Bats are integral to the modern day concept of the vampire. However. this was not always the case.
Many cultures hold myths about bats. In South America, Camazotz was a bat god of the caves, living in the Bathouse of the Underworld. In Europe, bats and owls were long associated with the supernatural, mainly because they were creatures of the Night. On the other hand, the Gypsies thought of Bats as lucky; they wore charms made of the bones of bats. And in England, the Wakefield crest amongst many others are depicted with a bat.

So how did bats end up becoming associated with vampires?
There are three species of vampires bats in the entire world, all of which occur in Central and Southern America. The Spanish conquistadors first came into contact with them during the 16th century, and immediately recognised the similarity between feeding habits of the bat and the mythical vampire. It wasn't long before they began to associate bats with their vampiric legends. Over the following centuries the relation grew stronger, with James Malcolm Rhymer's "Varney the Vampyre" in the 1840's. Stoker was the primary source for cementing the link between bats and vampires in the minds of the general public.

Slavic Vampires

Romanian Vampires

Gypsies and Vampires

18th Century

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