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The Psychology of Vampires ('Salem's Lot Spoilers)

Discussion in ''Salem's Lot' started by Coyo-T, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    Hello, I'm a bit new here (I've posted in a couple of topics previously, but this is my first full thread) and having just finished Salem's Lot a few days ago I was hoping people here could shed some light on something that's really been bothering me- what happens to a person once they've been vampirized? Do they die along with their body (the soul or whatever going on to do whatever it was going to do upon death regardless) leaving a shell with just enough of their memories to mark the next likeliest targets, or does their consciousness remain, either buried beneath powerful new instincts and hunger or in an altered state as in someone with rabies? And if they're not already "gone", then when they're destroyed (either by staking or fire) is their soul "freed" to move on ?(Assuming there's something to move on to, of course). Eva and a few others in deleted scenes seemed to consider the change as "dream-like", and Jimmy felt the beginnings of the infection as a powerful urge to attack Ben; it's been a while since I've read Wolves of the Calla so I don't remember if it had anything more to add or if there's anything in the relevant folklore that King was drawing from. If I recall correctly the Lot vampires would be considered "Type 2" and mostly just slaves to the will of their Master "Type 1" vampire- but they no longer have one, and are presumably now operating by their own instincts and whatever faculties they may have left.

    I know it's silly to be so worried about the welfare of minor fictional characters in a 41 year old book I only finished less than a week ago, but I really got into this story (and some of the characters, such as Weasel, reminded me of people I used to know, so there's maybe a bit of a personal connection involved.) It's a question I'm hoping to put to rest (pun fully intended.)
  2. staropeace

    staropeace Richard Bachman's love child

    Just got out my vampire handibook lol. Souls are supposed to be released upon staking and such...like Susan's. I think the early writers, like Bram Stoker, made their vampires very smart. The newborn vamps are slower with their thinking skills but are driven by their thirst for blood. The newfangled vamps...usually writer by ladies....are hot and just want to make out...O Discordia. This is one of my favorite King books. WElcome.
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 4 others like this.
  3. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    Does it also get released upon burning or sunlight or any other approved methods of destroying vampires? I'm assuming that many were killed in the fire and that Ben and Mark staked what "survivors" they could find, though obviously some escaped. (Though I'd be willing to bet that Eva, Weasel and the other boarders probably remained in the cellar of the boarding house, and if they weren't burned out of there it was probably one of the first places Ben and Mark looked.)
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 3 others like this.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...the "classic" as opposed to "new age" vamps I feel still have their "selves" intact, just wildly perverted by the hunger and unable to be realized until the stake releases them...
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  5. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    Does any of the folklore (since I'm assuming that Mr. King has never had reason to detail it) say what happens to the soul once it's released? I'm assuming/hoping that unless you consciously chose to be a vampire you're considered "cleansed" and not responsible or the evil acts you committed as one (especially as in 'Salem's Lot there's virtually no defense against being attacked and turned unless you were specifically prepared for it or really, really, lucky.)

    ...I feel like I've thought way too much about this.
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  6. staropeace

    staropeace Richard Bachman's love child

    Wasn't The Lot a delicious chill? Wow, I was mesmerized by this wonderful setting, too.
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 5 others like this.
  7. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm not sure why I'm so obsessed with this particular novel- I guess that Jerusalem's Lot represents a sort of "in between" of the places I grew up (some of which were more "developed", and some more rural) and I really connected to a few of the characters- people have complained that a lot of them were underdeveloped, which is kind of understandable given the large cast and the time needed to build the atmosphere, but I felt that the protagonists' psychological reactions were realistic and enjoyed seeing the daily lives of the minor characters, good and bad. (My favorite side story was the relationship between Weasel and Eva.) While I'm happy to learn what happened to the surviving main characters through the DT books, it's really bugging me to not know what eventually happened to the minor ones who vampirized (and I have a feeling that the DT was Mr. King's way of closing out the story, though I'd love to be wrong.)

    Also, my apologies if my replies end up appearing in odd places; I'm still on moderated status because I'm new and apparently the full time mod is on vacation. Not only am I forty years late to the party, but I apparently picked a great time to start posting here, too. :p
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 3 others like this.
  8. muskrat

    muskrat Dis-Member

    I'd say the Salem's Lot vamps are soulless, partially mindless servants to Barlow, much like the ones in Dracula. Reanimated corpses, basically, possessed by evil--slaves to the whims of the 'master' vampire. No fun at all.

    And they don't sparkle or go to high school.
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  9. staropeace

    staropeace Richard Bachman's love child

    Maybe they sparkle in Eva's cellar. lol
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 3 others like this.
  10. staropeace

    staropeace Richard Bachman's love child

    I often wish for a part two with this book. I just loved the whole idea of it. I think I might like it even better than another Tower book.....and that is saying something. Did you read They Thirst by Rick McCammon. That is a lovely vamp book as well.
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 3 others like this.
  11. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    I get the impression that a certain type of contemporary vampire genre is really disliked around here. ;)

    I'd like to see more of the Lot, too- it sounds like he planned on a sequel but so much time has passed I think he tied up some of the characters' arcs in DT instead. It'd still be doable, I think (Mark would be in his 50s now, any surviving vampires probably don't age, and the fact that it all exists in a multiverse means that it could even be a parallel timeline where the character arc from the DT series doesn't occur to complicate things) but it is what it is.

