Vampire Folklore



Considering vampire folklore, there are lots of different vampire myths about the origin of vampires. The first appearance of the vampire in fiction was Dracula. Almost all other vampire history is based loosely or otherwise on this story.

Dracula's origins are mysterious, even after reading the novel. He did NOT have an aversion to sunlight, and did not kill his victims right away. He could climb sheer walls like a spider, and enter a room through the crack in the door. He could not pass over a line of crumbled Host. He did drain their blood, mostly women, and did create a kind of half mad minion named Renfield. A stake through the heart killed most of the vampires in this novel.

In the Stephanie Myers series of novels, vampires are not vulnerable to sunlight, but her characters do sparkle in the sunlight. Her own unique vampire folklore gives us this "sparkliness" which reveals to humans that these individuals are not human, and is why they avoid the sun. They also drink blood.

Ann Rice's vampires are the stereotypical norm. They do not age, they can not change their physical appearance, they are vulnerable to sunlight, silver, garlic, crosses and of course the stake through the heart. Her vampires have been around since the dawn of humanity.

Christine Feehan's vampires were the first bad guys ever. In the dawn of time, there were Carpathians and neanderthals, these two species interbred and created humans. Carpathians who gave up on finding their true love become vampires.

Feehan's vampires are only male, there are no female vampires. Her vampire folklore includes vampires that are also invulnerable to human attacks, although sunlight will kill them. These vampires can use magic, have corrosive blood and are generally nasty. There are no good vampires in her world, they are a scourge on the land.

Jim Butcher has an interesting take on vampires. In his Dresden novels, there are three types of vampires, Black Court - which are the traditional Dracula style vampires, Red Court - which are blood sucking bat like creatures, capable of creating a flesh mask to fool humans and have an addictive narcotic saliva, and the White Court - which are psychic vampires feeding off of human emotion, lust, misery, and fear.

Black court are vulnerable to silver, holy water, crosses, garlic, sunlight etc. Red court are vulnerable to the same but in a lesser degree. White court have only the silver vulnerability, but also require sleep and are physically inferior to the other two courts.

In the Underworld mythology, once upon a time, there was a man with three sons, one was bitten by a wolf, and lived to become the father of all werewolves, one was bitten by a bat and became the father of all vampires, and the third survived unmolested and became the father of men.

There is also Van Helsing, based on the character in the original Dracula novels - this man was a demon hunter specializing in vampires and other anathema to the church. His wife became a vampire in the Dracula novel and she got to be her very own superhero in the League of Extraordinary Gentleman. She has an added superpower too, in that she can turn into a flock of bats.

So as you can see, vampires in folklore has been in a constant series of change. Both in novels , movies and through our history of oral tradition. It is easy to find information about vampires, though it will be very different from person to person, place to place and time to time.

" Okay, God, I thought. Get me out of this and I’ll stop my half-assed church-going ways. You got me past a pack of Strigoi tonight. I mean, trapping that one between the doors really shouldn't have worked, so clearly you're on board. Let me get out of here, and I’ll ... I don’t know. Donate Adrian’s money to the poor. Get baptized. Join a convent. Well, no. Not that last one." -- Richelle Mead, Blood Promise





Return to the top of Vampire Folklore