Historically, vampires and zombies were pretty much the same thing. They were both called revenants. Usually, though, a zombie that rose from the grave was thought to spread disease and death, just like a vampire was thought to do. So what really makes them different?

The vampire is thought to be ethereal and ageless. This is thanks in part to Anne Rice and writer’s like her. She was one of the first to declare the sexuality of the vampire who, after the change, would become untouchably beautiful. They retain who they were in their memories. Though many seem to go bad, corrupted by their new powers, few retain their personality despite the temptations of going dark.

The vampire’s senses were also heightened. Their sight allowed them to see more than a human could. The same occurred for the sense of smell and touch. They are faster, stronger, and more agile once they leave their human shell behind. However, the same mythology traps their movement to the night. They also react strongly to garlic and crosses, anything that belongs to the church. And their gift is typically thought to be a curse.

Zombies on the other hand are thought to be rotting corpses shambling about in their search for brains and flesh. While they were once human beings, any recollection of who they were is gone. They are seen as completely soulless. They have no added abilities except a certain tolerance to pain.

They are relentless, however, and will follow their prey for days in order to get their pound of flesh. Zombies are known to eventually rot, depending on the climate they are in. In cooler weather, the zombie stays together better while in hot climes the rot increases exponentially. However, some zombies in the heat will not rot as much as become mummified. This is more likely in deserts, since the air is drier.

Zombies, unlike vampires, are not controlled by the time of day that they can be active. They prefer darkness, instinctively knowing that their body will decay faster in the sun. But they are not dominated and do not risk bursting into flame if they do go out in the sun.

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