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Monday, 21 April 2014

AtoZ Day 18: R is for Roses, Revenant, Razor Blade Smile

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Roses

Roses are a sign or romance and true love, of honour and remembrance, so it's not really surprising they turn up in vampire lore.

One famous occurrence is in Dracula where Van Helsing points out that a branch from a wild rose placed on a vampires coffin will immobilise him within it. This of course makes the vampire an easy target, but of course you have to find the coffin first.

Other legends say that a cross made of the branches of a wild rose will ward off a vampire and some recommend that a stake used to pin a vampire to his coffin and the earth should be made from wild rose wood.

Fright Night II uses roses in a very spectacular fashion when warding off a vampire.

What is your favourite use of a rose in vampire fiction/history?

Creature Feature:

Revenant


This is a Western European kind of vampire, with stories coming from all over, but especially my neck of the woods: Great Britain. A Revenant isn't always a vampire, simply someone who returns from the dead, but they often get up to no good.

According to Wikipedia they come back to terrorise the living and have sometimes been called vampires. Zombiepedia is broader and quotes William of Newburgh for the 1190s: "one would not easily believe that corpses come out of their graves and wander around, animated by I don't know what spirit, to terrorize or harm the living, unless there were many cases in our times, supported by ample testimony".

Myth Beasts says that the name from from the Latin 'revenir' meaning to return.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Razor Blade Smile
Rating: 18
Summary: Lilith Silver is a vampire and these days works as a hired assassin. She has set her sights on the Illuminati and is killing them one by one. Her sire, Sethan Blake, is involved with the Illuminati making it a lot more challenging.
Why you should watch this: It's a terrible film, but the ending, oh the ending makes the whole thing worth sitting through and that's all I'm going to say. It has the dubious honour of being the lowest budget film to ever receive a cinema release in the UK.

Warnings 
(#18 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Ianthe stopped dead as she lifted her keys to open the front door. At first all she felt was disbelief, which slowly morphed into cold, hard fear in the bottom of her stomach. It sat there like a stone as she stared.

There, stuck to the door with the most ridiculous piece of gaffer tape, was a branch of wild rose. There were even open blossoms on it. Legend said wild rose could be used to keep a vampire in their coffin. Legend was stupidly wrong and even the most incompetent vampire hunter would know that.

No, the branch wasn't actually a deterrent: it was a message.

It said two things very clearly: one, I know where you live; two, stay inside and hide.

As the shock slowly worked its way through Ianthe's system, spreading its cold fingers and making her head feel fuzzy it began to change. Cold gradually turned to heat and the first touches of rage started to boil in her blood.

She was fed up of being afraid, fed up of being a pawn and it was going to stop.

Lilith whined beside her and then quietly began to growl.

Not caring who might be looking, she snarled herself, letting all her vampire traits out. All it took was one snatch of her taloned hand and the branch was crushed in her fingers. No one was going to threaten her anymore. This was going to end.

Armouring herself with her anger, she opened the door and stormed into the house. The priest would get what was coming to him.
~~*~~

A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

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36 comments:

  1. You know, I've never heard that about roses and vampires. I'm not the most well versed, but I've read enough, so it's shocking to me that I had yet to know that about roses.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. I don't think it's part of vampire lore that comes up all that often :)

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  2. I don't ever really think about roses when I think about vampires. Interesting thought though. My research suggests that roses stop vampires because roses don't grow in cemeteries.

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    1. I seem to remember seeing something like that, but is that even true?

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  3. I've read Dracula (twice, even), but had forgotten that part about the rose. I'm not sure why, because it's an interesting detail. I like the juxtaposition of a creepy undead creature with that of a lovely flower.

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    1. It's one of those vampire lore things that don't get mentioned often isn't it :)

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  4. Rose brings to my mind Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy series.

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  5. The idea of revenants makes me wonder just how many people were buried alive in earlier days.

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    1. It does seem to be an obvious connection, doesn't it.

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  6. That's interesting about the vampire immobilization. Given that vampires are dead, it makes sense that a token of true love would render them powerless, since God is the essence of both life and love. They say when Christ died on the cross He "destroyed the work of the devil." To enjoy that victory, however, one has to first believe it. That might be why vampires can sometimes smack crosses out of people's hands---those holding them don't truly believe.

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  7. I never knew that about roses, that's interesting. Never heard of a Revenant, although I probably should have, being British myself.

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    1. I didn't know Revenant was a British term until I looked it up and I feel like I have failed my country somehow :).

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  8. I knew roses meant love, but didn't realize it had so many other meanings. Never heard of Revenant,

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    1. I didn't realise it was one of our local terms here - I'd only ever heard it in a couple of movies. :)

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  9. I love the roses imagery in Dracula. But I'm with you...the use of roses in Fright Night II is the best.

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    1. It's so cool isn't it :) I watched the movie again the other day, still love it.

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  10. Ooo. A lot really. The use of the rose on the cover of the Vampire the Masquerade RPG book, the cover of Nightmares of Mine. The movie Blood & Roses. I know there are more. I worked on a game that merged the gothic horror vampire with romantic fiction (not a new concept in novels but very new in games) and I called it Black Rose.

    --
    Timothy S. Brannan
    The Other Side, April Blog Challenge: The A to Z of Witches

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    1. I apologise if you get two replies ... I think Blogspot ate my first one :)
      I've never seen Blood & Roses, I shall have to look it up. Romance and vampires in a game, most interesting.

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  11. I've only heard of the myths with roses that you mentioned. A character could plant roses bushes all around their house to keep a vampire away. :)

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    1. The question is really, what proximity is required - would you need just a trellis or would you need a forest of plants? :)

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  12. Hi Tasha .. the idea of the vampire being pinned by a rose could make sense, but a revenant rising .. and they do occasionally still - not as I vampire I hasten to add .. I wonder if roses, rambling ones, do grow in cemeteries ... well they do in new ones here! Who knows ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Maybe it used to be taboo to plant roses in cemeteries because I'm pretty sure there's nothing to stop a rose otherwise. :)

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  13. Zombiepedia is new to me but making a note of it. One never knows when it will come in handy. It's strange that I want the priest to get what's coming to him, but I should be on his side, not batting for the other team:) You are slowing converting me Tasha, so are the other bloggers of this genre. http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

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    1. It's amazing what links come in handy when :).
      I'm totally on Ianthe's side, even if Alex is a bit of an arse ::g:: Welcome to the dark side ;)

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  14. I always found a red rose a symbol of the vampire because of its deceptive beauty hiding the thorns. Guess that's my take--the symbolism and all. =)

    True Heroes from A to Z

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  15. The roses were new information to me. I liked how you used it as a message in your story. :)

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  16. That's a little creepy even if you are a vampire.

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  17. Well roses grow in our cemetery, there are loads of them. But I have to say, like most of the comments above, I've never heard of roses being used to ward or restrain vampires.
    I read the term Revenant in a book recently, just can't remember which one?
    And 'yes' for Ianthe, bout time she got her angry juices flowing! ;)

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    1. Maybe it was taboo or something to grow wild roses in cemeteries at some point? I have a vamp movie called Revenant and I know there was a film I saw where they have revenants, which were vamps who turned with brain damage, but I can't remember which one it was.

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  18. 'Razor Blade Smile' is one of my all-time favorite "bad" movies.

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    1. I watched it again yesterday for old times sake and its so much fun :)

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