Prompted by today's installment of Dr. McNinja, I did a little reading this afternoon on old vampire folklore. Apparently it was widely believed (in both Europe and China) that vampires were obsessed with counting. Dead people were buried with sacks of grain or sand, so that should they happen to rise as hungry revenants, they couldn't get up to any mischief (for a while, anyway) because they'd be compelled to first count every single grain. It was even believed that if a vampire was chasing you, you could escape by scattering grain or sand on the ground as you fled . . . its need to count was even greater than its need to feed.
(One of the few modern pop-culture references you'll find to vampire OCD is in the X-Files episode "Bad Blood", where Mulder uses this same trick to escape a vampire pursuer.)
The Count is visually a Bela Lugosi parody (they even have the same white bowtie!) but perhaps it goes deeper than just looks. Let's look at the evidence in favor (with, appropriately, a numbered list):
(This line is to keep the list from wrapping around the image to the left.)
- He's clearly got the fangs. In fact, he's one of only a few Muppets with teeth at all.
- He's obsessed with counting, as discussed above.
- Vampires were also commonly believed to be red or purple in color, a side-effect of feeding on blood. He's purple.
- You'll note from the clip at the top of this post that he has no reflection in the mirror.
- He has limited psychic control over others, and can briefly stun people to incapacitate them.
- In multiple skits, he refuses to eat human food (Grover's hot dogs, Cookie Monster's cookies) because food is for counting, not for eating.
Well then, what is for eating, Count? Maybe . . . Bert?
(The only real evidence against is that he's frequently seen outside in the daytime, yet does not sparkle at all.)