    I'll check out that other vamp book- the stupid sexy sparkle vamp fad really put me off vampire stories for a while, which might be why it took so long to read this one.
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  12. doowopgirl

    doowopgirl very avid fan

    Welcome and I hope you stick around. Maybe it is a lot of thinking for one story, but what the heck. If that's what gets you motor running it's fine. I'm not a fan of sparkly vampires either. Now, they think too much.
    mal, Nomik, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  13. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm thinking about it now because I never thought about it before- that and my priorities are apparently messed up. ("I'm glad that the main characters I logically should care most about got out, but what about the vampires? Won't somebody think of the vampires?") :p

    In any case, once Barlow was gone the others seemed to lose a good deal of power- when he was around turning people was almost a sure thing, as they could just fly up to a window and charm a victim, who sometimes never even fully came awake before it was over. Afterward, the smarter ones apparently had to start luring the surviving humans to them, several people who moved into the area afterward managed to move away after being creeped out but unharmed, and the vamps seemed to be reduced to mutilating livestock most of the time.
    mal, Nomik, GNTLGNT and 1 other person like this.
  14. Neesy

    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    They all get a house together and become room mates:

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  15. recitador

    recitador Speed Reader

    can't say how king views it, but in some circles, the soul is gone (where to, who knows), and it's basically a demon possessing their body. it's one of those things that changes every time someone takes a crack at it most likely. there've been vampires that crumble to dust when they die and vampires that explode like a ghoulish pinata, so i guess you just have to go with what you like best
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  16. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    Yeah, after thinking it over and rereading some sections (including some alternate scenes, though it's arguable how relevant they are) I guess in this case I'm leaning toward the person's soul/essence still being present but existing in a sort of dream-like fugue or altered into a violent and aggressive state by something like supernatural rabies. I'm sure it's more merciful to think of favorite characters as being burned up in the fire or staked in the aftermath and being "released", but it's still a depressing thought. :/

    I wonder how they behaved around each other when there's nothing with a pulse around to arouse the hunger? Did they form a sort of social hierarchy (maybe with Larry Crockett in charge, as he seemed to recover some of his wits early on)? Jimmy didn't think they were capable of "love" (though that was only conjecture on his part) but are they capable of affection between individuals, such as Eva/Weasel, Ruthie/Dud, or the McDougalls?

    (This sounds like the basis for a weird nature documentary!)
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  17. PennyHanscom

    PennyHanscom Member

    I think that the vampires of Salem's Lot are simply people who are starving for blood, with a bit of anger thrown in there. I've had many of those times when I'm craving some sort of food and almost want to go and kill for it; I've also had those times where I get angry at someone and want to punch them (Or bite them). I think the Vamps of the lot are a mix of the two, multiplied, or: Vamp= (Rage+Hunger)x Quite a bit. Ultimately they are themselves, as they can think, but slowly the rage and hunger will increase overtime to the point where things get bloody (Pun intended). Plus, I remember that once the people of the lot were bitten, they don't immediately turn. They become more sick, introverted, and angry, and then all that comes from hunger. Ultimately leading to savagery. In conclusion, I like to think they're starving people who can do something about it.

    P.S. Salem's Lot was my first King book. Loved it.
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  18. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    The speed at which people were turned seemed pretty inconsistent, though- people like Mike Ryerson, Mrs. Glick, and Larry Crockett all went through an intermediate phase, while others (Susan Norton, Randy McDougall, Weasel Craig, and Eva Miller) were apparently or in Eva's case explicitly killed and turned pretty much instantly. I'm not sure that there was any pattern apparent to it.
    Neesy, mal, Nomik and 1 other person like this.
  19. Nomik

    Nomik Carry on

    Hello again, I recently finished Reading that one for the first time as well. I don't know much about vampires, but it's certainly a nice change to talk about them instead of zombies. If only, if only I didn't have such a terrible migraine right now, I would go through the trouble of finding a picture of Brad Pitt and putting it in the thread. I liked that story too . . .
    I was wondering what became of the minister. I am sure this for his been addressed and if I just open the book and be able to find out but didn't we leave with him at a café or something? I wanted to follow him up a little bit more just because I thought he was an interesting character. My enthusiasm for the book is not resonating correctly right now because vampires have been creeping into my thoughts. In a metaphorical sense, Of course :a11::thumbs_up:

    :peach: More to the when headache lessons
    Case in point❤️:sadface:
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  20. Coyo-T

    Coyo-T Well-Known Member

    He becomes a major character in The Dark Tower series (starting with Wolves of the Calla) and helpfully relates what he was up to in between (even hinting at what became of Ben and Mark, though not the town itself.)

    Hope your migraine feels better!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2016
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