You've seen it pointed out by every writer from here to the New York Times: We're in the middle of a vampire craze! Why? Why now? What does it mean? When will it end? Mix in the cries of love and hate for the Edward Cullens, Eric Northmans, and Bill Comptons and you have a deafening discussion centered on the creatures of the night.

But Christopher Beam and Chris Wilson over at Slate have done some historical digging, and come to a surprising discovery: We've never not been in the middle of a vampire craze. Christopher Lee created one, and when the popularity of the vampire began to wane, Anne Rice stepped in. When readers tired of Lestat, in walked Joss Whedon with Buffy, and so on. There's only been a few gaps that Slate terms "The Garlic Years" when vampires were "back in the coffin," perhaps most notably between 1960-1965, and 1975-76. If you think about the entertainment trends of those years, it actually makes sense why no one was sniffing out the artery. That period of the 1960s was when Hitchcock flourished, as did Steve McQueen and James Bond. 1976 was the year of Rocky, Taxi Driver, Network, and so much more. The vogue was for sleek mortal cool and for gritty realism, neither of which are embodied by vampires.


So, why does it seem like there's more fangbangers than ever? I think it's purely because of the Internet and the way entertainment overwhelms us with marketing. When Interview with the Vampire hit theaters, it didn't come blazing with blood energy drinks, and static-cling decals. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was popular enough to warrant t-shirts, books, and prosthetic Halloween make-up, but it never got an official drink or subway banners the way True Blood has. But like so many boom town trends, it's created and sustained more by advertising executives wanting us to believe there's a new fashion for the fang rather than admitting its a well worn genre.