Vampire Diaries
Wow, there’s a lot to unpack in these episodes. It is a good thing this is a living document.
These are just a few thoughts I decided to share. I hope you have enjoyed this evaluation, and, the references below are not real. I was going for A Wolf and A Centaur for some creative licence.
Antone Wolf 2022, Anatomy of a Vampire, Mythological Science Magazine, Vol 9, pp 45-47.
Arthur Centaur 2021, How to take down a Vampire in the wild, Mythological Science Magazine, Vol 6, pp 3-12.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1997, Whedon, J.
Christopher Golden, Holder, N, Navarro Y, Odom M, Gallagher DG, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, 2010, https://www.thriftbooks.com/series/buffy-the-vampire-slayer/39373/
L. J. Smith, Aubrey Clark Smith, LJ, Clark, A 1991, Vampire Diaries, QBD Books, https://www.qbd.com.au/the-vampire-diaries-01-the-awakening-tv-tie-in-edition/
Harris C 2001, Sookie Stackhouse, True blood, Ace Books.
The Vampire Diaries 2009, television, Netflix.
True Blood 2008, Ball A, Harris C, Buckner B, HBO.