Sesame Street's The Count Loves To Count Because Of This Real-Life Vampire Legend

Sesame Street's The Count Loves To Count Because Of This Real-Life Vampire Legend

The adorable Sesame Street vampire and apparent nobleman Count Von Count, largely known as simply The Count, is beloved for his quirky obsession with counting. Although this tendency, also known as arithmomania, is great for teaching children about numbers, that's not the only reason he does it. His passion for counting also aligns with a real-life vampire legend: vampires can't resist counting everything they see. Those who believed the legend used it to their advantage by sprinkling graves and graveyards with seeds, grains, or anything else that was difficult to count. Because of their multitudinous knots, fishing nets were also a popular choice, and would often be buried with corpses or cast over doors. Both methods were especially effective because of how slowly vampires were believed to count. In Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality, Paul Barber writes, "Usually what is at issue is a harnessing of the revenant's [vampire's] compulsions: he must collect the grains one at a time, and often just one grain per year. This so engages his attention that he is obliged to drop all other pursuits." Learn more about vampire legends in the videos below.

How The Vampire Myth Started

Learn about a genetic condition called porphyria.

02:49

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    In the 1980s, some historians claimed that the vampire myth began with a medical condition called porphyria. (0:00)

  • 2

    A treatment for porphyria in the Middle Ages was the drinking of blood. (0:29)

  • 3

    Sufferers of porphyria may break out in sores when exposed to sunlight. (1:36)

Vampire Numbers

They don't have anything to do with real vampires, but they're still pretty cool.

05:40

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    See why 1,260 is a vampire number: (0:37)

  • 2

    117,067 is a prime vampire number with prime fangs. (2:40)

  • 3

    In traditional folklore, vampires often suffered from arithmomania, or the compulsion to count. (3:47)

Why Vampires Can't Exist

Plus nine other interesting facts.

See all

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Myths

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Etymology

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