Interview about a vampireby Nikki Tundel, Minnesota Public Radio
Can modern medicine help explain the origin of the vampire myth?
St. Paul, Minn. — These days the only encounters most people have with vampires is when little treat-or-treaters show up at the door with that slicked-back hair and pancake make-up and those plastic fangs their parents bought for them at Target.
Of course, back in the 1700s, vampires weren't exactly seen as festive. At that time, Eastern Europe was consumed by reports of vampire sightings. It was believed vampires were behind a rash of mysterious deaths and that anyone could be their next victim.
There's no scientific evidence vampires ever existed. But everyone knows a good legend starts with a kernel of truth. And, in fact, many people believe the vampire myth has a true medical explanation.
Repoter Nikki Tundel talked to Dr. Jon Hallberg from the University of Minnesota Medical School to find out just which illnesses could have been mistaken for vampirism.